In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.

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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Susan Shentall ...
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Norman Wooland ...
Mervyn Johns ...
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...
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Lydia Sherwood ...
Ubaldo Zollo ...
Enzo Fiermonte ...
Giovanni Rota ...
Giulio Garbinetto ...
Nietta Zocchi ...
Carla Diaz
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In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

25 November 1954 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Romeo und Julia  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

In 1976 several of the (by then quite elderly) costumes from the film were rented for the Doctor Who (1963) story "The Masque of Mandragora" - to the slight disappointment of its costume designer James Acheson, who had been expecting to hire Danilo Donati's designs from Romeo and Juliet (1968), and who only discovered the mistake on visiting the costume house in Rome. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely as a Renaissance painting...and equally lifeless.
14 September 2000 | by (Evanston IL) – See all my reviews

There are certain indispensable elements for a great Romeo and Juliet: youthful, energetic lovers; a brilliant Mercutio and irrepressible Nurse; and crisp pacing. Castellani's version fails on all counts. Take pacing. This is a tragedy of timing; the story unfolds over 4 days of desperate urgency. Yet Castellani's screenplay DRRRAAGGSS, interrupting key scenes with tedious stage business. Take the opening brawl: instead of escalating rapidly, it *stops* while the Capulets lug home the body of a servant, women wail, etc. Who cares about the servant? When do we get to the real action? Similarly, when Romeo opens the tomb, Castellani has him stop, walk all the way back outside, find an appropriate tool, and then start over. What a waste of screen time! It's dismaying that these unnecessary scenes are added at the expense of some of the play's best material. A high point in most productions is Mercutio's Queen Mab speech yet Castellani omits it! All directors make cuts, but why this key speech? Castellani seems to think little of Shakespeare's language, preferring his own dialogue. That's right; he cuts Queen Mab but adds vapid filler for Rosaline and other minor characters. Did he really think no one would notice? As for the actors, Susan Shentall sleep-walks through most of her scenes, but after two hours of Lawrence Harvey's plodding monotone, I can't blame her. These actors can't even summon the energy for a proper swordfight; Tybalt merely stabs Mercutio, while a bored looking Romeo bashes Paris over the head. Where's Basil Rathbone when you need him?

This production is often praised for its lush costumes, picturesque Italian locations and cinematography reminiscent of Italian paintings. It's pretty as a picture, but equally lifeless.


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