In sixteenth century Padua, Hortensio loves Bianca, the youngest daughter of Baptista. But Baptista will not allow the two to get married until his eldest daughter, the extremely headstrong... See full summary »
Set in the Haiti of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, The Comedians tells the story of a sardonic Welsh hotel owner and his encroaching fatalism as he watches Haiti sink into barbarism and poverty. ... See full summary »
Baptista, a rich Paduan merchant, announces that his fair young daughter, Bianca, will remain unwed until her older sister, Katharina, a hellish shrew, has wed. Lucentio, a student and the son of a wealthy Pisan merchant, has fallen in love with Bianca. He poses as a tutor of music and poetry to gain entrance to the Baptista household and to be near Bianca. Meanwhile, Petruchio, a fortune-hunting scoundrel from Verona, arrives in Padua, hoping to capture a wealthy wife. Hortensio, another suitor of Bianca, directs Petruchio's attention to Katharina. When Hortensio warns him about Katharina's scolding tongue and fiery temper, Petruchio is challenged and resolves to capture her love. Hortensio and another suitor of Bianca, Gremio, agree to cover Petruchio's costs as he pursues Katharina. Written by
Before playing Katherina, Elizabeth Taylor had never performed Shakespeare (unlike Richard Burton, who was an experienced Shakesperian and already played roles such as Hamlet, Iago, Edgar, Hotspur and Romeo on stage), and she was said to be very nervous prior to the beginning of the shot. As she found her way into the role, and became more confident, she asked director Franco Zeffirelli if she could shoot everything from the first day of shooting again, as she didn't think her performance was up to scratch. Zefferilli assured her it was, but she was persistent, and on the last day of principal photography, the entire first day was shot again. See more »
When Petruchio arrives on a horse for his wedding, a security guard dressed in black is seen in the background. See more »
Colorful and comic - Taylor and Burton are well matched.
There is no denying Franco Zeffirelli's visual sensibility, nor his dramatic strength. He takes this Shakespearean comedy, chops and cuts and edits the text to his liking, and regurgitates a wonderful film. If one were to watch the film without sound, it would still be entertaining, that is how well Zeffirelli put it together. But it wouldn't be enough without a terrific Kate, and Elizabeth Taylor, certainly in her prime in 1967, more than fills the bill. She hams it up when hamming is appropriate to the moment, and plays it with more subtlety when that is required. She is well matched by Richard Burton as Petruchio. He is good, but there is something not quite there. I think perhaps he seems more jaded and a tad less calculating than I'd expect in the role. I think I prefer the more caustic performance of John Cleese in this role.
I can't help but wonder what Zeffirelli would've done with an operatic version of this play.
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