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 »
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
Although the play was first performed in London in 1593, it was not published until 1623, a few years after Shakespeare's death. See more »
In the film, Katharina's angry line to Bianca "[tell] whom thou lovest best" (which Shakespeare actually wrote and which is grammatically correct) is changed to the grammatically incorrect "whom thou dost lovest best". In his review of the film, critic John Simon caught the error. See more »
Shakespeare's bawdy comedy was perhaps the perfect vehicle for the Burtons four years into their real-life stormy marriage. Although Liz Taylor had no experience of playing the bard' she is actually entertaining as Kate, that fiery girl who has no intention of becoming any man's plaything or possession. Richard Burton is on surer ground as Petruchio and doesn't disappoint, this is a rip-roaring performance and one of his best.
In Zeffirelli's cast we also see Michael Hordern, Cyril Cusack, Natasha Pyne (as Kate's sister Bianca), and Michael York (making his film debut as Bianca's suitor). The action can drag a bit when away from the leads (who always did tend to swamp other players in their movies), but the wit and mischief of the original play shines through. My only quibble would be with Kate's final speech. Interesting that Taylor plays it this way, but my guess is that it isn't the end of the bumpy ride for these two!
27 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?