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Romeo and Juliet (1968)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  8 October 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 22,761 users  
Reviews: 187 user | 24 critic

When the now famous "star crossed lovers" of two feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.



(play), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat Heywood ...
Paul Hardwick ...
Natasha Parry ...
Antonio Pierfederici ...
Esmeralda Ruspoli ...
Roberto Bisacco ...
Roy Holder ...
Keith Skinner ...


Shakespeare's classic tale of romance and tragedy. Two families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been feuding with each other for years. Young Romeo Montague goes out with his friends to make trouble at a party the Capulets are hosting, but while there he spies the Capulet's daughter Juliet, and falls hopelessly in love with her. She returns his affections, but they both know that their families will never allow them to follow their hearts. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No ordinary love story... See more »


Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$42,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (initial release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


It's often reported that Olivia Hussey was 15 at the movie's premiere, and thus not allowed to see it due to (her own) nudity. This is an urban myth. Her birth year is listed as 1951. The British film censor board gave Romeo and Juliet (1968) an "A" certificate, this would have made her 16 or 17 at the time of the film's release in 1968, and she legally could have viewed the picture. Even if she had been less than 16, she could have attended with a guardian. It's possible that the studio could have reported this, as newspaper interviews as late as 1968 still quoted her as being 15 years old, so her youth was clearly a publicity gimmick. See more »


When Romeo runs to find Tybalt after Mercutio dies, Balthazar runs after him and loses his hat in the square. But when he catches up with Romeo, his hat is back on. See more »


Narrator: Two households, both alike in dignity / In fair Verona, where we lay our scene / From ancient grudge break to new mutiny / Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life / Whose misadventured piteous overthrows / Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
See more »


Version of Romeo and Juliet (1916) See more »


What Is Youth?
Music by Nino Rota
Lyric by Eugene Walter
Vocal by Glen Weston
See more »

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User Reviews

Zeffirelli the esthete.
6 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

There were not many directors like Zeffirelli around during those golden years -sixties and seventies -of the Italian cinema.Because he was not part of the champagne socialists,because he made movies completely devoid of social concerns,he was generally dismissed by the European critics (and his fellow colleagues) as non-hip and reactionary. When you see these movies today,you realize how much they have worn well,and how much his detractors were wrong:Zeffirelli has never tried to change the world,but he has given beautiful movies which have stood the test of time quite well,perhaps because they are timeless.Even an epic and absorbing -and diametrically opposite to Zeffirelli's cinema - political work like Bertolucci's "Novecento" (1976) displays cheesy gauchism so trendy before the eighties in Europa .

This is the second of the three Zeffirelli screen adaptations of Shakespeare -as a matter of interest,the others are "taming of the shrew"(1967 with E Taylor and R Burton) and "Hamlet" (1990 with M.Gibson and G.Close)-and it 's probably the best:Zeffirelli's genius was to cast actors (about) the age of the heroes as the leads.And Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey,both very beautiful,make up for their lack of experience with their youth,their innocence and the intensity of their looks.They are far better than Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes in the drag queens cum west side story Luhrmann's 1996 version.Besides they get strong support from dark-haired Mickael York as Tybalt and John MCEnnery as Mercutio.The colors are,as always in a Zephirelli movie (see taming,and his made-for-TV Jesus)dazzling.Two scenes stand out:the ball and the lovers death in the Capulet tomb.

Filmed on location in Verona,we never have the feeling that we are watching filmed stage production,not a small feat.This is the definitive screen version of the Elizabethan classic.Sir Laurence Olivier is the narrator.

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