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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the first major film production of this play to actually cast leading actors who were close to the ages of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Franco Zeffirelli needed to get special permission to show teenaged Olivia Hussey topless in one scene. Leonard Whiting, who was from Great Britain, was 17 at the time (the legal age of consent in Britain is 16) and did not need permission. Italy, where the film was made, has similar age laws. See more »
During the close-up of Juliet in the scene where the Capulets find Juliet "dead" in her bedchamber, she is visibly breathing. See more »
Easily the best Shakespeare film in history, mainly because it stays so true to what Shakespeare wrote and was undoubtedly his vision, yet is undeniably fresh and relevant and affecting, despite its Renaissance setting. It feels more modern and current than the soulless bluster of Baz Luhrmann's effort. Whosoever says Whiting and Hussey are anything short of fantastic as Romeo and Juliet needs to reconsider how they want Shakespeare acted. Do you want dramatic bluster and fist waving (which Hamlet specifically cautions against) or true raw emotion and feeling? These actors, mostly because they were so inexperienced, couldn't be more natural and true to their characters every step of the way. You truly believe that they are in love and it's a legitimate love, no just "crazy teens." And the rest of the cast - Jesus H. Christ! They're all fantastic. The Friar and Nurse were obscenely perfect, becoming among the most endearing characters ever filmed, and of course John McEnery is the best, most pathos-laden Mercutio ever, all stage, screen, TV, etc. renditions included. Michael York is a fabulous Tybalt, menacing, arrogant, headstrong, cruel, but ultimately sympathetic. Tybalt is after all just a petulant child - he's no evil tyrant, just a misguided bully, who certainly doesn't deserve to die. I love that his killing of Mercutio is accidental and that he seems to show remorse for it. Even the Prince is really damn good, with his last lines leaving an absolutely chilling impression on the audience. All are punish-ed! A must see.
39 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?