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Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

The classic story of Romeo and Juliet, set in a modern-day city of Verona Beach. The Montagues and Capulets are two feuding families, whose children meet and fall in love. They have to hide their love from the world because they know that their parents will not allow them to be together. There are obstacles on the way, like Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, and Romeo's friend Mercutio, and many fights. But although it is set in modern times, it is still the same timeless story of the "star crossed lovers".

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest love story the world has ever known. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes of contemporary violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,133,231 (USA) (1 November 1996)

Gross:

ITL 3,795,630,000 (Italy) (2 May 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Brown:  The film's co-producer is the security man sitting at the monitors in the balcony scene. See more »

Goofs

The buttons on Romeo's shirt after he learns of Juliet's death. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Anchorwoman: 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-crossed lovers take their life.
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Connections

Referenced in Hayley Wagner, Star (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

KTTV News Theme
Written by Gary S. Scott
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User Reviews

A contemporary twist to a classic play
3 January 1999 | by (Boston, Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

Director Baz Luhrmann knew what he was doing when he cast Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio in the title roles of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The two young actors have the power to captivate their audience and together, they are unsurpassable.

From the famous opening line of "Two Households both alike in dignity.." to the tragic end, the viewer is whisked away into the depths of the surrealistic world of Verona Beach. Don't expect to see British people prancing around in tights when you rent this one. Luhrmann creates a world where gun toting teens sport Hawaiian shirts and beach front brawls are an everyday event.

Giving the classic play this modern twist makes for a new understanding of the text and brings the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets to a whole new level. Shakespeare may be rolling around in his grave after seeing this film, but english classes all over the world can breathe a little easier when it comes time to take the R&J final exam because this new adaptation makes the theme remarkably understandable.

Danes brings life and incentive to the character of Juliet. Danes' Juliet reaches far beyond the subservient stereotype of most Elizabethan characters and has ambition and assertion. It is a step beyond her critically acclaimed work in "My So-Called Life" and has thankfully made her a more prominent figure in the entertainment industry.

This marked the last feature for Leonardo DiCaprio, pre-Titanic mayhem. It put his talent out for a wider range of audience, R&J being his first major studio production. The king of the indie and the "troubled child" role was now being recognized. His passionate portrayl of Romeo Montague will forever be remembered. He spoke the immortal words of Shakespeare as if they were his own and touched the hearts of millions. Too bad the boat movie shoved him further into the spotlight than he had ever wanted. But we won't get into that.

The supporting cast in this film was also outstanding. John Leguizamo played the wily, Tybalt. Harold Perrineau brought humor and diversity to the renowned role of Mercutio. Big names also lit up the credits of R&J with Paul Sorvino and Brian Dennehey as Capulet and Montague as well as Pete Postlethwaite as the star-cross'd lovers confidante, Friar Laurence.

This is my favorite movie of all time and I believe it was sadly underrated.


58 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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