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Romeo + Juliet (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  1 November 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 156,973 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 501 user | 101 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, John McEnery


Cast overview, first billed only:


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


Hope & Despair. Tragedy & Love. Romeo & Juliet. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shakespeare described Tybalt swordsmanship as "showy". To transform this into flamboyant gunplay, John Leguizamo worked with choreographer John O'Connell to create a flamenco-inspired style. See more »


In the outlands of Mantua Romeo calls out Juliet's name from his knees while facing the sun. He then stands and turns around. In the next shot, shadows indicate that he is walking towards the sun again. See more »


[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.
See more »


Referenced in Vecinos: Vecinos: Piloto (2005) See more »


Little Star
Produced by Erik Holmberg, 'Kent (Gillström) Isaacs' (gv) Stina Nordenstam
Written by Stina Nordenstam
Performed by Stina Nordenstam
Stina Nordenstam appears courtesy of Telegram Records Stockholm by arrangement with Warner Special Products
Produced under license from Elektra Entertainment Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Shakespeare Worthy
17 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

Very underrated modernization of the classic Shakespeare play. This movie has been pretty heavily criticized for the directors outlandishness in cinematography, but he understands when to tone down the often frantic pace of the storytelling during the dramatic scenes, and in fact this relationship tends to amplify their potency. Beautifully choreographed and shot, wonderfully acted by both the supporting cast and the main 2 stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, and extremely sly modernization techniques to the dialogue. All the elizabethan dialogue remains intact, yet it all seems coherent in the modern atmosphere. mostly due to good imagery and double meaning in the phrases (ex: their swords being a gun model, or the flash of money while quoting gold.). One of the best shakespeare adaptations in the multitude of which have entered the cinemas in the past few years.

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