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Romeo + Juliet (1996)

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

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(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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:

$46,338,728 (USA) (21 February 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

The Jesus statue that dominates Verona was actually a visual effect. In reality, it was 2 feet high. See more »

Goofs

When Mercutio fires his gun at the beach as the Nurse is leading Romeo away to talk to him, there is a gunshot, but no flash or blowback. 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, whose misadventured piteous overthrows doth, with their death, bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-marked love and the continuance of their parents' rage, which, but their children's end, naught could ...
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Soundtracks

Symphony No. 25
Performed by Capella Istropolitana
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Courtesy of Naxos of America
by arrangement with Source/Q
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User Reviews

 
Excellent
7 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's a bit late to be reviewing this movie, but I find it an exceptional reboot. Everything about it is on permanent overdrive, as exemplified by the oversaturated setting and terse cinematography. Some people have reviewed this and expressed distaste at Harold Perinneau's portrayal of Mercutio in favour of the 1968 John McEnery. While "de gustibus non est disputandum" certainly applies here, I think it's worth pointing out that McEnery's performance brought a certain boorishness and abrasion to the character that Perrineau did not. Romeo, played by DiCaprio, was excellently cast and acted, striking a healthy balance between stunningly handsome and endearingly clumsy and exuberant. And I don't care what all you phonies say, Claire Danes was gorgeous.

Others have derided the film for certain choices made in the staging, combat, and/or nonverbal action, remarking "Where did Shakespeare write that?" Well. First, we are already working in a modern setting, so the assumption that historical accuracy in staging and direction should be followed to a T is frankly absurd. Second, the plays are public domain, which is a mixed blessing, as it brought us the 2013 R&J Sparknotes movie adaptation. But with that freedom comes a brilliant opportunity of artistic expression from the director, and each choice of omission or interaction in this production was apparently made with great care to maintain the integrity of the story being told.

To touch on comparisons between the 68 and 96 movies: don't try to tell me Leonard Whiting acted like he had any idea what he was saying. Have you people seen the movie?

This film is definitely worth your time. I find it to be a well-wrought revamping of one of my favourite plays from the Shakespeare Corpus.


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