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Romeo + Juliet (1996)

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



(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
621 ( 8)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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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


The greatest love story the world has ever known. 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)


$46,338,728 (USA) (21 February 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, and John Leguizamo auditioned for the role of Mercutio before Baz Luhrmann decided to make Mercutio black. Benicio Del Toro was considered for the part of Tybalt. See more »


When Romeo is holding Mercutio in his arms as Mercutio puts a curse on both houses, Romeo has blood on his collar and left sleeve. When Romeo stands up the blood is gone. 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, 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 ...
See more »


Referenced in Dancing with the Stars: Round Two (2009) See more »


#1 Crush
Performed, Written and Produced by Garbage
Garbage appears courtesy of Almo Sounds, Inc./Mushroom
Records UK Ltd.
Shirley Manson appears courtesy of Radioactive Records
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User Reviews

An eye-catching, starkly bold and breathtaking update of Shakespeare's greatest work.
30 December 1999 | by (PA) – See all my reviews

This film is incredible. Yes, the play is modernized, and for those who panned the film, I suppose originality was too much to take. Luhrmann stays with the original dialogue, which I believe adds much to the film and gives it authenticity. Therefore it cannot be dismissed as a masterpiece dumbed down to appeal to us easy to please teenagers. The camera work at the most dark parts of the film is quick and choppy, adding to the already potent and ever present depressing, tragic atmosphere. All of the leads were strong, with Danes and DiCaprio having amazing chemistry. In this film DiCaprio wasn't popular yet, so again critics can't say Leo was the draw for this film. Danes was emotionally pure and driven, and this is her best work to date aside from the critical darling, "My So-Called Life." No, the leads were cast with good reason - there couldn't have been any better. Supporting roles were wonderful, with the roles of Mercutio and Tybalt being exceptional, and the friar, who may be the most important character in the story, is brought to life by Postalwaithe The dreamy underwater shots are fantastic. Luhrmann's version of this classic tragedy plays to both a younger and older audience, adding touches such as the names of the guns being the names of swords; and he yet updates the setting, bringing the fantastic Verona, Italy to Verona Beach, Florida. A timeless story such as this makes any criticism of this film unnecessary and foolish; view it with an open mind and you will see the story as Shakespeare wrote it and as Luhrmann envisioned it.

108 of 169 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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