At his mother's funeral, stuffy bank clerk Henry Pulling meets his Aunt Augusta, an elderly eccentric with more-than-shady dealings who pulls him along on a whirlwind adventure as she ... See full summary »
Louis Gossett Jr.
The Montagues and the Capulets, two powerful families of Verona, hate each other. Romeo, son of Montague, crashes a Capulet party, and there meets Juliet, daughter of Capulet. They fall passionately in love. Since their families would disapprove, they marry in secret. Romeo gets in a fight with Tybalt, nephew of Lady Capulet, and kills him. He is banished from Verona. Capulet, not knowing that his daughter is already married, proceeds with his plans to marry Juliet to Paris, a prince. This puts Juliet in quite a spot, so she goes to the sympathetic Friar Laurence, who married her to Romeo. He suggests a daring plan to extricate her from her fix. Tragedy ensues.Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Scenes of combat that will stir your pulse...tender haunting romance that will stay ever fresh in your memory...spectacular beauty that will set a feast for your eyes...in the greatest melodramatic romance of all time...presented as it has never been before...the final glorious flower of motion picture achievement.
Irving Thalberg wanted to make the production as authentic as possible, drafting in famous Shakespearean intellectuals John Tucker Murray from Harvard and William Strunk Jr from Cornell. Researchers were also sent to Verona to photograph the city while the art department was instructed to study the paintings of Botticelli, Bellini, Carpaccio and Gozzoli. See more »
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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The lavish treatment given to this by MGM and Irving Thalberg (his final production showcasing his wife Norma Shearer as Juliet) does work, as do the mature lovers and their supporting cast (Leslie Howard fitting the part of Romeo perfectly, John Barrymore and Basil Rathbone out-swashing each other as Mercutio and Tybalt), Edna May Oliver as the Nurse, typically loud, and Ralph Forbes as a bizarre Paris (no, I can't see why Juliet would want to marry him either, despite her parents' wishes). The music is lovely, despite being stolen from more classical stuff, the settings are perfectly in tune, the verse is spoken with some feeling and inspiration. Why this version doesn't get seen more often I don't know (not even on video in the UK).
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