6.7/10
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Romeo and Juliet (1936)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 3 September 1936 (USA)
Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Talbot Jennings (adaptation)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Juliet - Daughter to Capulet
Leslie Howard ... Romeo - Son to Montague
John Barrymore ... Mercutio - Kinsman to the Prince and Friend to Romeo
Edna May Oliver ... Nurse to Juliet
Basil Rathbone ... Tybalt - Nephew to Lady Capulet
C. Aubrey Smith ... Lord Capulet
Andy Devine ... Peter - Servant to Juliet's Nurse
Conway Tearle ... Escalus - Prince of Verona
Ralph Forbes ... Paris - Young Nobleman Kinsman to the Prince
Henry Kolker ... Friar Laurence
Robert Warwick ... Lord Montague
Virginia Hammond ... Lady Montague - Wife to Montague
Reginald Denny ... Benvolio - Nephew to Montgue and Friend to Romeo
Violet Kemble Cooper ... Lady Capulet - Wife to Capulet
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Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Romeo og Julie See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Cukor was Irving Thalberg's choice of director from the outset, mainly for his ability to elicit strong performances from his actresses. Above all else, Thalberg wanted the film to be a showcase for his wife, Norma Shearer. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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 »


Soundtracks

Romeo and Juliet
(1869) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Surprise
7 April 2009 | by AmyLouiseSee all my reviews

For years, I put off watching this version of Shakespeare's classic love story, knowing that all the main players were about thirty years too old for their roles. Finally, when the film came on late on night, I decided to take a look, because I do admire the work of so many of the players.

Provided you can put aside the problems of the ages of the actors, the result is a very pleasant surprise. The biggest surprise for me was the performance of Norma Shearer - I've always liked her work, but considered her rather lightweight for Shakespeare. Not so - she delivered her lines with a great feel for the style and pace, and was as delightful and open a Juliet as one could wish. Her age became irrelevant; this was a young girl new to love, completely swept off her feet and ready to surrender all - for the first time.

Leslie Howard was also comfortable with the Shakespearean dialogue, if slightly lacking the boyish passion we rightly expect to see. He was more the slightly older suitor, taken by surprise with the fresh appeal of his Juliet, but ready to cast aside previous attachments to pursue and win her. His lovely voice delivered the lines with ease and fluency.

John Barrymore's Mercutio was much more the ageing playboy than the dashing young blade, but his sure touch with the dialogue showed clearly why he was considered the preeminent Shakespearean actor of his day in America. His delivery of the "Queen Mab" speech was a delight. His body was way too old, but his spirit lacked nothing.

Flora Robson came near to stealing most of her scenes, as she so often did, and Basil Rathbone was fully at home in the role of Tybalt; fine performances from these two, as we would expect from their backgrounds.

It was, to my mind, rather over-produced, with the actors in danger of being lost in the expansive sets, but remembering that had these actors been performing on stage, we wouldn't bat an eyelid at their ages, they provide us with an engrossing experience and deliver a play that even the experts couldn't fault.


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