Carl Bellairs and Lindsey Lane, his daughter, meet many years after he deserted her and her mother. They don't much like each other, but wind up working in the same nightclub. Bellairs ... See full summary »
Ernest B. Schoedsack
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.
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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Sumptuous sets and costumes, good swordplay and only Shakespeare's words make this movie a pleasure for those who know the play.
This production got glitsy treatment by production head Irving G. Thalberg, who was showcasing his wife, Norma Shearer, playing Juliet: two years of research, a crew sent to Verona to photograph parts of the city; reconstruction of Verona's Church of San Zeno on the back-lot; thousands of extras; beautiful costumes and sets, etc. Although the screenplay was shortened, Thalberg also insisted that only Shakespeare's words were to be used in the dialogue. That would be a pleasure for those who knew the play, but a bane for those who didn't. Shakespeare's spoken dialogue isn't very easy to understand. Like any foreign language you learned a little bit in school, you can translate written material and get the gist of what is going on, but try deciphering normal speech in that language and you will be lost. I had a difficult time understanding some of the speeches (almost nothing that John Barrymore was saying) - they flew by me too fast. (On the other hand, I studied Hamlet and Macbeth in school and relish watching movie versions of those plays.) Still, I enjoyed this film, since I knew the general story, and there were sections that didn't tax my knowledge of Shakespearean English. Some of the lines were beautiful. I never new that the expression "star-crossed lovers" was Shakespeare's. Edna May Oliver's comedy was superbly played and the acting of the rest of the cast was excellent. The title characters were supposed to be teenagers, so that both Leslie Howard (at 54) and Norma Shearer (at 31) were a bit old for their parts, but that was a minor point. My advice to anyone wishing to watch this film: read the play first!
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