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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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

Irving Thalberg pushed MGM head Louis B. Mayer for five years on the idea of making a film of the play. Mayer held firm as he felt that Shakespeare was way over the heads of the masses. It was only after Warners had a hit with their all-star version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) that he relented. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Letters to Juliet (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Pavane
(1926) (uncredited)
from "Capriol Suite"
Written by Peter Warlock
Based on "Orchesographie" by Thoinot Arbeau (1589)
Played by orchestra during opening credits and often as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An English teacher shares her views
7 June 2003 | by MistresschaosiaSee all my reviews

While I was looking for new materials to help teach "Romeo and Juliet," I found the 1936 version of the play and naturally I was intrigued. I'm assuming that most people know the basic plot and have seen other versions of the film, if this is not the case you may want to stop reading and keep the surprise for viewing.

This version is faithful if not to the exact order of all the dialogue then to the acts and scenes written by Shakespeare. For those teachers that are looking for a version that explains how the letter from Friar Lawrence never reaches Romeo and the reaction of the local populace to "Plague," this is the version that does it very well. Not only do we learn why Friar John never gets to Romeo but we also get the death duel between Romeo and Paris, a scene that has been cut out of every other version I've seen. Plus we get the closing moment of peace between the families. However, the death of Lady Montague is omitted.

The movie leaves a little to be desired by modern audiences and the typical class of high school freshman many need some heavy prep work to get them ready to view "black and white" and "old" as something other than "lame." But, I think that segments of the film would be well worth showing to the class and viewed as a treat and not a torture when it's not the whole product being shoved down in one lump.

I recommend checking it out as an additional resource to add a balanced movie perspective to the characters Shakespeare created. The main problem with it is the age of the actors playing the parts of all these young people. Leslie Howard is 40 years old. Norma Shearer must be of a similar age and it shows in some of the scenes. The age of the people supposedly playing teenagers does strain credibility and at times the acting leaves a lot to be desired. They don't convincingly play "passion." You can chalk the overall feeling of muted emotion to the era because at times the emotions do come through brilliantly.


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