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Romeo and Juliet (1954)

In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.

Director:

Renato Castellani

Writer:

Renato Castellani (adaptated for the screen by)
Reviews

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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Harvey ... Romeo
Susan Shentall ... Juliet
Flora Robson ... Nurse
Norman Wooland Norman Wooland ... Paris
Mervyn Johns ... Friar Laurence
John Gielgud ... Chorus
Bill Travers ... Benvolio
Sebastian Cabot ... Capulet
Lydia Sherwood Lydia Sherwood ... Lady Capulet
Ubaldo Zollo Ubaldo Zollo ... Mercutio
Enzo Fiermonte ... Tybalt
Ennio Flaiano ... Prince of Verona (as Giovanni Rota)
Giulio Garbinetto Giulio Garbinetto ... Montague
Nietta Zocchi Nietta Zocchi ... Lady Montague
Carla Diaz Carla Diaz
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Storyline

In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

25 November 1954 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Romeo und Julia See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Joan Collins was originally slated to play Juliet, but turned it down when Director Renato Castellani insisted she undergo surgery to change the shape of her nose. See more »

Connections

Version of Romeo and Juliet (1916) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A top-to-toe masterpiece
27 December 2001 | by fjoffilySee all my reviews

Castellani presents his neo-realistic view of WS's tragedy. Never have the personalities of the two lovers been so intensely portrayed in the screen. Susan Shentall conveys all the fire of the first love and the impending tragedy that will follow it. Laurence Harvey, though not the ideal match (as far as age is concerned) for Shentall's Juliet, manages to pass Romeo's brash, passioned nature. The great Robert Krasker's photography is the work of a consummated master: each picture frame reflects a Renaisssance painting, as well as the sets (all original ones in Venice, Padova, Verona and Siena), costumes and the décor. The best names then available in those fields in Europe were recruited to recreate what Romeo and Juliet's Verona should have been. The result is a joy to watch and is worth the movie. The ball scene alone could receive all the prizes this film was awarded in the 1954 Venice Film Festival. Roman Vlad's use of an Italian medieval gagliarda as the film's dominating musical comment is a lesson in itself. When compared to Castellani's masterpiece, all other versions seem like pale, unfocused, poor readings of WS's immortal tragedy. Hope this film will soon be available on DVD.

The Blu-Ray version of the Castellani "Romeo and Juliet": this is one of the greatest movies of all time. Castellani was surely not a Visconti nor a Rosselini, but his "Romeo and Juliet" is absolute perfection. However, this Blu-Ray incarnation is a disaster. The glorious cinematography (Robert Krasker) is disgraced by a white-washed remastering. The ball scene is completely distorted. The colours that were once a magnificent succession of Renaissance paintings now appear irritatingly blurred. And - alas ! - there is more: subtitles are frequently a gross distortion of the original text - e.g.: in the DVD version the master of ceremonies at the Capulet's ball announces that "... the musicians of Saint Jerome will now play..." In the Blu-ray captions read ..."the musicians of CENTER ROME will now play...". Ghastly. Also, many dialogues are not transcribed, and one frequently bumps into an "a" or a "the" in capital letters in the middle of a sentence. The whole transcription is absolutely amateurish. Therefore, keep your precious DVD of this masterwork and forget this third-rate Blu-Ray.


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