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The Taming of the Shrew (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 8 March 1967 (USA)
Brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel Petruchio (Richard Burton) tames his wealthy, shrewish wife, Katharina (Dame Elizabeth Taylor).

Director:

Franco Zeffirelli

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Paul Dehn (screen play by) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Katharina
Richard Burton ... Petruchio
Cyril Cusack ... Grumio
Michael Hordern ... Baptista
Alfred Lynch ... Tranio
Alan Webb Alan Webb ... Gremio
Giancarlo Cobelli Giancarlo Cobelli ... The Priest
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Pedant
Ken Parry Ken Parry ... Tailor
Anthony Gardner Anthony Gardner ... Haberdasher
Natasha Pyne Natasha Pyne ... Bianca
Michael York ... Lucentio
Victor Spinetti ... Hortensio
Roy Holder ... Biondello
Mark Dignam ... Vincentio
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Storyline

Baptista (Sir Michael Hordern), a rich Paduan merchant, announces that his fair young daughter, Bianca (Natasha Pyne), will remain unwed until her older sister, Katharina (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), a hellish shrew, has wed. Lucentio (Michael York), a student and the son of a wealthy Pisan merchant, has fallen in love with Bianca. He poses as a tutor of music and poetry to gain entrance to the Baptista household and to be near Bianca. Meanwhile, Petruchio (Richard Burton), a fortune-hunting scoundrel from Verona, arrives in Padua, hoping to capture a wealthy wife. Hortensio (Victor Spinetti), another suitor of Bianca, directs Petruchio's attention to Katharina. When Hortensio warns him about Katharina's scolding tongue and fiery temper, Petruchio is challenged and resolves to capture her love. Hortensio and another suitor of Bianca, Gremio (Alan Webb), agree to cover Petruchio's costs as he pursues Katharina. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Selected for the 1967 Royal Performance Film See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (1973 UK re-release)| Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Cleopatra (1963) had failed at the box-office, nearly bankrupting Twentieth Century Fox, when Writer and Director Franco Zeffirelli suggested casting Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in this movie, he was told it would never happen by Fox executives. However, Zeffirelli was persistent, and in the end, he was able to convince Fox that the couple still had box-office potential. Ultimately, he was proven correct, as this movie was a huge box-office success. See more »

Goofs

When Petruchio asks for Katharina's hand, he makes a globe rotate. But the continents are perfectly drawn on it while the action is clearly set in the 15th century. See more »

Quotes

Hortensio: Shall my friend Petruchio do me grace and offer me disguised in sober robes to old Baptista as a schoolmaster. As a schoolmaster? Well versed in music, to instruct Bianca; that so I may, by this device, at least have leave and leisure to make love to her and unsuspected woo her by herself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the names of the screenwriters are listed, it reads: With acknowledgements to William Shakespeare without whom they would have been at a loss for words. See more »

Alternate Versions

70 mm and some 35 mm film prints feature an overture before the start of the film with a purple flower background and white words on it reading "OVERTURE" (this is not included on non-letterboxed video prints). This overture can be heard on letterboxed video prints on LD, DVD and some broadcast editions, including Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Connections

Version of Kiss Me Kate (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A fun, witty, exuberant treatment of Shakespeare
2 July 1999 | by RosabelSee all my reviews

This is a film version of a Shakespeare play the way Shakespeare would have wanted it to be seen - as funny and entertaining. The gorgeous colour in the sets and costumes reminds us that this story is taking place in sunny Italy - maybe it takes an Italian director to realize and bring out that light-hearted joyfulness. The actors are all wonderful, so natural in their roles that the Shakespearean verse sounds like believable daily conversation. Richard Burton is perfect as Petruchio, a self-confident, swaggering lout at the beginning, who in a way undergoes his own "taming" process to become a loving husband, proud of his wife and delighted with the happiness ahead of them. Elizabeth Taylor as an actress is not really up to the demands of Shakespeare, but she certainly looks her part, and on the whole does pretty well, especially as she is given a lot of action rather than speaking in this film, until the very end. Zeffirelli does wonderful things with the visuals - the scene at the beginning, when what appears to be a solemn church service suddenly erupts into a wild carnival can be seen as a joking reflection of the typical viewer's reaction to this happy treatment of Shakespeare; where we expect to be bored by solemn, po-faced reverence in the presence of Art, we suddenly find ourselves swept away in a merry romp. And the recurring glimpses of a huge grotesque blonde woman continually attended by her small, dark-haired pretty sister, always scaring away the latter's possible suitors is a witty summary of the main story we are watching. This movie is a great introduction to Shakespeare for anyone who hasn't seen his plays before, and a perfect antidote for anyone who's been intimidated into thinking that Shakespeare is "too hard" for anyone but experts and scholars to understand.


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