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
Discussing scene-stealing actors, Richard Burton recalled in his diary that Victor Spinetti "did everything except break wind and stick his finger up his nose to the knuckle." See more »
Katharina is an unmarried maiden (shrew) yet throughout the movie (most clearly in the early balcony scene) a large diamond solitaire engagement ring is visible on the ring finger of her left hand. See more »
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 »
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 »
I wont go as far as to say I did not enjoy this film adaptation of "Taming Of The Shrew", but I will say that its a production of hits and misses. Richard Burton is perfectly cast as the blustery and bellowing Petruccio. He shows film audiences the vast talent for Shakespeare that he possessed. Elizabeth Taylor on the other hand was woefully miscast.All of Burton's strengths (command of language,natural delivery) are Taylor's weaknesses. She is just uncomfortable delivering Shakespeare's words. However,the action scenes(Petruccio's "wooing" of Kate) are very enjoyable. A strong supporting cast helps the film greatly. In particular Alan Webb's fussy old Gremio,Victor Spinneli's foppish Hortensio and Sir Michael Hordern's comiclly downtrodden Baptista. Unfortunately many of Shakespeare's funniest lines wer trimmed for the film and scenes not in the text added. This was truely dissapointing and distracting. Zefferelli had more success with his adaptations of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet".
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