Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
The main action of The Taming of the Shrew takes place as a play within the play, performed for the benefit of a drunken tinker, Christopher Sly. Baptista Minola, a wealthy widower of Padua... See full summary »
Baptista, a rich Paduan merchant, announces that his fair young daughter, Bianca, will remain unwed until her older sister, Katharina, a hellish shrew, has wed. Lucentio, 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, a fortune-hunting scoundrel from Verona, arrives in Padua, hoping to capture a wealthy wife. Hortensio, 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, agree to cover Petruchio's costs as he pursues Katharina.Written by
When Petruchio arrives on a horse for his wedding, a security guard dressed in black is seen in the background. See more »
I knew you at the first. You were a moveable!
Why, what's a moveable?
A stool like this!
[she kicks out the stool he was sitting on, and he falls on the floor]
Then sit on me!
[he pulls her down on his lap]
[hitting at Petruchio]
Our asses are made to bear and so are you!
Women are made to bear and so are you!
Not such a load as yours if me you mean!
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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 »
Hollywood's golden age produced many films that will never die and it could definitely include The Taming of the Shrew as one of its greatest. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, the famed Shakespeare enthusiast whose works include the successful later adaption of Romeo and Juliet in 1968, this film showcases his devout love of Shakespearean plays. Zeffirelli was clearly ahead of his game at the time, which can be shown through his use of some of the best resources Hollywood had to offer; including leading actress Elizabeth Taylor and Actor Richard Burton.
The film boasts the use of prodigy Nino Rota's music which draws the audience into the atmosphere of the film and gets them hooked on the storyline. The set and costumes are immaculate; they truly lead the viewer to believe that it is set in the late 1500's. Attention-to-detail is impressively significant; fine details in the background, such as a labelled drunkard hanging in a cage over the street, are what intensify the film's quality greatly. There is one point in which Lucentio's accomplice talks directly to the camera about the situation and I found that this brought an interesting touch to the camera work; it almost felt as though I was part of the film! The script is also relatively similar to Shakespeare's original text and some memorable line's such Petruchio claiming "Will you, Nill you, I will Marry you" are none the less brought to life by Burton's macho voice. The fiery character of Katharina is also brilliantly portrayed through Taylor's acting, although some could argue that perhaps she should have toned down her make-up and overacting in a role such as this. The priest's obvious fear of Katharina is shown at the marriage ceremony; a fear which is only too common in the story! Humour is rarely used vocally in the film, but it seems as though Katharina's rages and reactions, as well as a personal comedic key point of Petruchio chuckling as well as engaging in a choking fit during the marriage ceremony, appear to be examples of the type of humour seen in the film. Compared to the original text, it could be said that the humour was quenched and replaced with a more modern quirky version.
However, it is inevitable that one would notice that this film seems to focus overly on the characters of Katharina and Petruchio, even perhaps on the real life relationship of Taylor and Burton, as this was filmed during their first marriage. The couple lived their lives in the eyes of the media and I somewhat got the impression that Zeffirelli may have used this to his advantage in order to secure more popularity for his film. The power of Elizabeth Taylor as an actress is highlighted and despite that fact that her character is quite unattractive to the audience, I found that towards the end of the film, I had almost become a fanatic of her and was interested in viewing more of her work. The role of a young, unmarried girl is almost unrealistic for her as she was in her thirties when the film was released. The chemistry between Taylor and Burton positively enhances the impact of the film and it is undeniable that the pair are profoundly comfortable with each other, even though the storyline tells a different story. On the other hand, it is noticeable that other characters in the film were very much in the shadow of Katharina and Petruchio. The character of Bianca seems to have gotten much less attention in the film than I had expected, which I disagree with as she is the cause that led to Petruchio trying to woo Katharina.
The film had flaws which were more substantial than the previous. Petruchio's mental abuse of Katharina after their marriage in the film was short of appalling. I found that, at times, I became quite uncomfortable during the film and would have preferred if Zeffirelli had perhaps sugar-coated some of Petruchio's harsh actions. Katharina's spirit is more so shown as broken, as opposed to her personality being tamed, which added an unwanted melancholy touch to the film. The duration of the film was likewise exhausting, as I perceived that my attention diminished at times.
Over all, The Taming of the Shrew is an enjoyable film, but unfortunately it is not suited to modern audiences, as some aspects may disgruntle viewers, particularly feminists. At the time of its production, it was of remarkable quality, but in today's world it is somewhat timeworn. However, older audiences would definitely gain a thriller from watching the film and viewers of any age would kindly warm to the character of Katharina and even Elizabeth Taylor as an actress, as I believe that amongst Cleopatra, this film is doubtlessly one of the greatest showcases of her career.
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