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Romeo and Juliet (1968)

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When two young members of feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.

Director:

Franco Zeffirelli

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Franco Brusati (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,613 ( 3)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonard Whiting ... Romeo
Olivia Hussey ... Juliet
John McEnery ... Mercutio
Milo O'Shea ... Friar Laurence
Pat Heywood Pat Heywood ... The Nurse
Robert Stephens ... The Prince
Michael York ... Tybalt
Bruce Robinson ... Benvolio
Paul Hardwick ... Lord Capulet
Natasha Parry ... Lady Capulet
Antonio Pierfederici Antonio Pierfederici ... Lord Montague
Esmeralda Ruspoli Esmeralda Ruspoli ... Lady Montague
Roberto Bisacco ... Lord Paris
Roy Holder ... Peter
Keith Skinner ... Balthazar
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Storyline

Shakespeare's classic tale of romance and tragedy. Two families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been feuding with each other for years. Young Romeo Montague goes out with his friends to make trouble at a party the Capulets are hosting, but while there he spies the Capulet's daughter Juliet, and falls hopelessly in love with her. She returns his affections, but they both know that their families will never allow them to follow their hearts. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The 1968 Royal Film Performance [UK Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet See more »

Filming Locations:

Viterbo, Lazio, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$38,901,218
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anjelica Huston was considered for the role of Juliet, but her father, John Huston, intervened by writing a letter to Franco Zeffirelli saying she was already committed to work on his film A Walk with Love and Death (1969), much to her displeasure. See more »

Goofs

When Romeo is talking to Tybalt's dead body, Tybalt is visibly breathing. See more »

Quotes

Romeo: Thus with a kiss I die.
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Alternate Versions

In the film's original release, and on DVD, the "End Titles" music continues playing on a black screen after the closing credits have ended, much as "Exit Music" used to do in roadshow releases of films. As currently (2009) shown on cable TV, however, there is an edit on the soundtrack (not on the picture) during the closing credits, so that the music ends exactly at the same time that the visual portion of the film does. See more »

Connections

Version of Romeu e Julieta (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

What Is Youth?
Music by Nino Rota
Lyric by Eugene Walter
Vocal by Glen Weston
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User Reviews

A scandal that the Academy did not give this best film
22 April 2002 | by portia-1See all my reviews

I saw Romeo and Juliet at the Odeon Leicester Square, the day after the Royal Premier and from that day I was hooked on this film. I went back three times with different sets of friends just to watch it again and each time I enjoyed it more. Now owning it on DVD when I want to just feel good about films I watch it!

So much has already been written about the youth of the two young unknown stars and the chemistry that they had on screen that I don't need to repeat it now. However the key to this film's great success was that it was visually stunning, Zefferelli is the master of using colour, setting and costume to great effect. He was so clever in his casting, not just with the very handsome young Leonard Whiting who at the time when I was only 18 myself I thought was gorgeous but also the innocence of an immature Hussey was perfect. A master stroke was Milo O'Shea as Friar Lawrence, never ever has there been a better role for this talented by rarely seen Irish actor.

It's pointless complaining that the text is cut, by leaving out Romeo killing Paris and also the apothecary selling Romeo the poison in no way detracts from the overall imagery and beauty of Shakespeare's text. To have made the film using the whole text would have been too difficult and perhaps Zefferelli did want to portray Romeo as a little nicer than he actually was. In truth he was a fickle young man as all teenage boys can be and also prone to an amount of passionate violence so prevalent in adolescence. But this was Italy in Tudor times when life was cheap and the willingness to reach for the sword was as it should be.Shakespeare understood human nature better than anyone and that's why all his plays show so much insight into the human spirit.

Zefferelli balanced the film perfectly, nothing was overdone. He combined the tragedy with the humour as well as the love story by casting the right actor for each role and even if some of them faded into oblivium later, for this film they were all perfect. I never want to see another version. Baz Luhrmann's pales in comparison and thats not a bad film.

Come the Oscars I waited with baited breath having convinced myself that it would get best film - I was so disappointed!. It did collect Best Costume and I think Best Cinematography, but what a travesty, especially when the film that did win that year was not even in the same league and is hardly ever remembered. It's always very difficult to succeed with Shakespeare on the big screen but this version of Romeo and Juliet had it all. Only Kenneth Brannagh's mammoth production of the uncut version of Hamlet comes anywhere near this wonderful film.

How Nino Roto's soundtrack also missed out on an Oscar I will never understand. Footnote: Luciano Pavarotti has recorded the main love theme and it's called Ai giochi addio - it is so beautiful it will make you cry as you remember the film.


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