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Romeo and Juliet (1968)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 8 October 1968 (USA)
Trailer
3:48 | Trailer
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
3,601 ( 291)
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

Against the backdrop of a venomous feud between the powerful clans of the Montagues and the Capulets in the medieval city of Verona, William Shakespeare's eternal story of teenage love unfolds. As youth's insolence arms the charming young Montague, Romeo, with dauntless courage to come uninvited to the Capulets' scintillating masked ball, a brief but thrilling encounter with the delicate dark-haired Capulet, Juliet, will pave the way for an ardent passion and a cruel romantic tragedy. Before God, the star-crossed lovers have sworn never-ending devotion despite their perilous plight; however, before the grim machinations of fate, man stands powerless. Are Romeo and Juliet destined to be together? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No ordinary love story... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leonard Whiting recalls Franco Zeffirelli coming up to him with good news and bad news. The good news - Romeo's duel with Paris in the crypt was viewed as the best acting he'd done in the whole film. The bad news - it was being cut to shorten the running time. See more »

Goofs

Around 01:56:13, we can see flute players (all mimicking badly), while we hear choirboys on the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Two households, both alike in dignity In fair Verona where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life Whose misadventured piteous overthrows do with their deaths bury their parents' strife.
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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

Referenced in Freaks and Geeks: Discos and Dragons (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

What Is Youth?
Music by Nino Rota
Lyric by Eugene Walter
Vocal by Glen Weston
See more »

User Reviews

 
A masterpiece: a very special and emotionally powerful movie
7 May 2005 | by JaylinSee all my reviews

Words cannot express how much I love "Romeo and Juliet". This is my favorite movie, my one and only cult movie, and by far the most beautiful I've ever seen. I wish I had already been born in 1968 to be able to see it in a theater! I happened to watch it on TV for the first time in 1986 as a little girl, and I just thought that Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were the most gorgeous people and the best-matched couple ever. Then I saw it a second time about ten years later, and was so impressed by it that I found it hard to sleep that night, and quickly became obsessed with it. It overwhelmed me in indescribable ways, and still does so today. In fact, whenever I watch this movie, it haunts me for weeks, and never fails to make me feel like crying in the end. It's a bit weird, really. I can't get enough of it, yet I don't want to watch it too often, because it moves me so deeply... There's definitely something about it that makes it very special. As a matter of fact, it's the only movie that brings me joy and sadness at the same time. Firstly, this is the definitive version of Shakespeare's play. Forget Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard, this is the real stuff, this is how it was meant to be, bursting with life and passion! Everything seems perfect in it: the sets, the colors and the lavish costumes, the music (there's so much to say about Nino Rota's exceptional score alone!), and the cast of course (not only do we have incredibly realistic and top-notch performances by the two lead actors, but the rest of the cast, including Michael York, Milo O'Shea and John McEnery, is also very good). The extraordinary thing about Leonard and Olivia is that they looked just the way one would imagine Romeo and Juliet, pure, sweet and innocent. Whenever I hear talking about Romeo and Juliet, I can't help thinking about them both. Another extraordinary thing is that Zeffirelli had another actress in mind (with blonde hair!) before he finally chose Olivia after a second test. Neither Olivia nor Leonard were experienced actors, yet they delivered stunning performances. They didn't know each other before filming, but it turned out they had wonderful chemistry on-screen, and definitely set the standard as the perfect Romeo and Juliet. I was not surprised to learn that Leonard fell in love with his co-star during the shooting of the movie. I mean, who could blame him? Nino Rota was a very talented film music composer, but he had never written such a beautiful score beforehand. He was extraordinarily inspired when he wrote this one. Considering all these elements, I think this movie is nothing short of a miracle. Granted, it's an old movie. You can see it was shot in 1968. So what? This doesn't prevent it from being very emotionally powerful. I don't think Zeffirelli could have given a more romantic and poignant rendition of this mythical love story. He filmed the two leading actors with grace and sensitivity, and love has never been better indeed. Besides, I think he perfectly captured the quintessence of the play. What else can I say? I love this movie with all my heart. To me it's a jewel, a work of art. And it has its own universe... it's just mesmerizing.


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Details

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English | French

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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,292
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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