Romeo & Juliet

( 56 )

Overview

Director Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was touted at the time of its release successfully, if the box-office receipts are any indication, as something of a "youth trip" movie. This is because Zeffirelli broke the long-standing tradition of casting over-aged, sometimes grey-haired players in the title roles. Seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting plays Romeo, with 15-year-old Olivia Hussey as Juliet. The youthfulness and inexperience of the leading players works beautifully in the ...
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Overview

Director Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was touted at the time of its release successfully, if the box-office receipts are any indication, as something of a "youth trip" movie. This is because Zeffirelli broke the long-standing tradition of casting over-aged, sometimes grey-haired players in the title roles. Seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting plays Romeo, with 15-year-old Olivia Hussey as Juliet. The youthfulness and inexperience of the leading players works beautifully in the more passionate sequences some of these breaking further ground by being played in the nude. Among the younger players are Michael York as Tybalt and John McEnery as Mercutio. The duel between Romeo and Tybalt starts out as a harmless, frat-boy exchange of insults, then escalates into tragedy before any of the participants are fully aware of what has happened. Photographed by Pasqualino DeSantis on various locations in Italy, Romeo and Juliet was one of the most profitable film adaptations of Shakespeare ever produced. Its most lasting legacy is its popular main theme music, composed by Nino Rota.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
The unrepentant romanticism of Franco Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet works beautifully in translating William Shakespeare's tragic drama to the silver screen. The lyrical score of Academy Award-winner Nino Rota (The Godfather) and the voluptuous and magnificent period costumes by Danilo Donati combine with the sensuous and dusty cinematography of Pasqualino De Santis to evoke the Italian renaissance setting perfectly. Ever the traditionalist, Zefferelli took a consistently conventional approach to the production, with his only really daring move coming in the casting. For the first time in film, two teenage actors portray Shakespeare's tragic protagonists, and the employment of a cast rife with unknowns results in the film being a triumph of spirit and enthusiasm over technique. Simply put, neither Olivia Hussey as Juliet, nor Leonard Whiting as Romeo, are very skilled actors: Shakespeare's words are often garbled, and the actors' intonations are occasionally inappropriate. Still, Zefferelli manages to overcome his young star's lapses (their considerable physical charms help as well), not to mention the coincidence-filled and hole-ridden plot, to offer a film of great beauty, abundant energy, and deep sorrow. Furthermore, the desperate romanticism of the titular characters' final actions taps into adolescent society's deeply rooted rebelliousness that was finding popular expression at the time. Nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Director and Best Picture), Romeo and Juliet was the winner of two, for Cinematography and Costume Design.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2013
  • UPC: 883929312740
  • Original Release: 1968
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount Catalog
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:19:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 648

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Olivia Hussey Juliet
Leonard Whiting Romeo
Milo O'Shea Friar Laurence
Michael York Tybalt
John McEnery Mercutio
Pat Heywood The Nurse
Natasha Parry Lady Capulet
Robert Stephens Prince Of Verona
Keith Skinner Balthazar
Richard Warwick Gregory
Dyson Lovell Sampson
Ugo Barbone Abraham
Bruce Robinson Benvolio
Paul Hardwick Lord Capulet
Antonio Pierfederici Lord Montague
Esmeralda Ruspoli Lady Montague
Roberto Bisacco Count Paris
Roy Holder Peter
Aldo Miranda Friar John
Dario Tanzini Page to Tybalt
Roberto Antonelli
Carlo Palmucci
Murray Head The Chorus
Laurence Olivier Voice Only
Technical Credits
Franco Zeffirelli Director, Screenwriter
Lord John Brabourne Producer
Franco Brusati Screenwriter
Masolino D'Amico Screenwriter
Pasqualino De Santis Cinematographer
Danilo Donati Costumes/Costume Designer
Christine Edzard Set Decoration/Design
Richard Goodwin Associate Producer
Anthony Havelock-Allan Producer
Henry Mancini Songwriter
Reginald Mills Editor
Lorenzo Mongiardino Production Designer
Luciano Puccini Art Director
Nino Rota Score Composer
Eugen Walter Songwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selection
1. Houses Of Dignity [8:27]
2. Sad Hours [3:53]
3. A Mother's Desire [1:27]
4. Talk Of Dreams [3:10]
5. Beauty [5:51]
6. Love Sprung From Hate [5:03]
7. Sweet Goodnight [2:50]
8. Friar Consents [8:05]
9. "Commend me to thy lady!" [1:33]
10. Impatience [11:18]
11. A Life For A Life [1:38]
12. Price Of Blood [3:28]
13. The Lark Sings [:09]
14. So Worthy A Gentleman [1:30]
15. Desperate Deception [6:15]
16. Lover's Farewell [1:15]
17. A Gloomy Peace [4:52]
18. End Credits [12:41]
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Menu

Side #1
   Play
   Set Up
   Theatrical Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Most Wonderful and Absolutely Timeless Film Ever

    In my 9th grade English class, we read the original play ''Romeo and Juliet.'' While I enjoyed it greatly, it was not until I saw Franco Zeffirelli's film version that everything came to life. This movie has a unique quality about it that makes it different than any other film that I have ever seen. Usually in pictures, and other film versions, Romeo and Juliet are shown as adults, even though they are written as teenagers in the play (Juliet is only 13, about to be 14). Seeing Olivia Hussey, age 15, and Leonard Whiting, age 17, play these roles made the story more real to me. It showed that love has no limits or restrictions, including age, and I think that is one of the themes Shakespeare was trying to convey. I am 14, close to Juliet's age in the story, and could not imagine anyone my age experiencing what Juliet did until I saw this film. Every single scene was so touching and emotional, I felt as though I was in Verona, watching all the action first-hand. This movie is the best example I can think of to illustrate why Shakespeare is still being read and preformed today- because the themes are timeless. I hope everyone has the oppertunity to see this film and have the same experience that I did. Hopefully, it will change your ideas about Shakespeare.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet

    I was a fan of this movie when it first came out in 1968. I was only 14 at the time. No matter how many countless films I have seen over the years, this film has remained my all-time favorite movie! Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey are perfect in the starring roles. Michael York's performance as Tybalt is powerful, and John McEnery's Mercutio is unforgettable. This is a film both you and your children can enjoy together. It's a great introduction to Shakespeare.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Colorful costuming and a tuneful Nino Rota score is no substitut

    Colorful costuming and a tuneful Nino Rota score is no substitute for the Bard being performed capably. With a few minor exceptions the line readings are embarrassing, the greatest offenders being the lead duo Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. Michael York, at least, displays some bravura, but Zeffirelli's film is ultimately a silly rendition of the most overrated of Shakespeare's works.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2012

    We were reading this in my 9th grade class for high school, and

    We were reading this in my 9th grade class for high school, and I enjoyed it greatly. If someone asked me if i would want to read it again, I would say yes. I found this book very interesting because it shows they way people were back then and the style of writing was used.

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  • Posted December 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    nice

    this one was nice better than the new one so romantic and yet so sweet a true love story!

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    I Love it..

    This movie is one of my top favorites. I will never get tired of this film, I love how it just brings the play to life.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Best Version!

    I have read Romeo and Juliet multiple times. Of all the movie versions, this one is BY FAR the best. This movie is art at its best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lovely version of Romeo & Juliet

    As an 8th grade Literature (ELA) teacher I bought this to show to my class. It is an authentic and lovely version of the play and the students truly enjoyed it.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Only Romeo & Juliet Movie

    I saw this movie as a child and I think it made me fall in love with love. I watched the version with Leonardo Di Caprio and I felt as if it was blasphemy to the name of Shakespeare. This is the only true interpretation of this work of art.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good but...

    Okay I'm siting in my English 9 class at, what, 7:30AM ready to see the next bit of this awesome R+J movie. The substitute mumbles something about breif nudity and starts the DVD, and BAM! I wouldn't call that breif! If they had toned down the nakedness it would be almost perfect. Another thing is that the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio is portrayed as really a joke gone bad but in the play it was ment for them to be serious. Other than that great film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Boomer weighs in on a fabulous movie

    Granted, I was a college student in Boston when this film came out,but it so portrayed the passion and angst of the leads -even the music-that when my then-boyfriend and later ex divorced, neither of us wanted the album because it still made us cry. To those who thought the leads too young and sexual, look at youth today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely wonderful!

    i think leonard whiting is so hot in this movie, but besides that it's an excellent movie and i read the book and that's wonderful too! i love romeo and juliet!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    From School Collection to Personal Collection

    We were reading Romeo and Juliet in class and when finished watch the movie. I'd never seen a movie adaptation of the play and didn't think it odd to see young actors. Nonetheless I thouroughly enjoyed the movie and bought it the next week. And while there are many descrepencies from the original text, it's a great movie and I recomend to everyone of any age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply Beautiful

    I just loved this movie. I didn't think that any film adaption could do Shakespeare justice, and unfortunately for me, I saw the 1996 Luhrmann film first, which thoroughly scared me (don't watch that- a waste of time). Then I watched this. The acting, scenery, costumes- just breathtaking. Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey are both amazing, and I really loved the castings of Benvolio, Mercutio, and Tybalt. It was how I had always imagined the story. Definitely the best Shakespearean film adaption I've seen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I like Tristan and Isolde better!

    Okay, first, the girl that was shown half naked was probably fifteen or fourteen. Also, too boring for any one's own good. Bottom line, watch this movie only if you're smashed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WOW!!!!!!!!!

    WOW!!!!this is an excellent movie. I couldn't stop crying at the end. I love the way Romeo and Juliet were portrayed. That is exactly how i pictured Romeo and Juliet. they did an ecellent job in bringing this famous tragedy to life!!!Romeo is sooo Hot!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT

    I thought this movie was excellent. It wasn't exactly the same as the play, so if you haven't read that, you MIGHT get confused, but you'll still enjoy it. The acting was also really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    good job

    it was great!! the actors portrayed the characters wonderfully! olivia hussey was SEXY when she was naked!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    OUTSTANDING

    This is the best version of Romeo and Juliet. The other two versions were not so good. When I begun to read the book i thought it was pretty good the movie was really close to all the details. But Romeo however did spend a lot of his time in trees!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sigh

    This movie wuz awesome in comparison 2 some other versions. Whoever said that new movies were better were wrong! the characters were way into their parts, especially when it came 2 kissing 4 some reason. that's the 1 reason i rated it a star low. if you've read Shakespear's play as many times as i have you'd know that Juliet wished 2 be virtuous & accepted a few kisses just not as many as those. Juliet is portrayed by a wonderful actress however as is Romeo w/ the actor, must comment that even though they're probably around 50-something now Romeo is pretty hot.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews