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 <email@example.com>
According to Paramount Pictures' souvenir book, it appears that Director Franco Zeffirelli either filmed and cut, or at least intended to film the scene where Paris confronts Romeo at Juliet's tomb, and is killed by him in a sword fight. Fencing master Niccolo Pena was engaged to train Leonard Whiting, Michael York, John McEnery, and Roberto Bisacco, the actor who played Paris. The book states, "Romeo, Tybalt, Mercutio, and Paris all get into trouble through their haste to draw a sword." It goes on to mention that Whiting was given an authentic Renaissance sword to use in the movie. See more »
When Romeo and Benvolio arrive at the Capulet's ball, Benvolios's love interest is seen standing in one place. In the next shot she's seen walking around and in the next shot she is seen standing in the same place she was before she began walking around. See more »
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 Come forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives Who with misadventured piteous overthrows do with their deaths bury their parents' strife.
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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 »
To my way of thinking, this film should be considered when people discuss the greatest movies of all time. Every scene, practically every frame of this movie is brilliant. Director Zeffirelli went against the ancient practice of using older actors in the title roles, and the performances he elicits from teenagers Whiting and Hussey is amazing. Although he trims the dialog heavily in places (Romeo says, "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?"- and leaves it at that) his version captures all the passion of Shakespeare's play magnificently.
The scenes at the Capulet's ball at which the two young lovers meet are about the greatest I've ever seen on screen. The famous balcony scene avoids cliches altogether and makes others pale by comparison. The Queen Mab speech, the fight, and the scene in the tomb are all exquisite highlights of this film. Even the dubbing for the Italian actor's voices and of the crowd noise is superior. It is amazing to me that an Italian could be so sensitively in tune with one of the English language's most sublime works.
Zeffirelli wanted to make a movie that spoke to youth and he succeeded, to put it very mildly. If school systems were smart, they'd pack up their freshmen and sophomores on buses every year, drive them to a local theatre and show them this movie. I can't think of a better investment in young people's education that could be made. It worked for me.
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