Romeo And Juliet (1968)
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Romeo And Juliet Can Be Described As A Romance, Drama.

Plot In A Line

Romeo belongs to the Montague clan, and Juliet to the Capulets (both are the children to the Lords themselves.) They first encounter one another at a masquerade gala, an instant attraction ensues, and playful conversation only increases their passion. However, the Montagues and Capulets are sworn enemies. Romeo departs, but not before he is spotted by Tybalt, nephew of Lord Capulet whose disdain for the Montagues is matched only by his temper. Much to their chagrin, Romeo and Juliet soon discover their unfortunate family affiliation, and Lord Capulet complicates the situation by arranging a marriage between Juliet and Paris. So the classic tale of doomed young love begins...

Some Words About The Director.

Franco Zeffirelli's version of "Romeo and Juliet" is a timeless classic for its staging, genuine costume, scenery and dialogue. A burden for most directors is taking on the task of a classic using great detail without diluting the authenticity of the play. Zeffirelli is able to accomplish this by letting the words of Shakespeare affirm the impact of the film and not overriding too much of the tradition of the story.

The exceptional directing exhibited within the film comes from creating a Shakespeare play and portraying it how it was meant to be seen. For instance, Romeo waiting in a moon-lit, shadowy, backdrop and seeing Juliet from afar as she begins her famous "balcony scene" soliloquy ("O Romeo, Romeo. Wherefore art thou Romeo?") demonstrates the serious intent of keeping this genuinely Shakespeare. As the scene progresses, we understand the burden placed on the "star-crossed" lovers who have begun an untimely and ill-conceived love affair.

Cast Overview

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


1) Probably the greatest film version of Shakespeare's famous story works due to smart direction by Oscar-nominee Franco Zeffirelli and outstanding production values more than anything else. The timeless story is of course about the titled doom lovers (Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey) who fall for each other in spite of the fact that an intense feud exists between their crazed families. The two actors in the title roles became hot commodities for a short time after this film's release, but neither has had much of a career since. Michael York is the most notable name here as the wild Tybalt. Not a bad film, but hopelessly dated and to be honest Shakespeare's works rarely warrant excellence on the silver screen.

2)The performances by the two leads are excellent. Leonard Whiting as Romeo and Olivia Hussey as Juliet are perfectly cast. Hussey in particular displays the kind of innocence and passion that lends credibility to her sudden devotion to Whiting. Romeo is one of Shakespeare's most well-written characters. His inexperience with women has made him overly respondent to whoever has his eye. Juliet is not the first, and she probably would not have been the last. Hence, Romeo's immaturity is his ultimate undoing.

3)A lush and extremely beautiful production of the Shakespeare classic. Academy Awards for the costumes and cinematography. Actual teenagers play the leads. While it is wonderful for youngsters to see such a fine and exciting production, there is a lot here for parents to worry about. The advice this film gives youngsters, many of whom are having similar experiences in real life and wondering about the same emotions, is totally inappropriate: parental disobedience, believing that teenage love is the ultimate love, and suicide as a solution to parental interference. The film is insidious because it is so beautiful and so well done, with, needless to say, a great story. Parents must actively defuse the inappropriate messages.

4)The film shows simultaneously the seriousness and the silliness of teen love. Juliet’s father is abusive. Friar Lawrence’s plot is totally immoral. According to the film: Love bridges political differences. Youth often has the solutions to adult problems, but the adults will not allow it. Love at first sight is possible. The use of drugs leads to death.

Further Information

Runtime: 138 min
Country: UK / Italy
Language: English
Color: Yes

Box-office gross: 38,901,218 US Dollars