Cast and Crew: Franco Zeffirelli (Director); Milo O’Shea, Michael York
What It’s About: In Renaissance Verona, the Montagues feud with the Capulets. Romeo Montague (Leonard Whiting) goes to a Capulet party to cause trouble, but instead finds it when he meets Juliet (Olivia Hussey) by chance and the pair fall in love. Their affair goes about as well as one might expect.
Why Watch it Today?: Tradition marks April 23rd, 1564 as the date of Shakespeare’s birth.
Other Choices: In the past we’ve celebrated Shakespeare with the unlikely kaiju epic King Kong vs. Godzilla and Julie Taymor’s excellent adaptation of Shakespeare’s first (and bloodiest) tragedy, Titus Andronicus. You could also watch West Side Story, Henry V, Macbeth, Theater of Blood, or Forbidden Planet.
I think this is the only version of R&J I can sit through thanks to it being so close to the source material and still looking pretty marvelous after all this time. And yep, I did a double take because I’d forgotten all about the Shakespeare quote at the beginning (and like you, have NO idea why it’s in the film!)…
It’s quite the unexpected place to find Shakespeare. 🙂
Oops. I was (obviously) referring to King Kong vs. Godzilla in reference to the Shakespeare quote, lol. Long day for me here. Time for bed!