I can say now that I love Franco Zeffirelli’s production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I thought it was perfect. The story unfolded at a lovely pace and I was never bored. Again, here we have the element of inserting an intermission and I wish that more filmmakers would use this element when making movies that need time to properly tell the story.
Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting are perfect in the lead roles.
One of the best decisions made was casting Olivia Hussey as Juliet.
I think that Leonard Whiting was also the perfect choice for Romeo.
The chemistry between Olivia and Leonard is wonderful and works very well. Both seem very comfortable working with one another.
I loved it when they ran off to get married in secret. It was so romantic.
I had to keep in mind how normal it was at that time period to get married at such a young age. We all cringe today (rightfully so) at two people so young engaging in such grown up actions. Romeo and Juliet are both barely out of childhood.
Of course we all know how it ends, but I cannot help but wish that Shakespeare wrote a different ending.
I admit that I was not much interested in the other characters, but I do have to give an honorable mention to Juliet’s nurse who was played by Pat Heywood. The nurse was as batty as a barfly and Miss Heywood play the nurse as if she was on a constant sugar high.
I LOVE the musical score in this film which was composed by Nino Rota.
The song titled “What is a Youth” always moves me deeply. I downloaded Henry Mancini’s Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet HERE. It is beautifully performed and only .99 cents. You can download the movie soundtrack HERE for $7.99.
Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet was released on October 8, 1968. It costs $850,000 to make and earned $38,901,218. at the box office. The movie was re-released in 1973.
Leonard Whiting is 62 years old as of this blog post and pretty much ended his film career in the mid 1970’s, preferring to concentrate on live theater productions.
I streamed Romeo and Juliet on Netflix.