12 March 2018

Romeo and Juliet 1968

Romeo and Juliet 1968
  • Director: Franco Zeffirelli
  • Based on the play by William Shakespeare
  • Cast: Olivia Hussey, Leonard Whiting, John McEnery, Milo O’Shea, Pat Heywood, Michael York, Bruce Robinson
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Olivia Hussey – Ivanhoe,
    • John McEnery – Wallander, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Hamlet, Measure for Measure
    • Milo O’Shea – The Butcher Boy
    • Michael York – Cabaret
  • Why? Shakespeare
  • Seen: Three times before. Now 11 March 2018      

       A sensation when it came out in 1968 because of the tender ages of the two leads. When I saw it the first time in 1968 I wasn’t all that impressed, not being a romantic (I’m still not) nor a Shakespeare enthusiast (now I am, to put it mildly.)
       You know the story. You probably know Zeffirelli. A few words will suffice here. Colourful. Lavish. Earnest. Passionate. Sweet.
       Too lavish. Too sweet. Too much detail. Too fast. Too slow. Too much, far too much, cut from the original. Too much added.
       And yet, who can resist Juliet’s giggle? She’s thirteen years old, after all. But she’s also witty, clever, deep, eloquent, sensible, brave and wise beyond her years. Sadly, Zeffirelli has cut many of her best lines but still, Olivia Hussey is a most captivating Juliet. She far outshines the rest of the cast, who are merely acting. Olivia Hussey is Juliet. When she isn’t on the screen it all feels exaggerated. When she is, it’s all just right.
       Olivia Hussey gets 6* of 5. The film, Zeffirelli’s best…

3* of 5

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