“Romeo and Juliet” ( English Romeo and Juliet ) - adaptation of the work of the same name by William Shakespeare , two-part feature film made in England - Italy , director - Franco Zeffirelli . The film won two Oscars , three Golden Globe awards and other awards.
|Romeo and Juliet|
|Romeo and juliet|
|Producer||John Braburn |
|Franco Brusati |
Masolino D'Amico ,
based on a play by W. Shakespeare
|In the main|
|Olivia Hussey |
|Operator||Pasqualino De Santis|
|Film company||"BHE Films", |
with the assistance of
Verona Produzione and
"Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica"
|A country|| Great Britain |
The action takes place in Verona during the Early Renaissance. On the market square there are servants of two noble families of Montecca and Capulet, who are at war with each other, and start a quarrel, which turns into a massacre on the streets of the city. Meanwhile, in the house of Capulet, a family festival is being prepared, to which young men from the house of Montecca infiltrate, and among them the son of the head of the family - Romeo, who did not want to go, but succumbed to the entreaties of friends. There he meets with Capulet's daughter Juliet, who in the near future is going to marry the brilliant Count of Paris. The boy and girl fall in love with each other, not knowing that each of them belongs to the family of his enemy. When this turns out, they are horrified, but feelings for each other are stronger than the awareness of hostility between their families. During the ball, the nephew of Capuletti Tybalt recognizes Romeo, and, considering his arrival at their family holiday offensive, harbors resentment. After the ball, hiding from his noisy and amused friends, Romeo finds himself in the garden of Capulet, which opens onto the balcony of Juliet's bedroom. On the balcony he sees Juliet, admires her, and, hearing her secret declarations of love for him, reveals his presence. Juliet is at first frightened by such a surprise and wants to run away, but, recognizing Romeo's voice, returns and wonders: how did he get here? Word for word, and they are no longer able to part with each other until the morning. Romeo and Juliet swear an oath of love to each other and decide to become husband and wife. After parting with Juliet, Romeo immediately hurries to his mentor and friend, the monk, the father of Lorenzo. He tells him about a sudden outbreak of mutual love with Juliet and asks him to perform a marriage ceremony on them. Lorenzo’s father is initially indignant, but after thinking, he agrees, hoping that in this way the two warring families will be able to make peace.
However, further events unfold in such a way that great joy gives way to great grief. Because of blind hatred and pride, Capulet's nephew Tybalt seeks Romeo and, having found, publicly insults him. But Romeo, who had just become Juliet's husband, does not want to quarrel, and then his friend Mercutio accepts the challenge. In this fight, Tybalt mortally wounds Mercutio, and Romeo, wanting revenge for the unexpected death of a friend, kills Tybalt, Juliet's cousin in a fierce battle. The head of the city, the Duke of Verona, condemns Romeo to life exile, on the condition that if Romeo does not leave the city before dawn, he will be captured and killed. Young spouses despair. Juliet's nurse and monk Lorenzo help them meet again after the events and spend their wedding night together. With the onset of dawn, it will be so difficult for them to part with each other ... Romeo leaves for Mantua, and Juliet's parents, wanting to brighten up the grief, appoint the next day as the wedding day. Juliet does not manage to beg her parents to postpone the marriage, and she asks for help from her father Lorenzo. He comes up with an unsafe exit, and, hoping for the best, gives Juliet a potion from which she will fall asleep so that everyone will consider her dead, and then, after mourning, they will bury her in a family crypt. And Lorenzo sends his messenger to Romeo with a letter in which he announces his plan. But the news of Juliet's death comes to Romeo before Lorenzo’s letter and he, having missed the messenger, rushes to his Juliet. Feeling that something was amiss, Lorenzo's father hurries into the crypt, and finds Romeo, who is already lifeless, there. He is trying to get Juliet awakened from the crypt, but when she sees her Romeo dead, she decides to stay with him forever and plunges his dagger into her chest. Heartbroken relatives of Romeo and Juliet and all representatives of the warring houses are reconciled with each other.
Shakespeare’s tragedy is filmed by Zeffirelli, preserving the author’s text and is mostly very close to the plot, with the exception of some monologues and small scenes. The film was the cinematic debut of sixteen-year-old Olivia Hassi and seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting. They became the first performers of roles whose age was close to the age of Romeo and Juliet in the play.
The film received a large number of positive reviews from critics and especially from the audience. They wrote about the picture that it was an occasion to forget about the world around and to surrender to the bright wave of Shakespearean tragedy  .
Separate words deserve acting and interpretation of Shakespeare's poetry by the creators of the picture.
The merit of Zeffirelli and the young actors in the lead roles is that they breathed life into the lines of Shakespeare. Experienced actors would not be able to play their first love, naivety and passion, which can only be experienced once in a lifetime.
Film critic Roger Ebert. Newspaper Chicago Sun-Times 
In the press, the scene of awakening naked heroes after the wedding night was much and vigorously discussed. Zeffirelli said about this: “If you come to the museum, do you really turn your head away from nude painting? ..” 
Among the obvious advantages of the film, one can mention not only a wonderful cast, expertly set fights and dances, expressive musical design, beautiful costumes and scenery, but also full-scale shooting, especially the progressive technique using a portable camera for that time, I would like to note the presence of humor in the picture, despite the tragedy of history itself  .
The film was officially released in Soviet rental in 1972, with small bills. It was preceded by the first premiere in August 1968. In the Soviet film distribution, the roles were voiced by famous Soviet actors. To match the articulation, several translations of Shakespeare into Russian were used - translations of Boris Pasternak and Tatyana Shchepkina-Kupernik . Literary editing by Evgeny Halperin, dubbing director - Georgy Kalitievsky.
This film made a great impression on both “ordinary” viewers and artists of the art world. The film was a success on the screens of the USSR and became one of Shakespeare's most beloved viewers of the film adaptations. According to the annual survey of the magazine "Soviet Screen", the film was recognized as the best foreign film in 1972, and Olivia Hussey received the audience award  .
- Leonard Whiting - Romeo
- Olivia Hussey - Juliet
- John McEnery - Mercutio
- Milo O'Shea - Monk Lorenzo
- Pat Heywood - nurse Juliet
- Robert Stephens - Duke of Verona
- Michael York - Tybalt
- Bruce Robinson - Benvolio
- Paul Hardwick - Signor Capulet
- Natasha Parry - Signora Capulet
- Antonio Pierfederici - Signor Montecchi
- Esmeralda Ruspoli - Signora Montecchi
- Roberto Bisacco - Count of Paris
- Laurence Olivier - storyteller
- Evgeny Gerasimov - Romeo
- Anna Kamenkova - Juliet
- Vsevolod Larionov - Mercutio
- Leo Zolotukhin - monk Lorenzo
- Vera Yenyutina - the nurse
- Felix Yavorsky - Duke of Verona
- Vasily Lanovoi - Tybalt
- Alexey Zolotnitsky - Benvolio
- Mikhail Pogorzhelsky - Signor Capulet
- Irina Kartasheva - Signora Capulet
- Vladimir Kenigson - Signor Montecki
- Nina Zorska - Signora Montecca
Film crew and production
- Director: Franco Zeffirelli
- Screenplay: Franco Brusati, Masolino D'amiko, Franco Zeffirelli
- Composer: Nino Rota
- Operator: Pasqualino De Santis
- Scenery: Renzo Monjardino, Anthony Fedeli
- Costumes: Danilo Donati
- Dance Director: Alberto Testa
- Fencing: Nicolo Pern
- Production: Paramount Pictures
Awards and nominations
- Academy Award ( 1969 )
- Best Cinematography ( Pasqualino De Santis )
- Best Costume Design ( Danilo Donati )
- Academy Award nominations
- The best film, the best work of the director
- Golden Globe Award ( 1969 )
- Best English film
- Most Promising Female Debut ( Olivia Hussey )
- Most Promising Male Debut ( Leonard Whiting )
- Golden Globe Nomination ( 1969 )
- Best Director, Best Music
- United States National Film Critics Award ( 1969 )
- The best work of the director ( Franco Zeffirelli )
- BAFTA Award ( 1969 ):
- Best Costume Design (Danilo Donati)
- Best Director, Editing, Music, Best Artist, Best Actor and Supporting Actress
- David di Donatello Prize ( 1969 )
- The best work of the director ( Franco Zeffirelli )
- Silver Ribbon Italian Film Syndicate Award ( 1969 )
- The best work of the director, music, editing, the best camera work.
- The Jeffirelli film "Romeo and Juliet" was preceded by a stage version, which in 1960 the director very successfully performed in the London theater "Old Vic" (Old Vic), with John Stride (John Stride) and Judy Dench in the lead roles. In 1964, he staged the same performance in Italy (in Verona, then in Rome), and in 1966 was shown on the Moscow stage. In this production, many characteristic features of the future famous film adaptation of 1968 have already manifested themselves  .
- The music, written by Nino Rota for the performance of Zeffirelli, later entered the film's soundtrack, to which the composer added new musical themes  .
- The song to the music of Nino Rota and poems by Eugene Walter (Eugene Walter) "What Is a Youth" (called so on the first line), has long gained independent popularity. For example, it is often used as the main musical theme for sports programs in figure skating .
- The shooting of the film, the action of which, according to the plot, takes place in Verona, was carried out in different parts of Central Italy. Only the foggy panorama of the city, opening the film narration, is a view of the real Verona. In the town of Tuscania (Lazio region), in the ancient basilica of San Pietro, scenes of the wedding and death of Romeo and Juliet, as well as episodes, scripted within the monastery and the church, were shot. In the ancient Gubbio (Umbria region), the first appearance of Romeo and other scenes “near the house of Montecca”, the clash of the townspeople, the duel of Romeo and Tybalt, as well as the episode “in Mantua” were filmed. In Pienza (Tuscany region), a small town not far from Siena, in the Palazzo Piccolomini, they rented the house of Capulet and the courtyard, and in the square in front of the palace - a scene with Romeo's friends hurrying to a ball and Mercutio talk about Queen Meb. In the town of Artena, near Rome, on the territory of the Palazzo Borghese, filming of the night scene near the wall of the garden of Capulet, the scenes in the garden and on the balcony of Juliet (specially built for filming) took place. View of Verona Square with the facade of the church and the city fountain was created in the pavilion of the Roman film studio "Cinechitta". The image of the church facade repeats the architectural forms of the ancient basilicas of Tuscania. The ball scene was shot in the studio, in magnificent scenery created by Renzo Monjardino  .
- The work of costume designer Danilo Donati earned him a well-deserved Oscar. The costumes of the characters in the film are historical and correspond to the style of the 15th century ( Quattrocento ). Since Zeffirelli defined Capulet as nouveau riche and Montecci as the old aristocracy, the colors for the clothes of these rival families were chosen according to his concept. The costumes of the Capulet clan in the film are characterized by bright ocher-red tones, for Monteca, restrained tones of a blue-brown palette were chosen. Made of large volumes of brocade and velvet, sewn with patterned metallized braid, the models sometimes weighed up to 25 kg, however, the actors carry them in the film with such apparent lightness that we forget how difficult it was for them to work in such a robe under the hot summer sun and spotlights  .
- While working on his role, Leonard Whiting noted that the complexity of the text of Shakespeare's work lies in the fact that some very famous phrases are guessed by the audience five minutes before the characters say them, and therefore if you do not pronounce them correctly, then its whole effect will be lost  .
- Leonard said that he had to climb a tree standing next to Juliet’s balcony for a week before convincing the film crew to attach steps to it  .
- Another meeting of Zeffirelli with the actors who played in Romeo and Juliet took place on the set of a grandiose television epic about the life of Christ - Jesus of Nazareth (Jesus of Nazareth, 1977). Among the many stars of world cinema involved in the filming of the film was Michael York , who played the role of John the Baptist. The embodiment of the film image of the Virgin Mary Zeffirelli entrusted to Olivia Hassi. Sir Lawrence Olivier , reading the author’s text in Romeo and Juliet, played Nicodemus  .
- In 2003, when the 80th anniversary of Maestro Franco Zeffirelli was celebrated (date of birth - February 12, 1923), residents of Verona, the hometown of Romeo and Juliet, paid special tribute to the famous movie version of 1968. On this occasion, the Verona Museum "House of Juliet" was replenished with exhibits transferred to him by Zeffirelli. In one of the rooms of the museum placed the legendary marriage bed and two costumes of the main characters of the film "Romeo and Juliet", as well as several sketches made by the director’s hand  .
- In the fall of 2014, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting took part in the filming of the British film director Bruce Webb / Bruce Webb - Social Suicide (Social Suicide). A modern version of the Shakespearean story tells about Romeo and Juliet YouTube generation. The police are investigating the tragic events that occurred as a result of a secret kiss made by someone and distributed on social networks by Riz and Julia (as Romeo and Juliet were renamed in the film). Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hassi play the parents of Julia, in which the real daughter of Olivia starred - twenty-year-old actress India Aisley / India Eisley. The producer and co-writer is Janet Wells. The film premiered on October 1, 2015 in London  .
- A detailed history of the film: information about the actors and the director, soundtrack, costumes, the press and a trip to the places of filming.
- Articles about the film, filming, actors; photo archive, video archive, soundtrack, interviews, reviews, film clips and tests for knowledge of the film
- A selection of reviews and reviews (English)
- Yutkevich S. I. Shakespeare in Italian (“The Taming of the Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet” by Franco Zeffirelli) // Shakespeare and cinema . - M .: Nauka , 1973. - S. 122–141.
- review of John Silver Archive copy of March 13, 2008 on Wayback Machine; link checked February 4, 2009
- “Romeo and Juliet” By Roger Ebert / October 15, 1968; link checked February 4, 2009
- Franco Zeffirelli. "Romeo and Juliet" - the history of the film.
- Russian site dedicated to the film “Romeo and Juliet” link checked February 4, 2009
- "Romeo and Juliet" - a performance by Zeffirelli at the Old Vic Theater
- Olga Nikolaeva. About the soundtrack of the Zeffirelli film “Romeo and Juliet”.
- Olga Nikolaeva. Roads of the film "Romeo and Juliet" Franco Zeffirelli.
- Roger Ebert. That balcony in Verona.
- Social Suicide (Social Suicide) - information about the new film, the modern version of Shakespeare's plot.