Franco Zeffirelli

Highest Rated: 94% Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Lowest Rated: 29% Endless Love (1981)
Birthday: Feb 12, 1923
Birthplace: Not Available
Italian director Franco Zeffirelli started out as an actor in the stage productions of Luchino Visconti, then worked as an assistant on several Visconti-directed films. After World War II, Zeffirelli launched a career designing, costuming, and directing operas, a field of entertainment to which he'd return periodically throughout his life and which led to his first directorial credit, the Swiss-produced filmization La Boheme (1965). Zeffirelli's reputation in the 1960s rested on his boisterous, non-traditional movie versions of Shakespeare. He directed Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a lusty adaptation of Taming of the Shrew (1967), then became an icon for the Youth Movement by casting 17-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey in Romeo and Juliet (1968). Zeffirelli's eye for visual richness served him well in the opulent Brother Sun/Sister Moon (1973), a romanticized account of Francis of Assisi. Some of Zeffirelli's later American films were unworthy of his talents, though he made the most of the emotional possibilities of The Champ (1979) and actually helped Brooke Shields pass as an actress in the otherwise lachrymose Endless Love (1981). The director found himself in the center of a controversy upon finishing the expensive Euro-American TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth; certain religious activists, upset that the ads promised a "human" look at Jesus, forced several sponsors to withdraw their advertising from the telecast. (The "scandal" proved groundless, since Zeffirelli's Jesus was one of the most reverently accurate ever seen in films.) Zeffirelli has been represented by his televised stagings of operas, many of which have shown up on American public television. And in 1990, Franco Zeffirelli returned to Shakespeare for an all-star film version of Hamlet, wherein the "surprise" was not so much Mel Gibson's superb rendition of the title role as the fact that this was the first movie Hamlet that looked like it was actually taking place in 12th century Denmark. He finished out the 20th century be helming the 1996 version of Jane Eyre and 1999's Tea With Mussolini. As the 2000s got under way, Zeffirelli focused primarily on directing opera and many of his stage creations were recorded and released on home video or played briefly in movie theaters.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Metropolitan Opera: Turandot Encore Director 2016
No Score Yet The Metropolitan Opera: Turandot Producer Director 2016
No Score Yet Aida From Teatro Alla Scala Director 2013
No Score Yet Il giovane Toscanini (Young Toscanini) Director Screenwriter 2012
No Score Yet Met Summer Encore: La Boheme Director 2010
No Score Yet Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan Actor 2008
No Score Yet Verdi's Aida at La Scala Director 2007
No Score Yet Maria Callas: The Eternal Director 2007
No Score Yet Joan Sutherland: The Reluctant Prima Donna Actor 2007
No Score Yet Mozart - Don Giovanni Producer Director 2005
No Score Yet Carmen: Georges Bizet Director 2004
41% Callas Forever Director Screenwriter $0.4M 2004
No Score Yet Maria Callas - Living and Dying for Art and Love Actor 2002
No Score Yet Maria Callas: La Divina - A Portrait Actor 2000
66% Tea with Mussolini Director Screenwriter 1999
74% Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Director Screenwriter 1996
No Score Yet Storia di una capinera (Sparrow) Director 1993
74% Hamlet Screenwriter Director 1990
No Score Yet Power of the Past with Bill Moyers: Florence Actor 1990
No Score Yet Maria Callas: Life and Art Actor 1987
No Score Yet Bellissimo - A History of the Italian Cinema Actor 1987
No Score Yet Otello (Othello) Screenwriter Director 1986
No Score Yet Metropolitan Opera: Puccini: Tosca Director 1985
No Score Yet La Traviata Screenwriter Director 1983
No Score Yet La Traviata at La Scala Director 1982
No Score Yet I Pagliacci Director 1982
No Score Yet Verdi - La Traviata Director 1982
No Score Yet La Boheme Director 1982
29% Endless Love Director 1981
40% The Champ Director 1979
42% Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Fratello sole, sorella luna) Director Screenwriter 1972
94% Romeo and Juliet Director Screenwriter 1968
86% The Taming of the Shrew Director Screenwriter 1967
No Score Yet La Boheme Director 1967
No Score Yet La Bohème Producer 1965
No Score Yet Angelina Filippo Carrone 1947
No Score Yet Rome Franco Zeffirelli (Omaggio a Roma) Director


No Score Yet Great Performances
Director Appearing
  • 2018
No Score Yet Great Performances at the Met
  • 2010
No Score Yet Jesus of Nazareth
  • 1977


No quotes approved yet.