Romeo and Juliet (1954)





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Generally forgotten today, Romeo and Juliet is a satisfactory, if perfunctory, adaptation of Shakespeare's immortal tragedy. Cast as the "star cross'd lovers" this time out are Laurence Harvey, who's quite good, and Susan Shentall, who isn't. Whether or not Shentall would have improved with experience is a moot point, since she retired from the screen to get married soon afterward. Director Renato Castellani was showered with praise for his decision to lens the story on location in Italy. Less popular was his decision to delete several of Shakespeare's more famous passages, arguing that they held up the progress of the story (sometimes whole scenes, including the one with the apothecary, were chopped out). The supporting cast includes Dame Flora Robson as Nurse, Mervyn Johns as Friar Laurence, Bill Travers as Benvolio, Norman Wooland as Paris, John Gielgud as the (unseen) Chorus, and Sebastian Cabot as Capulet; the rest of the major roles were filled by Italian actors. Though overshadowed by later film versions, this Romeo and Juliet was impressive enough in 1954 to win the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Art House & International , Classics , Drama , Romance
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Mervyn Johns
as Friar Laurence
Bill Travers
as Benvolio
Aldo Zollo
as Mercutio
Lydia Sherwood
as Lady Capulet
Nietta Zocchi
as Lady Montague
John Gielgud
as Chorus
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Critic Reviews for Romeo and Juliet

All Critics (2) opulent-looking production, edited to accent the two main characters.

Full Review… | May 4, 2011
Movie Metropolis

Quote not available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
TV Guide

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