Romeo and Juliet (1936)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Director George Cukor and producer Irving G. Thalberg's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, a lavish production of Shakespeare's tale about two star-crossed lovers, is extremely well-produced and acted. In fact, it is so well-done, that it is easy to forget that Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer are too old to be playing the title characters.
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Norma Shearer
as Juliet
John Barrymore
as Mercutio
Edna May Oliver
as Nurse to Juliet
C. Aubrey Smith
as Lord Capulet
Andy Devine
as Peter
Henry Kolker
as Friar Lawrence
Violet Kemble Cooper
as Lady Capulet
Reginald Denny
as Benvolio
Maurice Murphy
as Balthasar
Conway Tearle
as Prince of Verona
Virginia Hammond
as Lady Montague
Robert Warwick
as Lord Montague
Ian Wolfe
as Apothecary
Anthony Kemble-Cooper
as Gregory Capulet
Carlyle Blackwell
as Tybalt's Page
Anthony Marsh
as Mercutio's Page
Howard Wilson
as Abraham Montague
Carlyle Blackwell Jr.
as Tybalt's Page
John Bryan
as Friar John
Wallis Clark
as Town Watch
Harold Entwistle
as Nobleman
Vernon P. Downing
as Samson Capulet
Charles Bancroft
as Nobleman
Lon McCallister
as Choir member
José Rubio
as Nobleman
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Critic Reviews for Romeo and Juliet

All Critics (8)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic doesn't capture the impetuosity of young love nearly as well as Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 production.

Full Review… | August 20, 2007
Movie Metropolis

The problem lies in the casting.

Full Review… | August 20, 2007
Movie Metropolis

The film has some merits, though Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard were simply too old to play Shakespeare's juvenile lovers.

Full Review… | October 20, 2006

No excerpt available.

November 3, 2005

Audience Reviews for Romeo and Juliet

The Cukor Romeo and Juliet is probably one of the worst adaptations. Here we have elderly actors desperately trying to be youthful in their escapades. A big bore.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Classy production but both Norma and Leslie are at the very least 15 years too old for their roles.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


One of the first and most famous Shakespeare adaptations was this 1936 MGM film made by the famous George Cukor. The film does not tinker with the play?s setting or tone, it?s a very straightforward and traditional adaptation. The stars, Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard are good in their roles, but they?re both way too old for these parts. This play?s narrative requires it?s protagonists to be young, impulsive teenagers and both of these actors are well into their 30s. There?s nothing horribly wrong with the rest of it, but it?s kind of bland and it pales in comparison to the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli version. Still, creatively adapting Shakespeare on film probably wasn?t as established in 1936 as it is now, so I?m willing to cut this one some slack.


Super Reviewer

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