British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Romeo and Juliet

Synopsis
Feature film adaptation of the play. An attempt to unite Shakespeare with the Italian neo-realist school of film-making, with attractive location photography, and naturalistic crowd scenes. The text is heavily cut, sometimes to the detriment of sense and comprehension. The British leads did not match the ambitions of the film - an unknown Juliet and an ill-at-ease Laurence Harvey as Romeo.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain; Italy
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1954
Duration
12,447; 138 feet

Credits

Director
Renato Castellani
Producer
Joseph Janni; Sandro Ghenzi
Cinematographer
Robert Krasker
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Roman Vlad
Costume
Leonor Fini
Cast
Laurence HarveyRomeo
Susan ShentallJuliet
Mervyn JohnsFriar Laurence
Flora RobsonNurse
Aldo ZolloTybalt
Bill TraversBenvolio
Dagmar JosipovichRosaline
Enzo FiermonteCapulet’s cousin
Giulio GarbinettiEscalus, Prince of Verona
John GielgudChorus
Lucian BodiFriar John
Lydia SherwoodLady Capulet
Nietta ZocchiLady Montague
Norman WoolandParis
Sebastian CabotCapulet

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Historical period
Renaissance Italy
Plays
Romeo and Juliet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Untrained actors

Notes

Notes
The Folger Shakespeare Library holds a post-production script, American version, dated 8 October 1954. Birmingham Shakespeare Library holds a typescript. The New York Public Library holds a shooting script.

Released on DVD in the UK in 2007 after a long time of being unavailable. Released on Blu-ray 2011.
General
"British cinemagoers who may have come away disappointed could at least relax at home with the film’s exclusive promotional accessories: couples could sit back on a couch covered in ‘the Romeo and Juliet fabric’ ; women could ease their tired feet into a pair of ‘Romeo and Juliet slippers’, available in black, red or emerald at 39 shillings a pair" (Daniel Rosenthal, Shakespeare On Screen.)
Awards
Grand Prix, Venice Film Festival 1954. Best Director.

Production Company

Name

Rank

Name

Verona Productions

Archive

Name

Folger Shakespeare Library

Email
reference@folger.edu
Web
http://www.folger.edu External site opens in new window
Phone
(202) 544 4600
Fax
(202) 544 4623
Address
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington
DC 20003
USA
Name

Shakespeare Institute Library

Email
silib@bham.ac.uk
Web
http://www.is.bham.ac.uk/shakespeare External site opens in new window
Phone
01789 293384
Fax
01879 292021
Address
Church Street
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6HP

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Retail outlets

Name

Simply Media

Contact
Laura Smith
Email
info@simplymedia.tv
Web
http://www.simplymedia.tv/ External site opens in new window
Phone
0203 542 3722
Address
Highlight House
57 Margaret Street
London W1W 8SJ
Notes
Formerly known as DD Home Entertainment or DDHE

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