British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Romeo-Juliet

Synopsis
Film version of Romeo and Juliet casting the feral cats of Venice, New York and Ghent as actors with voices dubbed by established actors of the British theatre. Filmed as a concert, with music from Prokofiev and Emanuel Vardi performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth and Andre Previn. The story centres around a bag lady (John Hurt) who takes the cats of Venice and puts them on a boat to set sail for the New World.
Language
English
Country
Belgium
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1990
Duration
130 mins

Credits

Director
Armando Acosta
Producer
Andree Castagne; Armando Acosta; Lanny Mickelson; Paul Celis
Cinematographer
Armando Acosta
Screenplay
Armando Acosta; Koen Van Brabant; Victor Spinetti
Music
Armando Acosta; Emanuel Vardi; Sergei Prokofiev
Art Direction
Magda Gooris
Cast
Robert PowellVoice of Romeo (Romeo)
Francesca AnnisVoice of Juliet (Juliet)
John HurtVoice of Mercutio (Mercutio)
Ben KingsleyVoice of Father Capulet (Capulet)
John HaggartVoice of Prince (Escalus, Prince of Verona)
John HurtLa Dame Aux Chats
Maggie SmithVoice of Rosaline
Quentin CrispVoice of Balthasar (Balthasar)
Vanessa RedgraveVoice of Mother Capulet (Lady Capulet)
Victor SpinettiVoice of Tybalt (Tybalt)
Victor SpinettiVoice of Benvolio (Benvolio)

Additional Details

Production type
Other
Plays
Romeo and Juliet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
animals; cats; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
Shot on standard definition PAL. Different sources cite the running time as between 120 and 140 minutes. The film is described as having over 200 hours of footage of the feline cast which was assembled into the final edit.

Quentin Crisp in his diaries Resident Alien: The New York Diaries (1997) edited by Donald Carroll makes mention of the filming.
General
The film is dedicated to Stan Laurel.
History
Screened at the 1990 Venice Film Festival. The world premiere of the film (shortened from the Venice screening) took place June 20 1992 at the Palais de Beaux Arts, Brussels. Distributed theatrically by Loeb & Loeb the film was not released for the home market and is notoriously difficult to acquire. Clips from the film are included in the video A&E’S INCREDIBLE WORLD OF CATS sold on amazon.com
Reviews
"They’re not really trained cats, they don’t wear little costumes, it looks like they’re regular cats that they coaxed to move across the sets etc. Then through slow motion effects and editing, they create an illusion of interaction that accompanies the narration" . IMDb user comment (accessed 8/2007).

Production Company

Name

Moonseed Productions

Name

PH Consulting

Notes
Paul Hespel’s production company.

Archive

Name

Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee

Email
segretena.asac@labiennale.org
Web
http://www.labienale.org External site opens in new window
Phone
=39 041 5218700
Address
La Biennale di Venezia
VEGA (Cygnus Building)
Via Delle Industrie 23/9
30175 Porto Marghera
Venice
Italy

Distributor

Name

Loeb & Loeb

Record Stats

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