Romeo and Juliet (1968)


Romeo and Juliet is a 1968 British-Italian cinematic adaptation of the William Shakespeare play of the same name. The film was directed and co-written by Franco Zeffirelli, and stars Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. It won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design; it was also nominated for Best Director and Best Picture. Sir Laurence Olivier spoke the film's prologue and epilogue and reportedly dubbed the voice of the Italian actor playing Lord Montague, but was never credited in the film.


In Verona, Italy, Romeo and Juliet, the teenaged children of two feuding families (Montagues and Capulets, respectively), meet at a feast and fall in love. They are secretly married by Romeo's confessor and father figure, Friar Laurence, with the assistance of Juliet's nursemaid. Unfortunately, a street duel breaks out between Juliet's cousin Tybalt and Romeo's friend Mercutio when Tybalt insults Romeo. However, since Romeo has just been married to his cousin, he refuses to fight, leading Mercutio to be a loyal friend and fight for him. This leads to Mercutio's death. Romeo retaliates by killing Tybalt, and is penalized by the Prince of Verona with banishment. Unaware of Juliet's secret marriage, her father has arranged for her to marry wealthy Count Paris. In order to escape this arranged marriage and remain faithful to Romeo, Juliet consumes a potion prepared by Friar Laurence, intended to make her appear dead for 42 hours. Friar Laurence plans to inform Romeo of the hoax so that he can pick Juliet up after her burial and escape with her when she recovers from her swoon, but the news of Juliet's death reaches Romeo before the friar's letter. In despair, he drinks a poison and thus kills himself by Juliet's side in the Capulets' tomb. Awakening shortly after he expires, Juliet discovers a dead Romeo and proceeds to stab herself with his dagger. Later, the two families process into their joint funeral together, implying that the tragedy has resolved their feud.