Romeo and Juliet ’68 02/21/23

The Criterion Collection

Franco Zeffirelli apprenticed to Luchino Visconti, stage directed operas and directed several movie hits, the biggest of which was this exuberant, attractive Shakespeare adaptation, filmed like an opera with sumptuous sets and sunswept Italian locations. The novelty for 1968 was casting the Bard’s star-crossed young lovers with actual teenagers. Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting are attractive kids directed to give spirited performances; the critics may have had mixed reactions but the public received the film well. If memory serves, Criterion’s new remaster looks better than Paramount’s original release prints. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.