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Romeo and Juliet

Great Britain/Italy 1968. Dir: Franco Zeffirelli. 138 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION | Franco Zeffirelli’s bold, affecting adaptation of Romeo and Juliet shaped the “greatest love story of all time” for the youth-culture 1960s and became a massive commercial success; Roger Ebert praised it as “the most exciting film of Shakespeare ever made.” In a daring stroke of casting, the director hired two actual teenagers, both unknowns — 17-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey — to play the Bard’s star-crossed young lovers. The supporting cast includes Michael York, Milo O’Shea, and John McEnery; Laurence Olivier voiced the prologue and epilogue. Nino Rota’s soundtrack — especially “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet” — also became hugely popular. Shot on location in Tuscany and elsewhere in Italy, Zeffirelli’s sumptuous, swashbuckling film won Oscars for its cinematography and costumes. It screens here in a beautiful new restoration. Be sure to bring a hankie or plenty of Kleenex!


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