Romeo And Juliet

  • 1936
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Historical, Romance

MGM production chief and lover of the classics Irving Thalberg spared no expense in this version of Shakespeare's famous tragedy/romance, starring the queen of the MGM lot, Norma Shearer (Thalberg's wife) and the sensitive Leslie Howard. The eternal story is brought to life with lavish production values and George Cukor was an apt choice of director,...read more

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MGM production chief and lover of the classics Irving Thalberg spared no expense in this version of Shakespeare's famous tragedy/romance, starring the queen of the MGM lot, Norma Shearer (Thalberg's wife) and the sensitive Leslie Howard.

The eternal story is brought to life with lavish production values and George Cukor was an apt choice of director, able to communicate to his cast his own passion for the characters. Although Howard and Shearer are much too old for their roles (the characters were teenagers, while they were 46 and 34 when the movie was filmed), they

perform splendidly, rendering their parts with great sensitivity. She flutters girlishly a bit too much early on and isn't quite right in the balcony scene, but her reading of the famous potion speech is superb. Howard, is oddly reticent, but performs with considerable grace; he himself had doubts about taking the role because of his age and at first turned it down. Barrymore gives a spritely, compelling, if peculiar performance in the role of Mercutio, delivered with a slight Irish brogue. On the set, Barrymore vexed the gentle Cukor no end by inserting foul words into the beautiful Shakespearean lines. The rest of the cast is fine, and the film as a whole is rather better than some would have it.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: MGM production chief and lover of the classics Irving Thalberg spared no expense in this version of Shakespeare's famous tragedy/romance, starring the queen of the MGM lot, Norma Shearer (Thalberg's wife) and the sensitive Leslie Howard. The eternal sto… (more)

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