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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a famous play by William Shakespeare. The story originates through several retellings from a 1476 story of Mariotto and Gianozza by Masuccio Salernitano.

Romeo and Juliet was first performed on January 29, 1595.

It is the story of Romeo Montague (Romeo Montecchi) and Juliet Capulet (Giulietta Capuleti), two children of warring families in Verona, Italy, who fall in love in contradiction to the rivalries of their relatives. The two seek to defy their parents and marry, perhaps bringing the two families to peace with each other, but this ultimately fails and they both commit suicide, each believing the other is already dead.

The play, along with many others by Shakespeare, is almost entirely written in iambic pentameter.

The story was converted into an opera (Romeo et Juliette) by Charles François Gounod in 1867 with a libretto written by Jules Barbier[?] and Michel Carrè[?].

Movie versions

Beginning with the 1900 production by Clément Maurice[?], starring Emilio Cossira[?] Shakespeare's play has inspired some forty movie versions. The musical West Side Story is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. It has also inspired several ballets and operas.

1936: Romeo and Juliet[?], produced by Irving Thalberg

The 1936 screen version was one of the more notable. Irving Thalberg spared no expense, and showcased his wife, Norma Shearer, in the lead role. Romeo was played by Leslie Howard, John Barrymore was Mercutio, and Andy Devine was Peter, the servant to Juliet's nurse.
Academy Awards nominations:

1968: Romeo and Juliet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli

Filmed in Italy, the casting of a young Olivia Hussey as Juliet has been considered as truly inspired. It won Oscars for best cinematography and best costume design, and was nominated for Best Director.

1996: Romeo + Juliet, directed by Baz Luhrmann

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the title roles, Luhrmann gave the famous tale a modern setting.
At the Berlin International Film Festival 1997, it won:
  • Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio)
  • Alfred Bauer Prize
Academy Awards 1996 nominations:

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