Famous for casting unknown teenagers as the title characters—a sixteen-year-old Olivia Hussey and seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting—Zeffirelli instilled in Shakespeare’s tragic love story the youth-oriented rebelliousness of the Sixties. The charming openness and innocence of the star-crossed lovers sweetly resonated with a defiant love generation disillusioned by war and the outdated decrees of their parents. Fifty-two years later, his version remains one of the most favored and successful cinematic adaptations, winning two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography (Pasqualino De Santis) and Best Costume Design (Danilo Donati), while producing a hit song in 1969 with Henry Mancini's arrangement of Nino Rota’s "Love Theme" (“Get Back” by the Beatles was number three!). Accentuated by naturalistic performances and lush sets, Zeffirelli’s take retains a timeless sensibility and vibrancy, now with a renewed glow in its digitally restored incarnation.
Age recommendation: 14+. Mature content