Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
Scholars Online Educational Resources


All’s Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII
Julius Caesar
King John
King Lear
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Richard II
Richard III
Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter’s Tale

Available versions

1936: George Cukor

1954: Renato Castellani

1965: Val Drumm, Paul Lee

1968: Franco Zeffirelli

1976: Joan Kemp-Welch

1978: Alvin Rakoff

1993: Norman Campbell

1994: Alan Horrox

1996: Baz Luhrmann

2010: Dominic Dromgoole

2013: Carlo Carlei

2014: Don Roy King, David Leveaux


1961: West Side Story

1992: Efim Gamburg, Dave Edwards (animated)


2015: Shakespeare Uncovered, Season 2, Episode 2

Romeo and Juliet
1968: Franco Zeffirelli

While not without certain flaws, and saddled with an unreflective, almost gooey sentimentality that weakens the play in the long run, I would say that this is one of the more watchable versions of Romeo and Juliet, and reasonably faithful to the artistic intentions behind the original composition. When it was first released it was quite a celebrated production, and had many teenage admirers (mostly girls) swooning over it — for mostly the wrong reasons. It features Olivia Hussey at sixteen years old, in the role that made her famous, and her performance has seldom been surpassed for simple innocent charm, even though she doesn't seem to be the brightest Juliet ever to appear on film. (By which I mean no impeachment of Ms. Hussey’s intelligence: I suspect that was largely a function of her direction.) On the other hand, John McEnery's weirdly manic Mercutio and Michael York's intense Tybalt are worth seeing all on their own. Leonard Whiting's Romeo is, to my taste, eminently forgettable: he just seems to drift along in the company of more substantial actors.

The real star of the show is the setting: Zeffirelli was attempting to reawaken the play in its native Italy (an Italy that Shakespeare himself never saw, almost certainly), and he goes for a not-quite-naturalistic scrubbed past evocative of the costume dramas of the 1950s — a world without running water or dentists, in which people still remained unaccountably clean and have marvelously straight white teeth (as opposed to the world of The Return of Martin Guerre or the like). Still, it offers the play in something approaching period costumes on the streets of a more or less credible Renaissance Verona. The photography is solid. The score offers some music that is moderately cloying to my taste. The treacly theme song, “A Time for Us”, was wildly popular in its time, and now (at least for those of us who remember the era) evokes nothing so much as the late 1960s. Still, one can relish that or ignore it, according to one’s predisposition.

Abraham : Ugo Barbone

Balthazar: Keith Skinner

Benvolio: Bruce Robinson

Friar John : Aldo Miranda

Friar Laurence: Milo O’Shea

Gregory: Richard Warwick

Juliet: Olivia Hussey

Lady Capulet: Natasha Parry

Lady Montague: Esmeralda Ruspoli

Lord Capulet: Paul Hardwick

Lord Montague: Antonio Pierfederici

Mercutio: John McEnery

Page to Tybalt : Dario Tanzini

Paris: Roberto Bisacco

Peter: Roy Holder

Romeo: Leonard Whiting

Sampson: Dyson Lovell

The Nurse: Pat Heywood

The Prince: Robert Stephens

Tybalt: Michael York