In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 89 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 1 Dec 2016 and The 89th Annual Oscars on 26 Feb 2017.
Here is my 79th review of the 89 chosen Films…
Number of Times Seen – 16 (1 Feb 2017)
Brief Synopsis – One of the first film adaptations of a Shakespeare play portraying the story of star crossed lovers from feuding families of Verona.
My Take on it – I have seen numerous adaptations of this play on film and stage and I must admit that this one is a bit mediocre compared to the others.
My favorite is still West Side Story (1961), but many purists don’t really count that as a version of this story.
None of the actors here really stand out and I think part of the problem is that the two leads played by Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer are a bit too old for the roles of these young lovers.
Hollywood and audiences didn’t really take to this film so well which resulted in a huge drought of The Bard’s work on screen for numerous years until Laurence Olivier chose to film Henry V at the end of World War II.
Personally, I’ve never been much of a fan of Shakespeare’s work on paper, but watching the plays or films brings new life to the words and in general, they are quite enjoyable, but it’s not my favorite kind of film regardless.
This production just felt too bland for my taste and I prefer any of the other adaptations over this one.
Bottom Line – Somewhat mediocre adaptation of The Bard’s famous work. None of the actors really stand out here but it is clear that the leads should have been younger than Howard and Shearer were. Its cold reception led to a drought in Hollywood when it came to adapting Shakespeare’s work until Olivier proved that it could be done a few years later.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film contains the only on-screen sword fight that expert swordsman Basil Rathbone won in his entire film career. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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