Romeo and Juliet Overview:

Romeo and Juliet (1936) was a Drama - Romance Film directed by George Cukor and produced by Irving Thalberg.


MGM production chief Thalberg lavished his personal attention on this reverent treatment of Shakespeare's classic love story as his wife, Shearer, was cast in the lead. Shearer and Howard make an earnest pair, but the fizz in the production comes from Barrymore's delightful Mercutio. Interesting as a comparison of the classic acting style of the '30s with the more naturalistic treatment of the 1968 British-Italian version directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1936 --- Ceremony Number 9 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActorBasil RathboneNominated
Best ActressNorma ShearerNominated
Best Art DirectionCedric Gibbons, Fredric Hope, Edwin B. WillisNominated
Best PictureMetro-Goldwyn-MayerNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

By Beatrice on Jan 25, 2020 From Flickers in Time

Romeo and Juliet Directed by Franco Zefferelli Written by Franco Brusati, Masalino D’Amico, and Franoco Zefferelli from Shakespeare’s play 1968/UK/Italy Repeat viewing/Amazon Instant This dreamy, romantic, lush film has held up beautifully o... Read full article

Romeo and Juliet (1936) (2)

By Beatrice on Aug 24, 2013 From Flickers in Time

Romeo and Juliet Directed by George Cukor Adapted by Talbot Jennings from the play by William Shakespeare 1936/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer First viewing This lavish production of the Shakespearian tragedy has a lot going for it but is marred by some inappropriate casting. ?With Leslie Howard as Romeo,... Read full article

Romeo and Juliet (1936) (1)

By RBuccicone on Aug 27, 2011 From MacGuffin Movies

Romeo and Juliet (1936) Romeo and Juliet (1936) ???? I have been avoiding the various incarnations of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” for a number of years based on the conclusion that the story is far too compelling and therefore horribly depressing. My aversion, to put it simply... Read full article

Romeo and Juliet (1)

By Alyson on Aug 9, 2011 From The Best Picture Project

Franco Zeffirelli?s Romeo and Juliet is usually the more favored film version of Shakespeare’s play. ?The filming feels wonderfully modern, while only showing us a long ago period. ?The actors are young, full of uninhibited youthful energy, just as their characters are. ?Best of all, this vers... Read full article

Romeo and Juliet (1936) (3)

By Judy on Sep 18, 2010 From Movie Classics

The last Shakespeare production I wrote about was Orson Welles’ moody take on Macbeth. ?George Cukor’s movie of Romeo and Juliet was made only 12 years earlier, but seems to belong to another world. Where Welles’ Poverty Row film looks rough around the edges, Cukor’s gives th... Read full article

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Quotes from

Juliet: Romeo. Romeo. Wherefore art thou Romeo?

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Facts about

The role of Romeo was originally offered to John Gielgud, who had just had a triumph in a stage production of the play in London in which he alternated the roles of Romeo and Mercutio with Laurence Olivier. Gielgud not only turned the part down (thinking that Shakespeare couldn't effectively be presented on screen), but was so disgusted by the finished film that he walked out of the theater after watching only fifteen minutes of it.
Contains the only on-screen sword fight that expert swordsman Basil Rathbone won in his entire career.
Fredric March, Robert Donat and Robert Montgomery all turned down the lead before Leslie Howard was cast.
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Best Picture Oscar 1936

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Also directed by George Cukor

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Also produced by Irving Thalberg

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