The Taming of the Shrew
Liz and Dick (a.k.a. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) almost seemed to be importing the psychodramas of their marriage into this 1967 film (of course, the same was true of every film they made together). Adapted from Shakespeare's play and directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet) with his usual eye for sumptuousness, this version of Taming features a particularly boisterous, bawdy, fun performance by its stars. Composer Nino Rota--best known for scoring several of Fellini's best-known works--received a National Board of Reviews award for his vivid soundtrack. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet I saw in High School and many times since. I’ve always thought it a wonderful interpretation of Shakespeare’s play with a great deal to recommend it. On returning to Zeffirelli’s The Taming of the Shrew, however, I found little to recommend. Yes, Zeffirelli has assembled lush and beautiful costumes and sets of great detail. But those sets have too much of a smell of polystyrene, the beautiful Italian light of Romeo and Juliet is missing, and the pacing despite large cuts and rewritings of Shakespeare’s text, is, frankly, plodding. Elizabeth Taylor discharges her roll as Katherina professionally, but Richard Burton as Petruchio and the rest of the cast have been set free, or directed, to chew the (polystyrene) scenery with gay abandon.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, The Taming of the Shrew is a difficult play for a contemporary audience. When the fundamental theme of the play, the breaking of a strong woman through starvation and sleep deprivation, is combined with the swinger misogyny of the mid-Sixties, the result is . . .
Read the rest of my review here:
Richard Burton blends his fabled abilities as a Shakespearian genius with his star power to give us a ribald and loveable Petruchio. This is one of his crowning moments on the screen and we are lucky to have this record of Mr. Burton at his very best.
Elizabeth Taylor is a comic revelation in this, one of her jewels in her acting crown. At the time the film came out, many scoffed at the idea of a mere movie star taking on the challenges of Shakespeare. Miss Taylor rises to the challenge and shines as a stunning, sexy and very funny Kate, in fact she more than rises to the occasion, she shows her command of the medium of film and her understanding of comic timing. The wedding scene is a pure Zeffirelli invention. If you didn't know better you would swear that it was part of the play, it is so well done in faux Shakespeare. Elizabeth shines in this scene. In the final fifteen minutes when she delivers the famous "Lord and Master" speech she is triumphant as she submits to her man. At the same time we know that she is the one who holds all the cards and in the off stage end will rule the roost from now on, all the while letting poor Petruchio think he is king.
The chemistry of Burton and Taylor is pure dynamite that explodes in riotous color across Zeffirelli's Renaissance canvas. Highly recommended viewing, especially if you are new to Shakespeare. It's more fun than a barrel full of Burtons!
Most recent customer reviews
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are fantastic in this movie, the best Taming of the Shrew I've seenPublished 13 months ago by D Nanc
I had seen it years & years ago - wanted my life-partner to enjoy it.Published 15 months ago by Yolande Gallant
Wasn't the version I was looking for. Don't even know how to find it.Published 18 months ago by Laura Filipek
This older film stands up very well. Zefferelli's usual energy and brilliant colour support the cast. Burton is delightful as Petruchio and Taylor made a touching Kate. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Gayle Gibson
This dvd is exactly what I wanted it to be! It is in excellent condition. My only problem is that it took too long to get to me. I have never had to wait this amount of time!!!Published on Jan. 25 2014 by Pyretta