Shakespeare’s classic tale of romance and tragedy. Two families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been feuding with each other for years. Young Romeo Montague goes out with his friends to make trouble at a party the Capulets are hosting, but while there he spies the Capulet’s daughter Juliet, and falls hopelessly in love with her. She returns his affections, but they both know that their families will never allow them to follow their hearts. –IMDb
Italian director Franco Zeffirelli started out as an actor in the stage productions of Luchino Visconti, then worked as an assistant on several Visconti-directed films. After World War II, Zeffirelli launched a career designing, costuming, and directing operas, a field of entertainment to which he’d return periodically throughout his life and which led to his first directorial credit, the Swiss-produced filmization La Boheme (1965). Zeffirelli’s reputation in the 1960s rested on his boisterous, non-traditional movie versions of Shakespeare. He directed Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a lusty adaptation of Taming of the Shrew (1967), then became an icon for the Youth Movement by casting 17-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey in Romeo and Juliet (1968). Zeffirelli’s eye for visual richness served him well in the opulent Brother Sun/Sister Moon (1973), a romanticized account of Francis of Assisi. Some of Zeffirelli’s later American films were unworthy of his talents… read more
You're right, there's still the entire aspect of cinematography that differentiates cinema from the likes of theatre - and, which is still evident in this film. rado seemed to suggest otherwise is all, that this film in particular was essentially just a filmed play (believe me, I've seen actual, literally filmed plays of R+J myself...there's a noticeable difference!). It still features animate storytelling, but visuals just don't happen to be the 'be-all and end-all' outlet in this case is all. Hope that made some sense...
This popular screen adaptation of the Bard’s most well-known play naturally contains plenty of iconicity within the story, the characters and the lines. Zeffirelli tightly adapts the piece, completely enlivening the well-traversed yet ever timeless manuscript - both it and its interpretation here are full of passion and quite strong indeed.