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Golden Era Films: ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (1936): The Stars Were Crossed in Real Life as Well

Not Rated | 2 hrs 5 min | Drama Romance | Aug. 20, 1936
“Romeo and Juliet” is the quintessential love story. The pair of star-crossed lovers from fair Verona were glorified by William Shakespeare’s pen, but the immortal pen didn’t invent the story. The tragic love story drew inspiration from an ancient Greek tale. The immortal bard’s work has been adapted into countless operas, ballets, and films. Although most people are familiar with the 1968 movie of “Romeo and Juliet” or the modern retelling with Leonardo DiCaprio from 1996, there is an earlier film of the story that deserves to be rediscovered.
In 1936, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. made a lavish film of “Romeo and Juliet.” It was the first English-language talkie adaptation of the story, and it starred Hollywood royalty. Romeo was played by distinguished British actor Leslie Howard, who would be immortalized by his role as Ashley in “Gone With the Wind” three years later. …