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TAMING OF THE SHREW

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1967

The 1967 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play "The Taming of the Shrew" stars real-life couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as the leads, Katharina and Petruchio. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, the film is a romantic comedy centered around the daunting task of marrying off Katharina, the sharp-tongued and tempestuous eldest daughter of a wealthy Italian lord.

The story begins with Lucentio (Michael York), a young nobleman from Verona, arriving in Padua to attend university. Upon arrival, he falls in love with Bianca (Natasha Pyne), the younger and more desirable sister of Katharina. However, Baptista Minola (Michael Hordern), the girls' father, decrees that Bianca cannot marry until Katharina, the shrewish and unruly older sister, is also married off. This presents a challenge, as Katharina is notorious for her bad temper and refusal to submit to any man's authority.

Enter Petruchio, a flamboyant and confident young man from Verona, who comes to Padua in search of a wealthy wife. Hearing of Katharina's fortune and being undaunted by her reputation, Petruchio sets out to win her heart and tame her wild ways. What follows is a battle of wits and wills between the two strong personalities, as Petruchio uses unconventional methods to bend Katharina to his will and make her a suitable wife.

The chemistry between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is palpable, making the on-screen relationship between Katharina and Petruchio both fiery and flirtatious. Taylor is a force to be reckoned with as Katharina, delivering powerful and impassioned monologues with a ferocity that is both intimidating and intriguing. Burton, too, is in top form as the charming and daring Petruchio, providing much-needed levity and humor to the story.

Cyril Cusack delivers a standout performance as Baptista Minola, the girls' father, adding a layer of depth to the film with his subtle portrayal of a man torn between his love for his daughters and the societal expectations that dictate their futures. The supporting cast of characters, including Bianca's suitors and the various servants and townspeople, add to the film's sense of whimsy and charm.

The film's setting and costumes are also deserving of praise, with Zeffirelli capturing the beauty and opulence of sixteenth-century Italy with stunning accuracy. The lavish countryside estates, grand ballrooms, and intricate costumes all contribute to the film's rich visual tapestry, creating a world that is both fantastical and grounded in reality.

Overall, "The Taming of the Shrew" is a delightful romp that combines Shakespeare's classic language with Hollywood glamour and star power. It is a film that captures the essence of the original text while also making it accessible to modern audiences, thanks in large part to the exceptional performances of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Whether you are a fan of Shakespeare or simply looking for a charming and witty romantic comedy, this film is sure to entertain and delight.

TAMING OF THE SHREW is a Comedy, Romance movie released in 1967. It has a runtime of 122. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.1..

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7.1/10
Director
Franco Zeffirelli
Stars
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack, Michael Hordern
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