Study Help Film Versions

Adaptations of Shakespeare's plays and other works have been featured in nearly 500 films and/or videos world-wide. That makes Shakespeare the most filmed playwright of all time! Here are the best, and most noteworthy, versions of Romeo and Juliet that can help you study and better understand the play.

Romeo and Juliet


Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Rating: PG

A groundbreaking film, in that it was the first to have teenagers cast in the title roles. Beautifully shot in Italy, its use of language and imagery captures the essence of the original work. However, the soundtrack is a little cheesy, and the movie features some wacky costume designs.

Romeo + Juliet


Director: Baz Luhrmann

Rating: PG-13

A highly accessible version of the classic love story, set in a contemporary Miami-like Verona. Amazing musical numbers, stunning set design, and wonderful acting set this version of Romeo and Juliet apart. You won't even notice that all the dialog in the movie is spoken in Shakespeare's original verse. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes shine as the star-crossed lovers.

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