New Release: Romeo and Juliet (1954) Blu-ray and DVD

Romeo and Juliet movie scene

Laurence Harvey and Susan Shentall are Romeo and Juliet.

VCI released Renato Castellani’s 1954 film version of Romeo and Juliet, starring Laurence Harvey (Summer and Smoke) and Susan Shentall (in her only screen performance) as Shakespeare’s legendary star-crossed lovers, on Blu-ray and DVD on April 26, 2011.

VCI’s release marks the digital debut of the film, which was previously available on VHS from MGM Home Entertainment.

A British/Italian co-production shot in sumptuous Technicolor, this lesser-known adaptation of the drama story was one of the first film versions of the play to feature performers who were at least close to being age-appropriate for the characters they were depicting on screen. True, Harvey was 25 when he shot the film, but don’t think Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet) and Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet) were the first filmmakers to go with a younger cast when they made their own versions of the great love story.

No special features are on the Blu-ray and DVD, which carry the suggested retail prices of $24.99 and $19.99, respectively.

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.