Monday, June 17, 2019

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

 Film and opera director Franco Zeffirelli--that's him in the above picture on the left--died the day before yesterday at the age of 96. He's best known to American audiences for the 1968 movie version of Romeo and Juliet, but it wasn't his first attempt at putting the Bard of Avon's work on film. That happened a year earlier with another box office hit, The Taming of the Shrew, starring Elizabeth Taylor and her hubby at the time, Richard Burton (the other two characters in the above picture.) Take a quick look:

According to Eddie Fisher that's exactly how it happened.

Yes, yes, I know, it all looks a tad involuntary on the bride's part. And the subsequent marriage isn't much better as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf gets rebooted in iambic pentameter. But keep in mind this is 400 years before the #MeToo movement. Women didn't even have the right to vote back then (now that I think of it, no one did.) When it comes to the works of William Shakespeare, you occasionally need a grandfather clause.

Let's leave that quickly behind and move on to a romance where there seems to be some mutual respect:

A love story that ends unhappily. No need to grandfather that, I'm afraid. It can happen in any era.   

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