Romeo and Juliet Film Comparison

This blog post discusses the similarities, differences, etc. between the 1968 film, the 2013 film, and the original book of Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

 

Romeo and Juliet (1968) Film Poster

No Author. No Date. Online Image. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet_(1968_film). March 19, 2015.

  • The narrator says most of the prologue from the book, unlike the 2013 film.
  • The thumb bite insult by Sampson is kept from the book, but the fight is extremely exaggerated by involving the entire Montague and Capulet families, as well as many citizens.
  • The fight scene showed that there are more people in the Montagues and Capulets than the book tells.
  • Some of the lines from the book are skipped, but none of them are changed.
  • Romeo acts shy, as well as a bit creepy, during the party, as he’s trying not to be noticed by anyone by hiding behind corners and other people to look at Juliet.
  • Olivia Hussey, who played Juliet, played her role very well as she looked more like Juliet would in the book, to my imagination, and acted more sophisticated similarly to Juliet in the book.
  • When Romeo first grabs Juliet’s hand, she doesn’t notice as Romeo tries to be sneaky.
  • The kiss between Romeo and Juliet is fairly quick but still very powerful.
  • Romeo and Juliet kiss twice, whereas in the 2013 film they kiss once.
  • The music/sound in the film is very loud.
  • The clothes in the film are very unusual as they are very “loud” and big.
  • The dancing at the party is strange as the men and women spin around in circles and shake their wrists with bells tied to them, which don’t really match the atmosphere of the scene as Romeo first witnesses Juliet.
  • The nurse has all of her teeth, unlike the book where she has only four of her teeth.
  • This movie is a great representation of the book for most of the scenes, except for the fight scene.

Romeo and Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet (2013) Poster

Romeo and Juliet (2013) Poster

No Author. No Date. Online Image.  http://www.aceshowbiz.com/still/00007092/romeo-and-juliet-poster02.html. March 19, 2015.

  • The narrator only says the first four lines of the prologue than talks about the jousting match.
  • The fight in the first scene was more like the book with the exact characters in the fight and included Lady Capulet trying to join but did not include the thumb bite insult and had a spit instead.
  • Many of the lines from the book are skipped in the film and many words are changed, most likely for the audience to better understand what they are saying.
  • An example of this is when Prince Escalus says in the book, “And hear the words of your movèd prince.”(1.1.90) but says instead, “And hear the words of your angry prince.” in the film.
  • The actress for Juliet looked older than Olivia Hussey and didn’t look like I imagined Juliet to look from the book.
  • Benvolio goes with Romeo to the party and “tries his chances with Rosalina” after Romeo falls in love with Juliet, none of this which happens in the book.
  • The costume design in this film looks better as it is more simple and not as crazy as in the 1968 film.
  • The nurse again had all of her teeth.
  • The Capulets notice Romeo for an unknown reason whereas in the 1968 film they notice him by the sound of his voice.
  • Tha dancing at the party is more simple and elegant to better match the atmosphere of the party.
  • The first four scenes in Act 1 are rushed through while the fifth is very slow for the audience to focus on the relationship building between Romeo and Juliet.

Conclusion

It is clear that these two films are very different and similar to each other and to the original book. Overall, the 1963 film was, in my opinion, a better adaptation of the book as the cast really brought the characters to life and portrayed them as I imagined from reading the book during most of the scenes. While the 2013 film better portrayed the fight scene by doing it exactly as the book was written, the other scenes were better portrayed by the 1963 film, such as scene 5 during the party, where Romeo entered the party, alone, and was aware of the danger of being in the Capulet House and acted accordingly to this. I felt that that was a great portrayal of the party scene and showed Romeos character really well as someone who will risk himself for love. Also, the cast in the 1963 film, in my opinions, portrayed the characters better as many of them looked like they would from the book. This is why I believe that the 1963 film is the better adaptation when compared to the 2013 film.