(out of 5)
The dream team of Burton and Taylor had one of their biggest hits together in this spirited adaptation of the Bard’s comedy. Kate is the viciously tempered elder sister of two whose younger sibling Bianca cannot marry the goodhearted Lucentio (Michael York) unless her sister is married first, as per their father’s wishes. Thankfully, in comes the loutish, unflappable Petruchio (Burton) to take our lady in hand and give her what for. Franco Zeffirelli says that directing this was the most enjoyable experience of his career and it is easy to see why: the stars were never at their more attractive, nor was their chemistry ever more effective, and they make sparks fly on screen every time they strike up a fiery argument. Production details are lovingly plush, and the adaptation of the original play is sharp enough to keep the poetry intact while making it accessible to the less experienced viewer.
Columbia Pictures Corporation, Royal Films International, F.A.I.
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Cinematography by Oswald Morris
Produced by Elizabeth Taylor
Music by Nino Rota
Production Design by Lorenzo Mongiardino
Costume Design by Danilo Donati
Film Editing by Peter Taylor
Academy Awards: 1967
Golden Globe Awards: 1967