You read the play in junior high, and now you’ve got two chances to see Romeo and Juliet on NYC stages this fall. First up is a modern-day Broadway production, starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, which is now in previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. On September 27, Elizabeth Olsen will play fair Juliet opposite a still-unnamed Romeo at off-Broadway’s Classic Stage Company. To help you get in the mood for Shakespeare’s tragic romance, we’ve gathered clips and trailers from five film versions of the play, including one that’s due for release in October.
Romeo & Juliet (2013)
It’s hard to decide which title star has prettier lips in the trailer for this classic-looking film: 16-year-old Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld or 21-year-old British newcomer Douglas Booth. The multinational cast in Italian director Carlo Carlei’s forthcoming release includes Homeland fave Damian Lewis as Lord Capulet, Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence and Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl fame as Tybalt, in an adaptation by Oscar-winning Downton Abbey scribe Julian Fellowes.
Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Baby boomers grew up with Franco Zeffirelli's sob-worthy film, starring gorgeous unknowns Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. In this clip from the balcony scene, 18-year-old Whiting (a former Artful Dodger in Oliver!) comes off much better than 17-year-old Hussey, but the element that really inspires swoons in viewers of a certain age is Henry Mancini's background music. Astoundingly, the instrumental "A Time for Us" became a number-one pop hit!
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Before Titanic and looong before Homeland, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes were the cutest star-crossed lovers ever in Baz Luhrmann's irresistible modern-day version of R+J. High-quality clips of extended scenes are scarce, but this trailer captures the spirit of the film and its two oh-so-innocent stars (remember Claire's wings?), plus John Leguizamo as Tybalt and Paul Rudd as "Dave Paris." Watch it, and you'll want to see the whole movie again this minute.
Private Romeo (2011)
This all-male version of Shakespeare's romance is notable to Broadway fans for the presence of Book of Mormon star Matt Doyle as Glenn Mangan/Juliet and Golden Boy star Seth Numrich as Sam Singleton/Romeo. (After filming, the two played cousins in War Horse.) The premise: Cadets at a military school find the play seeping into their lives while they read it in class. Check out this love scene between Doyle and Numrich, with dialogue from the original text.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Red gnomes and blue gnomes just can't get along in the hit animated version, set in neighboring gardens. An A-list cast liked this idea, which makes the trailer fun as you listen for the voices of James McAvoy (Gnomeo), Emily Blunt (Juliet), Michael Caine (Lord Redbrick), Maggie Smith (Lady Bluebury) and even action king Jason Statham (Tybalt). Elton John contributed original music and classic hits such as "Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting."