Romeo and Juliet (1916)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Romantic Drama, Tragedy  |   Countries - United States  |  
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Metro's eight-reel adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was released during same October week in 1916 that Fox's version of the same play hit the screen. While Fox's version boasted the star power of Theda Bara, the Metro version had the advantage of two "big names" in the cast: Francis X. Bushman as Romeo, and Beverly Bayne as Juliet. Kept secret from the public was the fact that Bushman and Bayne were married in real life; the studio did not want to destroy Bushman's image as an "attainable" romantic star. The pantomimic performances of the two stars were so persuasive and convincing that the dialogue subtitles, drawn from the original Shakespearean text, were regarded as intrusions! Still, some few critics preferred the Fox version of Romeo and Juliet, if only because J. Gordon Edwards was more talented than Metro's John W. Noble.



death, love, romance, star-crossed-lovers