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|The Taming of the Shrew|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Franco Zeffirelli|
|Produced by||Elizabeth Taylor, Richard McWhorter|
Suso Cecchi d'Amico
The Taming of the Shrew|
by William Shakespeare
|Music by||Nino Rota|
|Edited by||Peter Taylor|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
$8,000,000 (North America)|
The Taming of the Shrew (Italian: La Bisbetica domata) is a 1967 film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare about a courtship between two strong-willed people. The film was directed by Franco Zeffirelli and stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as Shakespeare's Kate and Petruchio.
Baptista Minola is attempting to marry off his two daughters; however, he will marry off his youngest, Bianca only if someone will marry his eldest, Katharina. Katharina is an ill-tempered shrewish woman but a lusty young nobleman, Petruchio, takes on the challenge of taming and marrying her. A subplot involves the wooing of Bianca by several suitors including handsome Lucentio, foppish Hortensio, and elderly Gremio.
The film, made in English but shot in Italy, cuts much of the original dialogue, including much of the subplot of Lucentio and Bianca, and all of the Christopher Sly framing device.
Taylor plays Kate’s final, controversial speech without any obvious irony (such as Mary Pickford’s wink in the 1929 film); however, her taming is apparently undercut by her quick exit from the banquet, which forces Burton’s Petruchio to chase after her amid jeers from the other men. According to Harold Bloom's take on the play, Katherina is “advising women how to rule absolutely, while feigning obedience”.
The film was originally intended to be a vehicle for Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. Taylor and Burton put over a million dollars into the production and, instead of a salary, took a percentage of profits. The film made $12 million worldwide and was generally liked by the critics.
The Taming of the Shrew grossed $8 million in North America, earning $3,540,000 in theatrical rentals during 1967, making it the 25th highest grossing picture of 1967. The film grossed $12 million worldwide.
The film received positive reviews from modern critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 86% of professional critics gave the film a positive review, based on 21 reviews with an average rating of 7.5/10. The website's critical consensus states: "It may not be reverent enough for purists, but this Taming of the Shrew is too funny – and fun – for the rest of us to resist."
The film received two Academy Award nominations, for Best Costume Design (Danilo Donati and Irene Sharaff), and Best Art Direction (Lorenzo Mongiardino, John DeCuir, Elven Webb, Giuseppe Mariani, Dario Simoni and Luigi Gervasi).