Anyone who attended American public high school is familiar with Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet. It’s the quintessential on-screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous play. The setting, the costumes, the leads – it’s easy to see why most notable subsequent adaptations have worked hard to set themselves apart, whether by era, tone or re-imagining. It seems like a perfect addition to The Criterion Collection, given its place in the overall canon of film history.

This is a fairly bare-bones release. An essay by Ramona Wray is featured in an awkward fold-out pamphlet (I wish it were staple-bound). The release boasts a new restoration, although it’s not a 4K UHD release, so your mileage will vary whether it looks any better than the other Blu-ray releases on the market.

Special features Include:

  • 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Excerpt from the 2018 documentary Franco Zeffirelli: Directing from Life
  • Interviews with actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting from 1967 and 2016
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by scholar Ramona Wray