Italian director Franco Zeffirelli stunned me, and I imagine a lot of people, with his 1968 film of "Romeo and Juliet". The most refreshing aspect was the age-appropriate leads who were absolutely wonderful as the star-crossed lovers. In addition, the supporting cast was simply superb, with nods to John McEnery, Michael York and Pat Heywood.
The film won two Oscars...Cinematography and Costume Design. It had been nominated for Best Picture and Director. Rota was not in the mix for either score or song. It was a strong year for scores, but the song from "Romeo and Juliet" was more than better than a few of the nominees in that category. IMO, anyway.
The film's great beauty, attention to detail and impassioned presentation of Shakespeare's tale and language made this movie one of the great experiences I enjoyed in a movie theater. The music was so much a part of that...it is one of Rota's supreme achievements, IMO.
It's a wonderful score and expertly used in the film. Zeffirelli knew how to bring out the best in the composers he worked with.
I've always assumed that the "original soundtrack" album was a re-recording - the one without the spoken dialogue. Am I correct in that? The performance in the film has always sounded a bit different to my ears.
For those of us over here, the theme is forever associated with Simon Bates' Our Tune. A daily segment on his radio show back in the day, a type of love story thing. Here's a clip for the uninitiated...
Gorgeous score, I have the re-recording. Funny this should come up, just last week I was channel surfing and came across an episode of The Brady Bunch on MeTV. In the episode Marsha was the lead in the school play Romeo and Juliet and they actually used Nito Rota's music as underscore for the episode. Not just for the stage play sequences but as dramatic underscore!