Franco Zeffirelli 1923-2019


Franco Zeffirelli died today at the age of 96. An Italian director best known for his Shakespearean adaptations like 1967’s The Taming of the Shrew and 1968’s Romeo and Juliet (which was nominated for four Oscars, including Picture and Director), he made films steadily from the late 60’s through the 90’s. Other notable entries in his filmography included The Champ (1979), Endless Love (1981), La Traviata (1983), Hamlet (1990), Jane Eyre (1996) and Tea With Mussolini (1999). He also directed the beloved 1977 miniseries Jesus of Nazareth, which became a huge success and is still a holiday mainstay on television. My favorite film of his is undoubtedly Romeo and Juliet, by far the best version of the play ever filmed, and the definitive one in my eyes.

1968 Trailer for Romeo and Juliet: