The Taming of the Shrew
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Product Description

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton sparkle and amuse as Katharina and Petruchio in William Shakespeare's comic look at male chauvinism and women's lib in the 16th century. Petruchio a poverty-stricken gentleman from Verona journeys to Padua in search of a wealthy wife. There he encounters the fiery Katharina a self-willed shrew who leads Petruchio on a merry chase before he successfully circumvents her attempts to avoid marriage. Their honeymoon becomes a humorous battle of wit and insult with Kate as determined to maintain her independence as Petruchio is to "tame" her. When the embattled couple returns to Padua Kate helps Petruchio win a wager that his is the most obedient of wives. But in reality the shrewish Kate has found a more effective way to dominate her mate.System Requirements:Running Time: 121 Min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: TELEVISION/CLASSIC Rating: NR UPC: 043396011090 Manufacturer No: 01109

Liz and Dick (a.k.a. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) almost seemed to be importing the psychodramas of their marriage into this 1967 film (of course, the same was true of every film they made together). Adapted from Shakespeare's play and directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet) with his usual eye for sumptuousness, this version of Taming features a particularly boisterous, bawdy, fun performance by its stars. Composer Nino Rota--best known for scoring several of Fellini's best-known works--received a National Board of Reviews award for his vivid soundtrack. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • The best version by default, but not a winner
    Zeffirelli is an interesting filmmaker in the way he lovingly recreates the world of William Shakespeare. Every set, every costume represents what most likely played on Shakespeare's own stage so many centuries ago. His attention to detail is extraordinary. However, there is one detail he does not seem to pay enough attention to: the actual movie.

    This is Zeffirelli's great weakness. It ruins all of his films. He does not seems to care whether he his actors can act or the story can be carried, as long as it looks good. And it does; Elizabeth Taylor is so beautiful that one could easily sit through this movie just for her sake. It is strange, though, that while Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton played a great version of Katharine and Petruchio in their personal relationship, they ignite no sparks in this film. Taylor really carries the film, but Burton does not really put any kind of personality into his role. And because of their lack of chemistry, the comedy in this movie is mainly slapstick based and does not come from Shakespeare's own writing. For example, the scene when Petruchio and Katharine first meet is not the battle of wit and innuendo that it is in the play; in this movie, the sparring is a literal one that takes place in a huge pile of feathers. It is an absence that would be greatly missed by those who loved the play.

    Those who love The Taming of the Shrew do not have many options when it comes to movies. There is Ten Things I Hate About You, a horrible update that has very little to do with Shakespeare. There is also a version of The Taming of the Shrew that was filmed while Meryl Streep and Raul Julia performed it in Central Park, but while Raul Julia is a hilariously sexy Petruchio, Meryl Streep's Katharine is more of a hag. I really wish that I could cut and paste from both this film and Zefirelli's to combine Julia and Taylor's incredible talent, but since that is impossible, this version of The Taming of the Shrew is the best one by default....more info

  • Better in widescreen
    I like the widescreen version of this much better than the standard size view because you can tell more of what is happening. Especially when Tranio says "No profit grows where is no pleasure taken." In the regular size view, he looks like he's talking to the horse. In widescreen, we see that he's talking to the handler....more info
  • Its just a movie.
    And that is all it is. You get the Taylor and Burton being their big star selves. You get very good supporting performances. You get a signature big plush production from Franco Zeffirelli. You also get a very skimpy serving of Shakespeare to go with the heaping plate of stars and stuff. I would be surprised if I did an actual count and found half the text in the movie script. Large sections of the primary story line and even key speeches, such as Kate's final speech about duty to husbands are hacked up or omitted. I am not a purist or completist, still I was amazed at how much star pandering and material production value tromped all over the play. It does manage to be funny from time to time. But taken as a whole this movie is for fans of Taylor, Burton, and good looking movies for their own sake.

    Fortunately, one can do better, much better.

    If you want to see Taming of the Shrew with great acting, great direction, broad humor, and most of what Shakespeare wrote, I recommend the Broadway Archive DVD of William Ball's San Francisco ACT production with Marc Singer. This is the best and funniest production I have ever seen. (Yes, it is actually funny.) I urge you to get it while you can, there is no better. I plug it here because I do not think it is well known and it should be. I was overjoyed to find that this production that I saw on PBS(do not let any politicians kill PBS) before there were VCR's was not lost to the public forever.

    ...more info
  • one of the best
    This delightful shakespearean comedy is worth owning! I personally consider it his best comedy. Light in spirit, it makes a great introduction to the bard for teenagers. This battle of the sexes is something we can all relate to.The plot is mainly between Kate, the oldest daughter of a wealthy merchant, and Petruchio a man who must marry a wealthy wife. Kate is too honest (or maybe too stubborn) to play the little games her 'perfect' sister is so adept and has no intention of marrying anyone. Petruchio (Burton) cannot take no for an answer. He must wed a wealthy wife or his impoverished household will starve.

    Taylor can absolutely play the shrew, yet can make us sympathize with this least favorite daughter. Burton, sexy as always, classicly trained, was made to play Shakespear. Maybe it is the accent, but I could listen to him in rapt enjoyment even if he just read the dictionary.

    The only downside to this video that I can find is that it is not letter box and it is not closed captioned. That aside, I highly recommend it, even for people who normally don't like Shakespear. Buy it, get some popcorn and enjoy....more info

  • Taming of the Shrew
    This is a great movie. Liz Taylor and Richard Burton make Shakespeare understandable and fun. ...more info
  • More Fun Than A Barrel Full Of Burtons
    A rollicking feast for the eye, ear, and funny bone, Franco Zeffirelli's "The Taming of The Shrew" is a tour de force for Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. This pared down version of William Shakespeare's play is a fit morsel for anyone suffering from a fear of the Bard. It's fast pace keeps things going and with a cast of well-known British stars the whole thing is served up to delectable visual perfection.
    Richard Burton blends his fabled abilities as a Shakespearian genius with his star power to give us a ribald and loveable Petruchio. This is one of his crowning moments on the screen and we are lucky to have this record of Mr. Burton at his very best.
    Elizabeth Taylor is a comic revelation in this, one of her jewels in her acting crown. At the time the film came out, many scoffed at the idea of a mere movie star taking on the challenges of Shakespeare. Miss Taylor rises to the challenge and shines as a stunning, sexy and very funny Kate, in fact she more than rises to the occasion, she shows her command of the medium of film and her understanding of comic timing. The wedding scene is a pure Zeffirelli invention. If you didn't know better you would swear that it was part of the play, it is so well done in faux Shakespeare. Elizabeth shines in this scene. In the final fifteen minutes when she delivers the famous "Lord and Master" speech she is triumphant as she submits to her man. At the same time we know that she is the one who holds all the cards and in the off stage end will rule the roost from now on, all the while letting poor Petruchio think he is king.
    The chemistry of Burton and Taylor is pure dynamite that explodes in riotous color across Zeffirelli's Renaissance canvas. Highly recommended viewing, especially if you are new to Shakespeare. It's more fun than a barrel full of Burtons!...more info
  • "...what fools these mortals be..."
    Great rendition of the bards greatest comedy despite its politically incorrect theme.Burton and Taylor recreate their on again off again romance and the sreen just sizzles with their chemistry.Wonderful costumes and scenery.Unfortunately Zeferelli never quite repeated the success of this film.I recommend it as an intro to Shakespeare for high school students everywhere....more info
  • This Shrew Remains Untamed
    It's very difficult to be very critical of such a roisterous, good-natured version of Shakespeare's rowdiest play, and in truth one has to admit that this is probably the first of the truly modern Shakespeare films. There are some real assets here -- Zefferelli's eye has never lighted on a landscape more beautiful, more seductive, and Nina Rota's score fits beautifully.

    But Shakespeare, even on film, stands or falls on the acting. This version -- with one exception -- is filled with one-note performances (they're very GOOD notes, but single notes nonetheless). Let's deal with the exception first -- Elizabeth Taylor is a delightful, intelligent Katarina. Her development is exactly what Shakespeare obviously intended, and if her early scenes are a bit uniformly shrill, the case could be made that that's what the Bard wrote. In general, she's an admirable Kate.

    Burton, however, is something else entirely. Despite his acknowledged skill with Shakespeare (his Hamlet was glorious), he takes a monochromatic approach to Petruchio, with an annoyingly stagey laugh running through virtually every scene. By halfway through the film, you tend to want him to get off screen so you don't have to listen to that "manly" laugh any longer. Unfortunately, much of Kate's dialogue was cut (the assumption being, I suppose, that Taylor would have trouble with the language) while too much of Petruchio remains.

    The secondary characters, if cut from different bolts of cloth, are all a single color. Michael Hordern bumbles his way through Baptista the same way he did in countless other movies. Michael York and Natasha Pyne as the young lovers are efficient and attractive, but not particularly engaging. The suitors are a group of living cliches. Even the humor is raggedly overdone to the same degree in almost every scene.

    There are things to appreciate in this movie, and there's no better Shrew available, but I'd recommend finding another of Shakespeare's comedies until a better version of this rowdy comedy comes along -- someone's bound to get it right soon....more info

    We never do find out the source of Elizabeth Taylor's 'shrew's' dicontent and the idea of a woman being dominated into submission of behavior doesn't wash today, this still is a highly amusing, greatly acted and lushly filmed version of Shakespeare's comedy. The late Richard Burton is superb and very funny as the oppurtunistic and and reckless Petruchio....more info
  • A perfect romp
    Could there be more perfect casting than Taylor & Burton? They're so ideal for these parts that it's virtually typecasting. But whether you're a fan of that famous duo or not this movie's simply great fun. This is such an easy film to enjoy that we find it's a good introduction for those not familiar with Shakespeare. Buy it and ENJOY!...more info
  • Joyous Shakespearian Romp Starring Film Legends Taylor And Burton
    Never having been a fan of Shakespeare while in school this wonderful film version of the Bard's rollicking comic story was responsible for me seeing his works in a different light. Considered quite a risk to film in late 1966 due to Shakespeare's reputation for serious literary works which possibly lacked alot of mass appeal, this sumptuous film version of one of his best comedies became a surprise hit at the Box Office proving that Shakspeare could be big box office. The film proved an ideal vehicle for screen legends Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton who in the mid 1960's were without a doubt the most famous or "infamous", movie couple in the world. Fresh from their triumph in the critically acclaimed "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", for which Elizabeth was destined to win her second Academy Award as Best Actress, "The Taming of the Shrew", proved to be an ideal follow up to that more serious earlier effort for the Burtons. Both films were unique in that they gave audiences the impression that what they were actually seeing on screen was very similiar to the much chronicled and very volatile real life marriage of the two colourful super stars. That in itself despite "Shrews", many admirable qualities ensured big box office earnings. Whether it did accurately reflect the Burton's real life marriage or not "The Taming of the Shrew", is a hugely entertaining romp that stands on its own merits and is a rare film based on a highly intellectual work that can be enjoyed by all viewers with its incredibly rich sets, breath taking costumes and music. Richard Burton and especially Elizabeth Taylor have rarely been better than here and it is sad to think that this film marked the last time where their names together on a film guaranteed its automatic success at the Box Office. ...more info
  • The Taming of the Shrew
    Taming of the Shrew by Franco Zeffirelli allows its viewers to experience the epoch, in which the drama develops. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor bring the drama and the essence of comedy to this production. Again, Zeffirelli invited us through this espectacular production to be part of his own experience and luxury that overwealms ourselves. ...more info
  • Beautiful but stupid
    The color cinematography in this Zefferelli opus is gorgeous, but the depiction of Katherine, the "shrew" of the title, is utterly ludicrous. Poor Liz Taylor spends the first hour with virtually no dialogue beyond scrams of rage. Why mount a movie of one of Shakespare's comedies if you're going to gag one of his most enchantingly verbal women? Listen to a cast recording of "Kiss Me, Kate" instead; at least Cole Porter used some of the Bard's language....more info
  • The Bawdy Bard !
    "The Taming of the Shrew" is a delightful romp, and very entertaining, even for people who do not normally go out of their way to watch Shakespeare. I can imagine serious scholars rolling their eyes at the liberties taken here, and the "star turns" by those two icons of 60s Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

    However, for most of us who basically just want to be entertained--and I suspect with this play, that was the bard's intent--this version is good fun, robustly acted, and with lovely sets and costumes, a feast for the eye. One suspects that Ms. Taylor had a ball, hurling insults and various pieces of furniture at her real-life, on-again off-again, spouse. It looks like Mr. Burton had a good time too, although one frequently has the impression that this was a "well-lubricated" performance !

    The supporting cast is fine, with a pleasant film debut for Michael York. As usual, Zeffirelli gives us a film that is gorgeous to look at--and I'm not just referring to Ms. Taylor !
    The DVD has a certain haziness to it, but this may be the way that Zeffirelli intended the film to look.

    "The Taming of the Shrew" today, of course, is about as "politically incorrect" as a piece of literature can be. While women will find this film amusing, the idea that the female spirit should be "reined in" like that of a wild horse, will cause some discomfort to feminist viewers, I'm sure.

    Nevertheless, this film is highly entertaining, and might give younger viewers an idea as to what all the Taylor/Burton fuss was about. Recommended....more info

  • Taming of the Shrew is classic Shakespeare
    Although this version of the "Shrew" does not follow Shakespeare's original script verbatim, it is a wonderful retelling with a talented and knowledgeable cast. It is performed solely as the story of Katherine and Petruchio rather that as a play within a play to fool Christopher Sly. The few liberties taken with the script to aid the progress of the story for a film audience. The character portrayals are well rounded. Burton and Taylor are accomplished actors, renowned for their craft, and give dimension and pathos to their characters. The story line moves along well, and is entertaining and appropriate for ages 12 and older. ...more info
  • Oh Sweet Kate!
    Next to Kenneth Branagh's "Henry V" , this is my favorite Shakespearian movie. I adore this movie and have loved it since I was a teenager. This movie has a greater meaning to me since I have recently been to Italy and visited Padua, where the setting of this tale takes place.

    So onto Pauda during the Italian Renaissance, this tale of Kate and her love begin...

    Did I say LOVE? Well, let's not begin there. Let's begin at the beginning, as J.R.R. Tolkien likes to say..

    There once was a wealthy man with two beautiful daughters. The sweet and virtuous Bianca, so fair and trite. The other sister being as wicked and wild as the color of her hair...raven black.
    Her name to all is Katherine (Elizabeth Taylor), but otherwise known to the small community as the wild "Kat".

    Bianca, fair and true has fallen in love. Her father wants her married to a wealthy man, but Bianca has other plans. She wants to marry the young, handsome boy (Michael York) that caught her eye in the town square. But Alas, much to Bianca's dismay, her father says "Not till' your sister marries first!" I say, poor Bianca..because WHO in their right mind would marry such a wild and hateful woman?

    Kate is wild indeed, spending her time torturing her sister with whips and abuse. She despises her younger sister for her vanity and spoiled ways. Bianca is truly one of literature's first "daddy's girl", maddening Kate futher with her "Oh Daddy!" weepy ways.

    As revenge, Kate promises Bianca she will NOT marry just despite her. All hope seems lost. Bianca's many pursuers come up with a plan. They will indeed find someone who will woo and marry Katherine. The person they they have in mind is the stinky, obnoxious, fat, and loathesome Petruchio (Richard Burton).

    Will the plan work? While Bianca and her suitors watch through literally closed doors, the wooing begins. Petruchio WILL have Kate as a bride, for her father has promised him a large sum of money if he wins her hand.

    Petruchio finds he must literally trap and force Kate into marriage. The scenes of his pursual of Kate are nothing short of comical-he even dares to call out the most famous words: "Kiss me Kate!", as she is slapping and hitting him. She finds him disgusting...shutting herself away in her room. Petruchio is so certain of his charm, that he waits at the altar for his beloved Sweet Kate to arrive...dressed like a clown to add insult to an already frightful situation...he awaits her arrival( and wait and wait he does). Bets are placed. Will she show? Has Petruchio tamed the wild shrew or will she leave him at the altar?

    This is as far as I dare go...the comedy that insues from this point on is nothing short of hardy laughs. Sweet Kate (as he calls her) surprises everyone throughout the length of this sumptuously beautiful movie. She does not disappoint!

    William Shakespeare has filled this wonderful of tales with proper sarcasm and all the right comedy one needs to fall in love with this movie. It is truly a classic. The setting, the elegant clothes, and of course the acting between Liz and Richard surpass many Shakespearian movies. I highly recommend this as one to own and enjoy forever....more info

  • Excellent! A real joy.
    From the begining of this movie, when you spot Elizabeth Taylor having the temper tantrum of a lifetime, you *know* this is going to be a good time.

    I adored this movie!

    Kate and Bianca are sisters. Their father has decreed that the younger sister, even tempered Bianca, may not marry until her elder sister walks down the aisle. Unfortunately, Kate (Liz Taylor) has the disposition of a rattlesnake and is given to fits of anger. Thus far, it has put off any suitors, and Bianca frets that she'll never be allowed to marry. Then Pertruchio (Richard Burton) comes into the picture - a rather mad gentleman who is looking for a woman with a large dowry - and he pursues Kate, much to Kate's chagrin. Eventually, he tricks her into marriage. The honeymoon angst beings soon thereafter.

    Great acting, great sets, and beautiful costuming, The Taming Of The Shrew is a great time. I am very glad I bought this one. I'll be watching it over and over again, I can guarantee.

    Happy viewing.

    ...more info
  • asses are made to bear and so are you
    I was 'forced' to watch this for my english lit. A level. At first I remembered how much I had hated romeo and juliet, but once the movie started I was amazed! I actually ENJOYED a Shakespeare adaption. No doubt thanks to the gorgeous Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. Katherina is one of the most compelling characters to have ever been thought up, and as much as I despise Petruchio for his complete torture of kate, I find him an amusing and wonderful character. Unfortunatley the film is let down by cutting half of Katherina's lines, and becase they KEPT Shakespeare's appauling ending... (it's late and I don't remember accuratly but something to the effect of 'yeah, stand on my hand if it makes you feel better, Petruchio dearest.' Could that be any more degrading to such a strong-willed intelligent character?)
    Great film and play....more info
  • Good transfer, GREAT FILM, subtitles in asian languages?
    I used to check this tape out from the University film library and watch it on the top floor of the main library in the media center any time I wanted to get a lift. It's a really well done version of the great play, and of course Taylor and Burton make it a joy to watch.

    I was a bit concerned about the transfer to DVD, as many such transfers have been poorly handled with degraded masters. There is some age to this master print as well, but the transfer comes off very good, with little pixillation, and the sound is bright and clear.

    Imagine my surprise when I found I could listen in multiple languages, and view subtitles in others! And, we're talkinga bout going beyond the basic French or Spanish! I don't even know what some of those were, but it was cool to watch!

    And, there can't be enough said for the ability to view this movie in wide-screen for the first time! I had no idea how much image I was missing!

    Now I just have to convince my wife to get a bigger television!...more info

  • A fun rendition
    Baptista has two daughters: the eldest is Kate the cursed and beautiful Bianca. Everyone wants to marry Bianca but Baptista insists that it has to be Kate first. Suitors rivaling over Bianca have to find someone desperate enough to marry Kate for economic purpose.

    One of the things that make this movie is all the money that was put onto the props and costumes. Of course with the big named actors and Franco Zeffirelli money for the program is naturally available.

    Elisabeth Taylor can make squinty eyes and does not use her naturally squeaky voice. The film stays true to the story however it does not come near the professional and just a fun 1980 BBC version production with John Cleese as Petruchio.

    The Taming of the Shrew
    ...more info
  • Long Live the Shrew!
    Having loved Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra, and being a huge fan of anything Shakespearean, I had my heart set on high praise for this movie from the opening credits. I was thankfully not let down. Taylor and Burton's on screen presence cannot be denied as anything but spectacular and their chemistry could melt the harshest critics. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!...more info
  • One Of The Absolutely Great Ones
    If you love Shakespeare this one has to be in your collection. The DVD version is nothing spectacular (no extra anythings) but it will probably keep forever now that it has been forget about the next generation in your family not being able to view the crumbling magnetic tape from your VHS copy.

    A classic for-the-ages Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton film from their peak period in 1967. Directed by *the* Zeffirelli, what more could you ask for. want a good score....this one is award winning.....Nino Rota. There is absolutely nothing lacking in this can enjoy it every time. It's one for kids to watch to see how much fun real Shakespeare can be. It's one for budding actresses to watch to see Taylor at her best. It's one for anyone studying the Bard in school to have under their belt. And it's one for all the rest of us to enjoy again and again....more info

  • A Classic ,I Love To Hate You...
    Elizabeth was never better,of course so is Richard. They love to hate one another and it shows through the works of Shakespeare. A classic that I fell in love with in English class. Thank you Miss Grant for insisting on this one....more info
  • Classic
    I purchase this video for a Shakespeare class and it is wonderful! Makes the actual book easier to follow once you viewed this film first....more info
  • Accessible Shakespeare, Wonderful Movie
    Surely, part of the point of making movies of Shakespeare's plays today is to make them accessible to a public who wouldn't ordinarily come into contact with his work. I think where movies like Kenneth Branagh's 'Hamlet' fail is in their unwavering and admirable (if somewhat confusing) adherence to the original script. Franco Zeffirelli's 1967 production, starring Richard Burton as the chauvanistic and gold-digging Petrucchio, and Elizabeth Taylor as the waspish, unstable Katharina, is the opposite - it's a sort of 'Shakespeare Lite' version of the Bard's oroginal play, and for the subject matter, this works better. 'Taming' is a farcical comedy about a shrewish, willful spinster, and the gold-digging once-wealthy nobleman who marries her for money, but comes to realise her worth as a wife.

    Taylor and Burton are, as usual, wonderfully larger-than-life. Burton turns in a fine performance as Petrucchio, a devil-may-care fortune-hunter who decides to do whatever it takes to marry the wealthy Katharina. He is by turns bawdy, stern and comical, and his deep, sonorous voice and amazing screen presence save the character from becoming a hateful chauvanist - on the contrary, we find ourselves sympathising with Petrucchio at certain points in the film. Taylor, though her part is relatively small, gives a similar performance as Katharina, a manic, violent woman whose intelligence and fermininity eventually overcome her temper and win the favour of her husband. Like Petrucchio, the character of Katharina is, at least on paper, a nightmare of selfishness and bad-tempered outbursts, but it's Taylor's winning performance that gives her depth and sensitivity, and we end up rooting for her. The pair also display an excellent sense of comic timing, and scenes like their wedding, and Petrucchio's chasing Katharina, are lighthearted and enjoyable becuase of it.

    The supporting cast are also strong, with an excellent performance by Cyril Cusack as Grumpio, Katharina's long-suffering father. Michael York's role is shorter than in the play but he does an admirable job of it nonetheless - dual identity being a favourite theme of Shakespeare's, in this production it's kept somewhat out of the spotlight, wisely, to allow Burton and Taylor to shine through.

    As with all Zeffirelli's productions, 'Taming' is a visual feast - lush countryside vistas, complicated 16th-century Italian Villas and a succession of ever-more complicated costumes give the viewer the impression that we're watching a dancing rainbow. Zeffirelli's direction, as usual, is top-notch; in particular, the opening scenes where Katharina is raging behind closed doors is excellent.

    The DVD-transition quality isn't as good as it should have been, but is still very good, and while the DVD won't win any awards for special features, it's still a worthwhile addition to your collection. A fun, lively romp through a relatively simple Shakespeare play, 'The Taming of the Shrew' is a must for Zeffirelli and Taylor fans, but is also a treat for anyone who enjoys intelligent comedy. Recommended....more info

  • Great Fun, Great Autor, Great Actors
    Elizabeth Taylor with then husband Richard Burton, both in top acting form, put up the money to produce this fun & well acted adapted version of a Shakespearean comedy. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, who did one of the best versions of Romeo & Juliet, adds his magic touch. The Time period looks correct with many well done setting with the matching fashions. The film starts out rather slow with Michael York as the young scholar, but once Richard Burton comes in as Petruchio, you will be continually laughing. Elizabeth Taylor does well through out matching Richard Burton's skill. For those that don't like Shakespeare, this will be a fine place to start. Only during the last dinner scene did I have to rewind to understand the old English....more info
  • A dazzling presentation; a knock-out in every way.
    Burton and Taylor prove how wonderful Shakespeare can be in this totally magnificent film. While it is visually dazzling, magnificently costumed and set, it is in the language and its fantastic delivery that the strongest moments of this film reside. Some could say that Shakespeare is dated; but noone could say that in this awesome production. And Elizabeth Taylor's last major speech? Hang onto you hats---it is perfection...more info
  • Lovely performance
    I stared off reading Taming of Shrew for my 10 year old's bedtime using an modern english version of shakesphere stories, and thought the video would be a nice accompanyment. However, this nice accompanyment has quickly become on of my daughter's favorite videos. I haven't seen any of Taylor's other movies, but she does superb job as Kathrine and the wedding scene especially exemplifies her physical beauty. I'm a Liz Taylor fan as of now.

    There are some parts early on that seem irrelevant and boring, until Patrick Burton makes appearence, but the remaining 90% of the movie more than makes up for it. ...more info
  • The Taming of the Shrew
    Burton and Taylor at their comic best. A fine rendition of the Shakespeare comedy that doesn't lose the viewer because of the Elizabethan language style. Burton and Taylor make it visually enjoyable. Check out a young Michael York as Petrucio....more info
  • Lifesaver...
    The Taming of the Shrew Daughter's school assignment was the "The Shrew" and she could not understand the play in written form (learning difficulties) nor the BBC version from the library. I recalled how much I had enjoyed the Burton-Taylor version and so we ordered it. She totally got this version. And in the bargain I got reacquainted with one of my favorite performances...Bottom Line: She passed, had fun (and actually like the Bard's comedy), and now I have this classic in my collection. What could be better?...more info
  • great!!!!!
    this is a great movie, and elizabeth tayor shows, that she can be funny and not always serious in her movies:-)...more info
  • Elizabeth Taylor is the best Shrew
    There may be many people across the years who act in this play, but there will never be another production like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton did. They are such convincing combatants -- they make the entire movie powerfully funny. A great Shakespearean comedy done very well....more info
  • Safe and entertaining
    I saw a glimse of this movie while in was traveling one day and I wanted to see the whole thing. I am a big fan of the older "safer" movies and am very glad I bought it. Highly entertaining! You will enjoy it if you like classic movies....more info
  • Taming of the Shrew
    This movie is a classic. It is one that I have wanted to get for ages. The chemistry between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton makes the whole movie that much more exciting. I could watch it over and over. If you like an old fashioned movie with a lesson to be learnt, then this is the movie for you....more info
  • Burton & Taylor Are Pure, Fiery, & Feisty Sex Magic
    No wonder Burton and Taylor married and divorced many times. The sexual tension between them in this film can be cut with a knife. Taylor plays Kate, the beautiful, fiery, feisty, mean-spirited, unloved eldest daughter of a wealthy man. She has a beautiful & kind sister who has a string of beaus, but... the eldest sister MUST marry first. Enter Burton as Petruchio. Loud, boisterous, dirty, obnoxious and SEXY! He plans to tame Kate, marry her and be a rich man on her dowry. The famous tongue in the tail speech is given on their first meeting, which sets the mood for lusty, sweaty, swarthy fighting. All the while, the sexual tension builds throughout. Many fights & torments ensue... with a beautiful ending that I will not spoil. If you like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton or just the great and powerful Bard, himself, this is a great movie, directed by the great Franco Zefferelli that is a must see! "There is no other beast on Earth so horrible as man..." (Katharina, Taming Of The Shrew)...more info
  • Required watching
    If there is a better adaption of this great play I'm not aware of it.

    The personal relationship and tension between Taylor and Burton combined with their own great acting ability (plus many good supporting performances from such as York and Holden who never seems to get credit) turn this into a tour de farce that is both a visual feast and a lession of how to act.

    Watch this and drink in a an all time classic....more info

  • Annoying Acting
    I watched this movie only through Act II. I could no longer take the constant screaming and screeching by Elizabeth Taylor. I know that Kate is a shrew, and I've read the play twice, but that doesn't mean that the part of Kate must be played with continual screeching. There are other ways to manifest shrewishness without screeching (tone of voice). Also, why is there so much running around and banging when Petruchio meets Kate? It is unnecessary to the point of being slapstick, and it's distracting from the dialogue. Finally, this movie is not completely faithful to the play, which is something else that bothers me.

    I have watched three versions of this play (the Marc Singer version, this version, and the BBC version). None of them is completely adequate, and prior to seeing this version and the BBC version, I really wasn't too fond of the Marc Singer version. However, now I believe that the Singer version is the best one. At least in that version the acting is superb....more info
  • Good for the whole family
    Our friends also own this movie and they also enjoyed it. This is a 'movie within a movie' because the actors play 'actors in a Shakespeare play' - and their private lives parallel the play they're in. The 'play' in the movie stays true to the orignal Shakespeare "Taming of the Shew".

    ...more info
  • A Classic Rendition of a Classic Story, staring One Classy Lady
    This is one of my favorite movies - and it certainly stars one of my favorite actors and actresses. Burton and Taylor are expert in their delivery of Shakepeare's classic tale of the taming of Katarina, a woman with no desire to marry and certainly no desire to succumb to the wiles of any man. The most modern of women characters from a time period when women either married or turned nun; the story shows not only the strength of a woman, but prooves wrong the endurant misbelief that women are the weaker sex.

    The disk sold thru Amazon is typical of this era film and release of such: nothing special about it, but nothing erred or wrong that I can relate. I am purely happy to own a copy of this movie, and it could have arrived months late and half opened and I would still be happy. Not a bad price, either, considering this is a wonderfully directed and acted film. The sets, the costumes, the hair styles - the adaptation of the play to screenplay - it's a beautiful film that will have you laughing, even if you aren't a fan of the bard.

    ...more info
  • The Taming of the Shrew
    One year before his outstanding adaptation of the Bard's "Romeo and Juliet", Zeffirelli displays all his buoyant energy and stylistic flair in making this venerable old comedy fresh and exciting. With the exception of Albee's "Virginia Woolf" made the prior year, on- and off-again spouses Taylor and Burton were never better teamed. A young Michael York and crafty Cyril Cusack stand out with veteran Hordern in a stellar supporting cast. Here's another Kate worth kissing....more info
  • Fantastic chemistry!
    The chemistry between Burton and Taylor is magnificent. Loved it, Loved it,
    Loved it!...more info
  • wonderful
    This is probably my favorite Shakespear redition. I love to see Burton and Taylor play off of each other....more info
  • My problem is with Shakespeare, not the movie.
    The movie is gorgeous to watch and listen to, and the acting is great. I would have enjoyed this movie a lot more if about a month ago I hadn't happened to have been reading some books on abusive men and their distorted perceptions of female realities. I know that Taylor & Burton are playing caricatures. The problem is, there is truth in caricatures. For some reason it is supposed to be funny when the man chases his hoped for bride, does a full body restraint on her, painfully twists her arm, makes what are essentially sexually harrassing remarks, acts like a fool on the wedding day and tricks her into being married, then keeps her from eating on her wedding night after an exhausting trip, rips up a dress she had her heart set on after he tempts her with it, and on and on.

    Of course it is understood (as in the minds of abusive men and their, uh, "literature") that the woman really likes the rough and humilating treatment she is getting. It is also understood that while the woman's behavior means "she had it comin'" and warrants her being treated like property (which is exactly how Shakespeare has the new husband talk about his wife), the man's bufoonish, violent, alcoholic behaviors get no disapproval from anyone.

    I just recently watched a John Wayne movie, McLintock. It seemed to me it might have been based on the Taming of the Shrew, which is why I have watched this movie. I was right. Same drunken loutish man who never improves in any way. Same shrewish woman who turns into a lamb after her husband abuses and humiliates her enough.

    I give thanks to Heaven that we are told in Scriptures, "Be considerate of your wives or your prayers will not be answered" and that some men actually treat His daughters with love and respect.

    The Taming of the Shrew is not a comedy to me, and I suspect to legions of women who have been "thus treated." It is more like a tragedy.

    ...more info
  • Kiss me Kate.
    I enjoyed this movie immensely. Liz Taylor was great. Seven Brides for seven brother definately took "inspiration" from the "Taming of the Shrew". Shakespeares "Taming of the Shrew" story line is much better than "Cinderella". I loved the comedy, drama, and underlying love story.

    1. Bianca has a number of admirers: Lucentio, Gremio, and Hortensio, but her father, Baptista Minola will not allow marriage until the older sister Katharina is married. Kate has a fiery tough and lashes Minola affection statements towards Bianca. Kate enraged destroys furniture, throws pottery, and curses a storm.
    2. Biance's suitors convince Pertruchio to court Kate and win the dowry. Lucentio, a student changes roles and offers himself as Bianca's tutor. Shortly after, the real father of Lucentio arrives in town and confronts his imposter. Lucentio has to quick talk to passify his father. Gremio wants Bianca for himself, but Lucentio gets the girl. Lucentio, domestic and stable, young and strong, is the better choice.
    3. Kate thinks to outsmart Pertruchio and embarrass him at the marriage alter, but before she can declare "I will not marry him", Pertruchio kisses her mid sentence after "I will". Pertruchio is late, drunk, and displays crass mannerism upon his church arrival. Petruchio thinks little of the religious ceremony and less affection towards the clergy.
    4. Petruchio departs early from the marriage party with his servant Grumio. Petruchio compels Kate to leave with him, as his possession. Kate rides on a donkey and realizes hopeless that she can not return home. Now, Petruchio is not forcing her to follow, but out of necessity Kate follows.
    5. Kate arrives at Petruchio's house but Petruchio denies her food.
    6. Petruchio receives a letter announcing Bianca wedding to Lucentio and orders a dress designed and crafted for Kate, but finds fault with the dress and shreds the dress. Kate is forced to wear old clothes.
    7. Petruchio gambles for 4,000 ducats on who has the most obedient wife. Each wife is asked to return to the room, but denies the request and only Kate obeys her husband. The room is shocked. Petruchio dominates and Kate submits to his request for a kiss.

    ...more info
  • Entertaining
    This was an entertaining movie to watch. Elizabeth Taylor was voluptuous in this role as Kate, the elder daughter of Baptista, chased her suitors away with her sharp-tempered manner. Those dark eyes and dark hair characterized her as scolding and seething. Her younger sister, the beautiful and sweet Bianca, played by Natasha Pyne, has many suitors but can't marry unless her sister gets married. In comes Lutencio, played by Michael York, falls in love with Bianca and is determined to marry her. Petruchio, played by Richard Burton, comes into town looking like a joker, is willing to marry Katherina, despite her short-temper. It's a cat and mouse chase as Petruchio claims Kate as his bride. It's a party for the city when Kate is married to Petruchio and is whisked away to his dark and dingy estate. Lutencio is able to marry Bianca but his father doesn't know until he comes into town.

    Another Franco Zeferelli creation, Shakespeare's play about a woman whose shrewdish behavior is not only unladylike, but isolates her from enjoying life and the people in it. Despite the limited roles women had during that time period, Kate had to be the one to change herself from being a shrew to a respected lady. Another exaggerated version of the movie is the episode from the 1987 television series "Moonlighting". Bruce Willis was Petruchio riding a horse with a Mercedes cover and Sybil Sheperd was Kate....more info

    Have loved this film for years... my teenagers quote it! A must see for everyone on the planet! Richard Burton is perfect.. his laugh will stick with you forever!...more info
  • How Fares Thee, Kate? Answer: Fine!
    In Italy, Franco Zeffirelli is best known for his work in grand opera, and he brought all his experience in this larger than life art form to bear upon the two films for which he is best known, the 1968 ROMEO AND JULIET and the 1967 THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.

    Scholars usually consider Shakespeare's THE TAMING OF THE SHREW to be among the playwrights lesser works, but it has been an audience favorite since its first known performance in 1594. Although many suitors beg for Bianca's hand, her widowed father is determined that she may not marry until her elder sister Katherine is wed--and Katherine is a hot tempered, willful, and vicious woman who makes life miserable for all who cross her path. Fortunately for Bianca, Petruchio is in need of money, and he is more than willing to marry Kate, no matter how resistant Kate herself is to the whole idea.

    Shakespeare's original script has been trimmed here and there, and while purists may scream about it the result not only works for film, it also manages to capture the flavor of Shakespeare's language much better than any other film version of SHREW both before or since. And the look of the thing is beautiful: Zeffirelli brings his mastery of opera's larger than life visuals to bear upon the project, and the result is eye-popping production values, most particularly in reference to the costuming. Every cent spent shows on the screen.

    Although she was a very fine screen actress, Elizabeth Taylor is not a name one would expect to find playing Shakespeare--but she carries it off in fine style, kicking, snapping, and snarling with tremendous panache in the first portion of the film, and then making Kate's "taming" seem entirely plausible in the latter portion. Unlike many later Shakespeare plays, SHREW is not greatly noted for its language; even so, Katherine's final speech is widely known and extremely memorable, and Taylor pulls it off with such credibility that one wishes she had done other classical roles as well.

    Taylor's then-husband Richard Burton co-stars as the deliberately uncouth Petruchio, who sets out to tame a shrew and finds himself as much tamed by her as she by him. Burton, of course, was accustomed to the classics in general and Shakespeare in particular, and he plays with tremendous bravado. The supporting cast, which includes a young Michael York, is also very fine, and when all is said and done the 1964 THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is a tremendous amount of fun even if you don't like Shakespeare.

    The DVD transfer is very nice. The picture has the occasional blemish, most often in the opening titles and closing credits, but on the whole it is remarkable, showing every detail of every set and every costume to fine effect. The sound is also quite good. Sad to say, there is really nothing in the way of bonus material, but the film is the thing, and Taylor, Burton, York, and Zefirelli do it up brown. More than just worth watching: worth owning.

    GFT, Amazon Reviewer...more info
  • The Taming of the Shrew
    At the time this movie was produced, I had mixed feelings about it,until I went back and viewed it a second time. I watched Richard Burton and Elizabeth and looked at them as as husband and wife. The movie fell into place. They were not only husband & wife, but also, the worlds biggest lovers. Those two people worked good together. I found out later on that Elizabeth didn't know a lot of what happen to her was going to happen. That happen to be one of Richard Burtons little surprises for her. But, Elizabeth did tell us all how she felt about Burton at the end of the film. . . . . It was a wife speaking of her husband, whom she dearly loved. That's one of the films that will live forever.

    RedBus 14....more info