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HISTORY

On 14 Sep 1964, DV announced that husband-and-wife team Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were planning a feature film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s 1593 play The Taming of the Shrew. The production marked the major motion picture debut of stage and opera director Franco Zeffirelli following his 1958 Italian film, Camping, and the first effort of Burton and Taylor serving as producers. According to the 9 Feb 1966 DV, production duties were to be split between the New York City-based Royal Films International and Films Artistici Internazionali (F.A.I.) of Rome, Italy. The 5 Jul 1966 NYT cited The Taming of the Shrew as an example of a multinational (“British-Italian”) production that was developed by an American company to shoot abroad; however, evidence of British involvement could not be corroborated by additional contemporary sources.
       Principal photography began 21 Mar 1966, as confirmed in a DV production chart four days later. A 23 Feb 1966 Var article noted that the unit would occupy the entirety of the Dino De Laurentiis Studios outside Rome, with four soundstages made up to resemble the setting of Padua. The 28 May 1966 NYT explained that Italy provided the “congenial, traditional ambience” needed for Shakespeare’s story, as well as easy access to the necessary style of costumes. The location was also favored by Burton and Taylor, who previously filmed Cleopatra (1963, see entry) in Rome. Unlike the famously excessive spending on Cleopatra, however, several sources noted the pair’s commitment to cutting costs, as the 1 Mar 1967 LAT alleged that they ... More Less

On 14 Sep 1964, DV announced that husband-and-wife team Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were planning a feature film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s 1593 play The Taming of the Shrew. The production marked the major motion picture debut of stage and opera director Franco Zeffirelli following his 1958 Italian film, Camping, and the first effort of Burton and Taylor serving as producers. According to the 9 Feb 1966 DV, production duties were to be split between the New York City-based Royal Films International and Films Artistici Internazionali (F.A.I.) of Rome, Italy. The 5 Jul 1966 NYT cited The Taming of the Shrew as an example of a multinational (“British-Italian”) production that was developed by an American company to shoot abroad; however, evidence of British involvement could not be corroborated by additional contemporary sources.
       Principal photography began 21 Mar 1966, as confirmed in a DV production chart four days later. A 23 Feb 1966 Var article noted that the unit would occupy the entirety of the Dino De Laurentiis Studios outside Rome, with four soundstages made up to resemble the setting of Padua. The 28 May 1966 NYT explained that Italy provided the “congenial, traditional ambience” needed for Shakespeare’s story, as well as easy access to the necessary style of costumes. The location was also favored by Burton and Taylor, who previously filmed Cleopatra (1963, see entry) in Rome. Unlike the famously excessive spending on Cleopatra, however, several sources noted the pair’s commitment to cutting costs, as the 1 Mar 1967 LAT alleged that they had contributed $1.4 million of their own money toward the budget. Items in the 18 Jul 1966 DV and 3 Aug 1966 LAT indicated that filming was completed in late Jul 1966, approximately fifteen days over schedule. DV and the 27 Jul 1966 Var attributed some of the delay to a brief technicians’ strike in Rome.
       The 1 Jun 1966 DV stated that post-production would take place in London, England, and on 18 Aug 1966, the publication announced that a three-hour rough cut had been viewed by Columbia Pictures executives, who felt the format should be blown up for 70mm engagements.
       The Taming of the Shrew was selected as the 1967 Royal Film Performance, with a 27 Feb 1967 gala benefit premiere at London’s Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square. A NYT report the next day stated that the event was attended by Princess Margaret. According to a 10 Mar 1967 DV brief, the New York City charity premiere took place 8 Mar 1967 at the Coronet Theatre, followed by a successful opening night on 9 Mar 1967 with returns of $2,200. The West Coast debut was held 21 Mar 1967 at the Stanley Warner Beverly Hills Theater, and regular reserved-seat screenings began 22 Mar 1967. The 3 Jan 1968 Var list of the “Big Rental Films of 1967” stated that Columbia had accrued $3,540,000 in domestic rentals to date.
       The film was generally well liked by critics, earning Academy Award nominations for Art Direction and Costume Design, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Richard Burton). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Feb 1966
p. 17.
Daily Variety
18 Feb 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1966
p. 12.
Daily Variety
1 Jun 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Mar 1967
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
3 Aug 1966
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
1 Mar 1967
Section E, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
21 Mar 1967
Section D, p. 12.
New York Times
28 May 1966
p. 12.
New York Times
5 Jul 1966
p. 40.
New York Times
28 Feb 1967
p. 33.
Variety
23 Feb 1966
p. 17.
Variety
23 Mar 1966
p. 5.
Variety
27 Jul 1966
p. 3.
Variety
3 Jan 1968
p. 25.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Sketch artist
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Assoc dsgn
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des for Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor's cost
Wigs furnished
MUSIC
Mus comp
SOUND
Dub ed
Dub rec
Ed italian vers
Ed italian vers
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup for Elizabeth Taylor
Makeup for Richard Burton
Elizabeth Taylor's hairstyles
Hairdressing for Elizabeth Taylor
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Unit mgr
Main title graphics
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (London, 1593, published 1623).
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 March 1967
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 8 March 1967
New York opening: 9 March 1967
Los Angeles premiere: 21 March 1967
Los Angeles opening: 22 March 1967
Production Date:
21 March--late July 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Royal Films International
Copyright Date:
1 March 1967
Copyright Number:
LF10
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
122
Countries:
Italy, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A rich Paduan merchant named Baptista has two beautiful daughters, the unruly and vile-tempered Katharina, and the sweet and lovable Bianca. The many suitors for the hand of Bianca are greatly dismayed by Baptista's refusal of their petitions so long as the elder Katharina remains unwed. Lucentio, a young student from Pisa, is so taken by Bianca's beauty that he poses as a teacher of languages and obtains a position as a tutor in Baptista's household. As Lucentio is proceeding with his wooing, a fortune-hunting scoundrel named Petruchio arrives in Padua seeking a wealthy wife. Although he immediately falls victim to Katharina's scorn and abuse, he wards off her outraged blows until they both fall exhausted into a huge mound of sheep wool. He then calmly praises her numerous charms and announces that they will marry the following Sunday. On their wedding day, he arrives late, very drunk, and wearing indecorous clothes. But despite everyone's apprehension, the ceremony is performed, and Petruchio sets his wildly protesting bride on a broken-down horse and leads her on a muddy journey to his dilapidated country home. There, under the pretext of his great love for Katharina, he rejects all manner of comfort and luxury, maintaining they are unworthy of her. Eventually, after Lucentio has been revealed to be the son of the honored Vincentio of Padua and won permission to marry his beloved Bianca, Katharina and Petruchio are invited to the wedding feast. There Petruchio wagers that Katharina is the most devoted and obedient of wives. And to the astonishment of all, Katharina shames all the other women by giving them a lecture on the virtues of wifely ... +


A rich Paduan merchant named Baptista has two beautiful daughters, the unruly and vile-tempered Katharina, and the sweet and lovable Bianca. The many suitors for the hand of Bianca are greatly dismayed by Baptista's refusal of their petitions so long as the elder Katharina remains unwed. Lucentio, a young student from Pisa, is so taken by Bianca's beauty that he poses as a teacher of languages and obtains a position as a tutor in Baptista's household. As Lucentio is proceeding with his wooing, a fortune-hunting scoundrel named Petruchio arrives in Padua seeking a wealthy wife. Although he immediately falls victim to Katharina's scorn and abuse, he wards off her outraged blows until they both fall exhausted into a huge mound of sheep wool. He then calmly praises her numerous charms and announces that they will marry the following Sunday. On their wedding day, he arrives late, very drunk, and wearing indecorous clothes. But despite everyone's apprehension, the ceremony is performed, and Petruchio sets his wildly protesting bride on a broken-down horse and leads her on a muddy journey to his dilapidated country home. There, under the pretext of his great love for Katharina, he rejects all manner of comfort and luxury, maintaining they are unworthy of her. Eventually, after Lucentio has been revealed to be the son of the honored Vincentio of Padua and won permission to marry his beloved Bianca, Katharina and Petruchio are invited to the wedding feast. There Petruchio wagers that Katharina is the most devoted and obedient of wives. And to the astonishment of all, Katharina shames all the other women by giving them a lecture on the virtues of wifely obedience. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.