Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Taming of the Shrew (1966, Carol Lastricati)

TitleThe Taming of the Shrew
Release LocationsItaly
DirectorCarol Lastricati
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs, 2 mins
Audiencecollege and university
high school
Play ConnectionsThe Taming of the Shrew (adaptation)


With Richard Burton as Petruchio and Elizabeth Taylor as Kate, then reigning king and queen of the cinema world, this lively production by Franco Zeffirelli rivals the Douglas Fairbanks/ Mary Pickford pairing in its exploitation of stars. If indeed it can be, and has been, argued that a great deal of Shakespeare's play gets lost along the way, the tradeoff lies in the ingenious ways by which Zeffirelli has adapted Shakespeare's play to the needs of the screen. For example, he embeds the Christopher Sly plot within the main plot by conflating Sly with Petruchio, and the drunken Sly remains vestigially as the creature fettered in a cage above the main gate to Padua. This clever transposition also has the unfortunate tendency to degrade Petruchio from his higher social class down to the level of the drunken and lower-class Sly. A raucous movie, it was bound to trigger some doubts, as the words of the following critic illustrate

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

KatharinaElizabeth Taylor
BiancaNatasha Pyne
Baptista MinolaMichael Hordern
VincentioMark Dignam
LucentioMichael York
PetruchioRichard Burton
GremioAlan Webb
HortensioVictor Spinetti
TranioAlfred Lynch
BiondelloRoy Holder
GrumioCyril Cusack
CurtisGianni Magni
PedantVernon Dobtcheff
WidowBice Valori
TailorKen Parry
HaberdasherAnthony Garner
PhilipRoberto Antonelli
NathanielAlberto Bonucci
GregoryLino Capolicchio
PriestGiancario Cobelli

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorCarol Lastricati
DirectorRinaldo Ricci
DirectorFranco Zeffirelli
ProducerRichard Burton
Executive ProducerRichard McWhorter
ProducerElizabeth Taylor
ProducerFranco Zeffirelli
ComposerNino Rota
ComposerCarlo Savina
Adaptor/TranslatorSuso Cecchi D'Amico
Adaptor/TranslatorPaul Dehn
Adaptor/TranslatorFranco Zeffirelli
Production ManagerRoberto Cocco
Production ManagerDaniele Micheletti
CostumesAldo De Martino
CostumesDanilo Donati
CostumesIrene Sharaff
SoundMario Ottani
PhotographyOswald Morris
PhotographyLuciano Trasatti
ProductionJohn De Cuir
ProductionGiuseppe Mariani
ProductionElven Webb
SetCarlo Gervasi
SetDario Simoni
OtherDavid Hildyard
Special EffectsAugie Lohman

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell