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The Taming of the Shrew
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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.
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Burton and Liz are an excellent match for one another.
The knock-down drag-out that ensues as Petruchio begins the process of taming Kate, determined to "wed" her and "bed" her, is probably the grandest, most ambitious male-female altercation in film history!
For my taste, Elizabeth's portrayal of Kate as hell-cat involves too much gratuitous shrieking, whipping, smashing of furniture and household items, and violent destruction, in general. From the wedding scene onward, her acting improves. Her final dialogue in which she teaches her "sisters" to be obedient and respectful wives displays moments of depth, mainly expressed as lambent loving looks of adoration aimed at Petruchio.
Burton's Petruchio is memorable, performed with faultless finesse. He remains a less-than-amiable character up until he's surprised by Kate's tribute. Then, in the closing moment of the film, there's husbandly warmth and love in that final softened command of "Kiss me, Kate."
Michael York gives a shining performance as Baptista.
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie classic with wonderful actors. Although for some this Shakespearian story could be considered sexist.Read more