1978 BBC’s Romeo and Juliet


How watched? Rental via Amazon Prime. Also available on DVD.

Does Rickman steal the show? Not to the degree that he does later movies in his prime, but I would argue he is definitely one of the bright spots in this one.

Is it worth watching beyond Rickman? That probably depends on your tolerance for the other actors. They’re not terrible, but I just don’t find them compelling. There are better overall productions of this play, and there are also better bad versions to watch for morbid curiosity.

Spinoff idea? I’d watch Tybalt and the Montague Feud, though I suspect it’d get repetitive pretty quickly.

Best Rickman line? I mentioned these already, but a tie between the way he hisses “As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee” and the condescending way he says “”This is a Montague, our foe” to Capulet. You can tell he’s thinking, “Come on, dipshit.”

Best Rickman face?


“Montagues disgust me.”

Would I let this Tybalt read to me?

[First, I should probably explain this question. When I first watched Sense and Sensibility, Kate Winslet’s character–who I actually do enjoy–is going on and on about what a shitty job Hugh Grant is doing at reading poetry and makes it clear that she’d never marry a man who can’t read aloud with feeling. Then she spends a lot of time spurning Rickman’s Colonel Brandon because she thinks he’s boring. The entire time, all I could think was “Being read to is important to you. You could have Alan Fucking Rickman, the guy with a voice scientifically proven to be amazingreading you a bedtime story every night. There’s not an Alan Rickman character I wouldn’t let read to me.” Then, I just by default started wondering if my assertion that I’d let any Rickman character read to me was true, and this blog is the perfect place to test this theory.]

Yes, I’d let this Tybalt read to me, though ordinarily I am not a fan of the character. I imagine he’d probably read something mandatory from his anger management class or, barring that, something about how much he hates the Montagues, but whatever. We could probably have a joint bitch session about this version’s Mercutio.

Next up: The Rickman keeps the literary classic supporting roles coming with a small part in the BBC’s Thérèse Raquin miniseries from 1980 as Vidal, an artist friend for one of the main characters.


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