The remake of the film inspired by William Shakespeare‘s classic tragedy “Romeo and Juliet“, directed and written by Baz Luhrmann alongside screenwriter Craig Pearce, and released in 1996, recreated British literary masterpiece with a modern, contemporary and timeless language and aesthetic. This new version of the original feature movie became a cult movie. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the title roles of two teenagers who fall in love, despite their being members of feuding families. Brian DennehyJohn LeguizamoPete PostlethwaitePaul Sorvino and Diane Venora also star in supporting roles.

About the story

The classic story of “Romeo and Juliet” is set in a modern-day city of Verona Beach. The Montagues and Capulets are two feuding families, whose children meet and fall in love. They have to hide their love from the world because they know that their parents will not allow them to be together. There are obstacles on the way, like Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, and Romeo’s friend Mercutio, and many fights. But although it is set in modern times, it is still the same timeless story of the “star crossed lovers”.

New version X Original Motion Picture

Luhrmann opted for some changes in the design of his film compared to the original version, for example, while it retains the original Shakespearean dialogue, the film represents the Montagues and the Capulets as warring mafia empires (with legitimate business fronts) in contemporary America, where swords are replaced by guns (with brand names such as “Dagger” and “Sword”) and a FedEx style delivery service is called “Post Haste”. Some characters’ names are also changed: Paris, Lord & Lady Montague and Lord & Lady Capulet are given first names (in the original, their first names are never mentioned); Friar Laurence becomes Father Laurence, and Prince Escalus is rewritten as the police chief of Verona Beach, being renamed, Captain Prince.


The soundtrack contained two separate albums: the first containing popular music from the film and the second containing the score to the film composed by Nellee HooperCraig Armstrong and Marius de Vries.

Volume 1

The first soundtrack album to accompany the film was released on the Capitol Records label. It features songs by several artists including GarbageButthole Surfers and  The Cardigans. The soundtrack was a popular and solid seller, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and went triple-platinum sales in the U.S. It was especially successful in Australia, where it was the second-highest selling album in 1997, going five-times Platinum in sales. Several hit singles also resulted from the soundtrack, including “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, the love theme “Kissing You” by Des’ree, and a cover of “Young Hearts Run Free” by Kym Mazelle.

Track listing

1.#1 CrushGarbage4:47
2.“Local God”Everclear3:56
3.“Angel”Gavin Friday4:19
4.“Pretty Piece of Flesh”One Inch Punch4:53
5.Kissing You” (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet)Des’ree4:58
6.“Whatever (I Had a Dream)”Butthole Surfers4:09
7.LovefoolThe Cardigans3:19
8.Young Hearts Run FreeKym Mazelle4:16
9.Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)Quindon Tarver1:43
10.“To You I Bestow”Mundy3:59
11.Talk Show HostRadiohead4:37
12.“Little Star”Stina Nordenstam3:40
13.You and Me SongThe Wannadies2:55

Volume 2

The soundtrack was later followed by a sequel, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet: Music from the Motion Picture, Volume 2, which featured the film’s orchestral score, dialogue from the film, and songs not featured on the previous album.

The score to Romeo + Juliet was composed by British music producer Nellee Hooper, Scottish composer Craig Armstrong, and English music composer and producer Marius de Vries. It was arranged, orchestrated, and conducted by Craig Armstrong using the London Session Orchestra and The Metro Voices.

The score fuses bombastic choral sequences produced by The Metro Voices as well as flamboyant orchestral pieces by the London Session Orchestra. It also contains Hooper’s favourite trip-hop sequences, especially seen in the track “Introduction to Romeo”. Some high-beat techno tunes were fused with the chorus and orchestra in the track “Escape from Mantua”.

The score won BAFTA Award for Best Film Music for best film score in 1997. 

Track listing

2.“O Verona”   
3.“The Montague Boys” featuring Justin Warfield of One Inch Punch 
4.“Gas Station Scene”   
5.“O Verona (Reprise)”   
6.“Introduction to Romeo”   
7.“Queen Mab Interlude”   
8.“Young Hearts Run Free (Ballroom Version)” featuring Kym MazelleHarold Perrineau, & Paul Sorvino 
9.“Kissing You” (Instrumental)   
10.“Balcony Scene”   
11.When Doves CryPrinceQuindon Tarver 
12.“A Challenge”   
13.“Tybalt Arrives” featuring Butthole Surfers & The Dust Brothers 
14.“Fight Scene”   
15.“Mercutio’s Death”   
16.“Drive of Death”   
17.“Slow Movement””Craig Armstrong  
18.“Morning Breaks”   
19.“Juliet’s Requiem”   
21.“Escape from Mantua” featuring Mundy 
22.“Death Scene”   
23.Liebestod” (from Tristan und Isolde)Richard Wagner  

You can listen to the movie soundtracks here


The film was released on 1st November 1996 by 20th Century Fox to commercial success and was met with generally positive reviews. The film grossed over $ 151.8 million over a $ 14.5 million budget. At the 47th Berlin International Film Festival in 1997, DiCaprio won the Silver Bear for Best Actor. In 2005, the film was included on the BFI list of the “50 films you should watch by the age of 14”.

See the trailer below