William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (shortened to Romeo + Juliet) is a 1996 American romantic drama film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, co-produced by Gabriella Martinelli and co-written by Craig Pearce, being an adaptation and modernization of William Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the leading roles of Romeo and Juliet, who instantly fall in love when Romeo crashes a party and meets her despite them being members of the Montague and Capulet family; Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Sorvino, and Diane Venora star in supporting roles.
While it retains the original Shakespearean dialogue, the Montagues and the Capulets are represented as warring mafia empires (with legitimate business fronts) and swords are replaced with guns (with brand names such as "Dagger" and "Sword"). Some of the characters' names are also changed. Lord and Lady Montague and Lord and Lady Capulet are given first names (as opposed to the Shakespeare original where their first names are never mentioned), Friar Lawrence becomes Father Lawrence, and Prince Escalus is renamed Captain Prince. There is also no Friar John, who was in the original play. Also, some characters were switched from one family to the other—in the original, Gregory and Sampson are Capulets, but in the film, they are Montagues. (Abram, as Abra, and Petruchio, conversely, are shifted from the Montague to the Capulet family.) In addition, a few plot details are shifted, most notably near the ending.
The film was released on November 1, 1996 by 20th Century Fox to commercial and generally critical success, grossing over $147.5 million over a $14.5 million budget and receiving generally positive reviews. At the 47th Berlin International Film Festival in 1997, DiCaprio won the Silver Bear for Best Actor and Luhrmann won the Alfred Bauer Prize. Luhrmann was also nominated for the Golden Bear Award for Best Picture. At the 69th Academy Awards, Catherine Martin and Brigitte Broch were nominated for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.