The famous lines and vivid language of this cautionary tale drive director Baz Luhrmann's cinematic interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Welcome to Verona Beach, a sexy, violent other-world, neither future nor past, ruled by two rival families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Wealthy, selfish, ruthless, and powerful, the parents share an enmity that has become the birthright of their offspring.
On this date in 1595, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was first performed (not officially published until 1597). Although the renowned tragedy was by no means the first literary story of doomed love, it coined the phrase "star-cross'd lovers" and continues to inspire heartbreaking sagas even today.