The Taming of the Shrew (1929)

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“The Taming of the Shrew” is a 1929 American pre-code romantic comedy film directed by Sam Taylor and starring Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. The movie is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play of the same name.

The film follows the story of a wealthy merchant named Baptista who has two daughters, Bianca and Katherine. While Bianca is sweet and popular, Katherine is known for her sharp tongue and stubbornness, earning her the nickname “the shrew.” Baptista has declared that Bianca cannot marry until Katherine is wed, and so several suitors attempt to win her over, to no avail.

Meanwhile, Petruchio, a young man from Verona, arrives in town looking for a wealthy wife. Hearing about Katherine’s wealth, he sets his sights on her and sets out to tame her. He engages in a battle of wills with Katherine, employing various strategies to break her spirit and make her more submissive.

Despite initial resistance, Katherine eventually begins to soften towards Petruchio, and the two eventually marry. At their wedding, Katherine delivers a speech about the duties of a wife, revealing that she has truly been tamed.

The film was praised for its performances by Pickford and Fairbanks, as well as for its lively and colorful set designs. However, it has also been criticized for its portrayal of Katherine as a shrew who needs to be “tamed” by a man. Nonetheless, “The Taming of the Shrew” remains a popular and influential film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play.

Sam Taylor

William Shakespeare, Sam Taylor

Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Edwin Maxwell

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