Romeo and Juliet has been the most commercially successful Shakespeare film to date, returning over $50 million on an initial investment of $1.5 million. 1 The popularity of the film is attributable, at least in part, to its sympathetic treatment of the erotic side of Romeo and juliet's relationship. Released in 1968, the film participates in the general loosening of restrictions on the representation of sexuality on film of the period, and it seemed to endorse a number of the values of the international youth movement: pacifism, distrust of elders, and sexual liberation.