The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
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Featurette:? New Featurette Mrs. Stone: Looking for Love in All the Dark Corners
- New featurette The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone: Looking for Love in All the Dark Corners
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Top Customer Reviews
However, when he dies on board a jetliner on the way to Rome, she decides to stay in the City and book herself into a lavish rooftop apartment. She wonders the streets, drifting in a haze of expensive loneliness, wondering what to do with her life now that acting is over for her. She soon falls in with the Contessa (Lotte Lenya), a female pimp, and a sharp procuress of handsome young men for forlorn wealthy old widows.
The Contessa hooks her up with the young Paolo di Leo (Warren Beatty). The sexy Paolo thinks nothing of acquiring money out of rich, older women, and with the Contessa's encouragement, he wines and dines Karen. Karen, however, isn't your typical widow. At around fifty, she's is still very beautiful, although she worries about getting older, she's obviously enamored of Paolo and she's desperate for affection, but she's determined that Paolo's need for money will not triumph her need for love.
They eventually become lovers. Karen showers gifts upon Paolo and they take a trip to Tangier. The Contessa becomes furious that Paolo isn't "cutting her fifty-fifty on the deal." Karen also doesn't heed the warnings of her friend, journalist Meg (Coral Browne) that she has "a disease" that can't be fulfilled. When Paolo begins to make the movies on younger starlet Barbara Bingham (Jill St. John), Karen begins to see Paolo for what he really is.Read more ›
Based on a Tennessee Williams novella, "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" is the story of a renowned middle-aged American actress Karen Stone (Leigh), who flees to Rome with her wealthy invalid husband (John Phillips) after a disastrous try as Shakespeare's young heroine Rosalind in "As You Like It". En route, Mr. Stone succumbs to heart failure. Bereft of both her husband and her career, Mrs. Stone decides to take an apartment and remain in Rome indefinitely. At loose ends, she is increasingly aware she's beginning to "drift" without any direction, which alarms her. This plus her status as a vulnerable rich widow, makes her prey for an unsavory Contessa (Lotte Lenya) who is nothing more than a female pimp that dangles vain pretty boy Paulo DiLeo (Warren Beatty) in Mrs. Stone's path. At first resistant, Mrs.Read more ›
Warren Beatty is the ideal gigolo. His Italian accent may not be perfect, but I don't believe that anyone could have done it better. He looks just right, and of course he turned out in later life to be a great womaniser, so this role is almost type casting.
All in all it is a wonderful addition to my movie collection.
The first one is the 1961 film with Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty and Lotte Lenya, directed by José Quintero and with screenplay by Gavin Lambert. The second is the 2003 made-for-television production starring Helen Mirren, Olivier Martinez and Anne Bancroft , directed by Robert Allan Ackerman and with screenplay by Martin Sherman. Neither movie does full justice to the literary original. But the former is much closer than the latter.
The 1961 movie is visually rather badly dated. Most of it was shot in studio and, despite the lavish production, it's difficult to be taken in that it's Rome. But the screenplay is a fine adaptation, using most of the best lines in the novella, and Quintero is an excellent director (amazingly, this was his debut on the screen, having previously directed only on the stage). Of course any hints about Meg's lesbian inclinations or Paolo's bisexuality (one of his previous clients was a Baron) are eliminated completely, but neither are they central to the work. Few other "straight" sexual references are toned down but the character of the book is on the whole preserved.
(So many people so wrongly think that Tennessee was concerned in his works with exploration of homosexuality, repressed or not. Not at all. It is confused sexuality that he finds most fascinating. And the confusion refers to both the direction and the intensity. But that's another story.)
Although "A Streetcar Named Desire" remains my absolutely first choice, it is not hard to see why Tennessee Williams called this version of "The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone" "a poem" and his personal favourite of all movies based on his works.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I became fascinated reading Tennessee Williams' short 1950 novel, "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" and wanted to see its two film adaptations both for themselves and to... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Robin Friedman
Tennessee Williams would be pleased with this adaptation of his novella. Vivian Leigh, of course, is wonderful as Mrs. Stone.Published 9 months ago by Thomas Veregge
Perhaps the line that sums up Tennessee Williams' sensibility the best comes from his play EL CAMINO REAL, "Humankind cannot bear too much reality. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Gary Lee
This movie was ok. It held my attention all the way through because I like Vivien.Published 11 months ago by Hmyrick
Great movie I felt sorry for Mrs. Stone she wanted love so desperately that she let Warren Beatty character get away with anything including treating her like she was worthless. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Chelly
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