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Indiscretion of an American Wife (1953)

Stazione Termini (original title)
Approved | | Drama, Romance | 10 May 1954 (USA)
Prior to leaving by train for Paris, a married American woman tries to break off her affair with a young Italian in Rome's Stazione Termini.

Director:

Writers:

(dialogue), | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mary Forbes
...
Giovanni Doria
...
Police commissioner
...
Paul Stevens (as Dick Beymer)
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Storyline

A married American woman has gotten involved with another man while visiting relatives in Rome. She decides that the time has come to break off the relationship, and she makes plans to return home to her husband. But she soon realizes that she is not at all sure about what she wants to do, and she continues to agonize over her decision. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

10 May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Indiscretion of an American Wife  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Judith M. Kass in 'The Films of Montgomery Clift', Jennifer Jones developed a crush on Montgomery Clift, but when she found out that he was not inclined toward women, "she reportedly became so overwrought that she stuffed a mink jacket down the toilet of a portable dressing room." See more »

Quotes

Mary Forbes: This morning, I woke up. It was scarcely dawn. I couldn't wait to see you. To hear your voice. I wandered through the streets, like a sleepwalker. It was raining and I hoped the rain would wash it away. This needing you and wanting.
Giovanni Doria: You think the rain can do that?
See more »

Connections

Featured in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Autumn in Rome
Written by Paul Weston and Sammy Cahn, from Alessandro Cicognini's score
Sung by Patti Page
Copyright Cromwell Music Inc. (1954)
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User Reviews

 
Flawed but powerful
14 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film will not appeal to everyone, but even with the ravages executed by Selznick on the American cut, Stazione Termini (Selznick's U.S. version: Indiscretion of an American Housewife) remains a powerful film for those who can appreciate it.

To be sure, there are faults, especially unfortunate in light of De Sica's credentials. Most striking are that Montgomery Clift as American-Italian is a spectacular error, not so much in casting, as in characterization (American expat would have worked); far too much English comes from the mouths of early-1950s Romans and other Italians; and the American housewife is perhaps overly oblivious to the italianità around her. Otherwise, mostly spot on, at least in the full version.

Jennifer Jones, beyond radiant in her prime-of-life womanhood, exudes a sensuality that both contrasts strikingly with her 1950s-prim exterior and celebrates the troubled woman within: proper well-brought-up ladies can have passions, too, a marriage ceremony is no guarantor that all will be well 'til death do them part, and she, like so many before her and after, struggles when smoldering embers flare and she senses that the 'groove' of her comfortable, uneventful marriage may actually be 'rut'.

As would be expected of De Sica, his rendition of the setting -- the newly rebuilt Stazione Termini itself, trains, travelers -- is so accurate as to pass for a recording, and protagonists as well as the concentrically-involved supporting cast embed within it void of staging, with total plausibility.

The arrest scene and its aftermath also verges on documentary in its genuinity. The strict proprieties of post-WWII Rome -- for some Romans very genuine, for others hypocritical sham even then -- may seem contrived to a young American or British viewer today, but the inevitable tension was very real at the time, and De Sica presents its effects honestly, and with éclat.

Give Stazione Termini a chance. Enter the time and place. De Sica managed to do a fine job of it, in spite of Selznick's ill-advised meddling, and he deserves far more more credit than he's normally given for this effort. So does Jennifer Jones, who is magnificent here.


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