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
Monty Clift and Elizabeth Taylor lit up the screen in A Place in the Sun with their performances. My belief is that David O. Selznick thought that with his wife Jennifer Jones opposite Clift, some of the magic from that film would rub off here.
But there's no magic in Stazione Termini. I saw a butchered version that reached the American cinema. Now it's possible that what now would be called a director's cut would have been better, but I doubt it. Jennifer Jones is fine as the American wife who is leaving Rome after an affair with a local played by Monty Clift. But basically I sat through 63 minutes of one long goodbye.
Up to a few minutes ago I had seen at one point every Montgomery Clift movie except this one. I wish I hadn't seen this one. Poor Monty Clift is about as Italian as Lech Walesa. I think Monty knows this one was going to be a stinkeroo for him and it shows. At one point director Vittorio DeSica explains that Clift has an American mom to explain the lack of Italian accent. Why didn't he cast someone like Rossano Brazzi in the part, God only knows.
I'd guess that Mr. Selznick had something to do with it. David O. Selznick was not terribly rational when it came to his wife's career. Maybe in an American story Jones and Clift might have set some sparks off. But not here.
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