American girls dream of finding romance in Rome, but there is none for secretaries, Anita tells her replacement at the USDA. But Maria soon meets Prince Dino de Cessi at a party at her ... See full summary »
American girls dream of finding romance in Rome, but there is none for secretaries, Anita tells her replacement at the USDA. But Maria soon meets Prince Dino de Cessi at a party at her boss's home who invites her to fly to Venice in his private plane. Frances, who has been in Rome for 15 years as the secretary of a successful American writer who talks a lot like George Bernard Shaw and is just as elusive as Professor Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady," tells her at first to say "no" and then decides that together they can handle the man nicknamed the predatory prince. Coins tossed in the Trevi Fountain can indeed work magic. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
Average Shot Length (ASL) = 16 seconds (including opening Sinatra travelogue montage). See more »
At the beginning of the final scene at the Trevi fountain, the fountain is dry and being cleaned. While the actors are there, the fountain begins flowing again. However, when the actors leave, the fountain is completely full, not a possibility given the size of the fountain and the period of time over which the scene occurs. See more »
"Three Coins in the Fountain" is a typical 1950's "Women's Picture." Back then, Hollywood studio executives were sure that the only thing a woman ever wanted to do with her life was find a husband and get married.
Today, this film would be called a "chick flick." Modern feminists will probably hate it, because the three female leads seem to have marriage on their minds...and not much else.
In the movie, three secretaries share an apartment at the "Villa Eden" in Rome. It's one of those overly-spacious apartments that looks like it was decorated by a Hollywood set designer. How can they afford such a luxurious apartment? "Oh, the rate of exchange in Rome is very favorable for Americans." Uh huh.
Miss Frances (Dorothy McGuire) has been serving as secretary for John Frederick Shandwell (Clifton Webb), a snooty American writer, who has been living in Rome for the past 15 years. (As other reviewers have pointed out, this skips over the fact that they would have been living in Rome before and during World War II, an event that nobody ever mentions in the film.) He proposes marriage to her on the day before his doctor tells him he has only a year to live.
Frances' roommates, Anita Hutchins (Jean Peters) and Maria Willaims (Maggie McNamara), are working as secretaries at the United States Distribution Agency, one of those Hollywood "government agencies" with an eagle emblem on the door. Anita is about to return to America, because she can't find a man to marry in Rome. But then she finds love with Giorgio Binachi (Rossano Brassi), an Italian translator who works at the USDA. Unfortunately, Giorgio is immediately fired from his job for violating the USDA's policy against employees dating other employees, set in place by Mr. Burgoyne (Howard St. John), the doofus boss who runs the agency.
Meanwhile, Maria decides to ensnare Prince Dino di Cessi (Louis Jourdan), an Italian prince known as "the predatory prince." Maria pretends to like all the things the prince likes (Italian opera, playing the piccolo), to trick him into marrying her, but of course, she falls in love with him instead.
The movie's major strength is its outstanding cinematography, featuring beautiful views of Rome and Venice. But the story itself is dated and trite. The point of throwing "three coins in the fountain" is to ensure that you'll return to Rome. I don't think I'll return to *this* Rome.
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