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Light in the Piazza (1962)

Upper class Americans Noel and Meg Johnson have a twenty-six year old daughter named Clara Johnson. Clara suffered a head injury as a child which resulted in her being mentally disabled. ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Meg Johnson
...
Signor Naccarelli
...
Clara Johnson
...
Fabrizio Naccarelli
...
Miss Hawtree
Moultrie Kelsall ...
The Minister
Nancy Nevinson ...
Signora Naccarelli
...
Noel Johnson
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Storyline

Upper class Americans Noel and Meg Johnson have a twenty-six year old daughter named Clara Johnson. Clara suffered a head injury as a child which resulted in her being mentally disabled. Clara's mental capacity is equivalent to that of a ten year old. In many social situations, Clara's disability can be passed off as a simple joy of life. The issue of Clara's care has placed a strain between Noel and Meg, the latter who clings to the hope that one day Clara can lead a "normal" life. While on an extended vacation through Italy, Meg and Clara meet a twenty-three year old Italian named Fabrizio Naccarelli in Florence. Fabrizio is instantly smitten with Clara, who returns the affection. Always protecting Clara, Meg initially resists Fabrizio's constant measures to insinuate himself into their lives. But as Meg learns more about Fabrizio and meets his family, Meg begins to believe a marriage between Fabrizio and Clara is Clara's chance for that normal life, all the while not telling the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Were they too late for the things their hearts demanded? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ena fos sto skotadi  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$553,280 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film produced by Arthur Freed. See more »

Goofs

On the door mat in the lobby of the US Consulate there's an inscription reading "American Consulate". An official body would, of course, use only the official name of the country: the United States of America - or its abbreviation, the USA. See more »

Quotes

Meg Johnson: Nobody with a dream should come to Italy. No matter how dead and buried you think it is, in Italy, it will rise and walk again.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The scenery is the star
12 July 2005 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

"Light in the Piazza" is the story of an overprotective mother, Meg (de Havilland) and her daughter Clara (Mimieux) who are traveling in Florence, Italy. While there, they meet Fabrizio, a young, rich native who immediately falls for Clara. Meg has severe reservations about the courtship, however, because as a child Clara had a riding accident that left her mentally impaired; essentially with the mind of a 10 year-old. Clara's charm and genuine innocence is one of the things that draws Fabrizio to her, and after Meg meets and approves of Fabrizio's family, his father in particular (Brazzi) she allows the courtship to continue, with some reservations. It isn't until she sees that their love is true, and finds that, back in the States, her husband has signed Clara up for a "special school" that she begins to consider that Clara may be better off marrying Fabrizio.

I'm a huge fan of de Havilland, but I'm a bigger fan of good drama. Unfortunately, I wasn't treated to anything above average in "Light in the Piazza". The performances were fine, and Mimieux in particular was charming, but something about the film didn't click with me. Perhaps it was a very slight story that was drawn out into a full-length film, or it could be the slightly generic direction by Green (who three years later made the excellent "A Patch of Blue"). The film's greatest asset by far is the scenery, obviously filmed on location. Imagine sitting at a café less than 100 feet from Michelangelo's statue of David; that is the kind of atmosphere we are treated to. Though made forty years apart, I saw a similarity between this film and "Under a Tuscan Sun" in that there wasn't much to do during the film other than look at the gorgeous Italian scenery.

"Light in the Piazza" is not a terrible film by any means, but there isn't anything about it thematically that makes it anything better than average either. I would recommend it if you enjoy Olivia de Havilland, which is why I watched it, but anyone who isn't a die-hard fan would probably be disappointed. 5/10 --Shelly


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