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How less can be more in romances
petelush9 August 2001
Rome Adventure is not only intrinsically enjoyable but is an excellent illustration of the power of restraint, innuendo, and "naughtiness" in romance films. It was made just before the dam broke and everything was allowed to go in movies. The lovebirds' struggle over whether to end Suzanne Pleshette's virginity has a charm, heat even, that cannot exist amidst the too-much-information sex scenes we see today. Boxed-in attitudes manifested in Rome Adventure make the slightest double entendre unexpected and powerful, even giggly. The kissing is tender and tongueless but very intimate for all that. I have no interest in promoting abstinence in life or in film, but see this picture and then try telling yourself that nothing was lost when big screen freedom came in.
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Gorgeous Escapism
wink19805 February 2002
A wonderful romantic movie that in my view is highly underrated. While this is by no means a great film, it is hard to find much better if you're in the mood for pure romantic escapism. Pleshette, Dickinson, and of course Donahue are a feast for the eyes. The sets are gorgeous, particularly Angie Dickinson's place. To wear those clothes they wore and have a chic little dinner in an apartment like that we can only fantasize about in this day and age. The scenery of Italy takes back seat to nothing in this film but for my money the greatest scene is at the romantic little restaurant when the singer sings "Al di La". Folks, buy it or rent it because you will never see this type of movie on the big screen anymore.
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9/10
Rome Adventure
Jim Colyer30 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was 16 when Rome Adventure was in the theaters. I did not see it at that time but had a movie magazine with a picture of Angie Dickinson on the back. In the article, she talked about how much fun she had in making the movie and riding around Rome on motorcycles. Rome Adventure typifies the innocence and naivete of the early 1960s. It is almost a travelogue. Suzanne Pleshette plays librarian Prudence Bell on her big trip to Rome. She is looking for love and finds it in Troy Donahue. Angie Dickinson is a third party and potential spoiler in the triangle. Finally, true love wins out. Al Di La is the theme song, one of the most romantic pieces of music ever written. Emilio Pericoli sings it. We just want to float away, "beyond the beyond." The scenes of ancient Rome transport us to another time and place. The Kennedy assassination and Vietnam were right around the corner, so we had to enjoy this while we could. Rome Adventure is one of my favorite movies.
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10/10
Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette teach the fine art of love
reelguy215 May 2002
Rome Adventure is the ultimate romance for all of us incurably romantic souls. Beautifully filmed on location, it's another fine example of Delmer Daves' sensitivity and craftsmanship as a director. If the dialogue is at times arch, it matters little when played out with the conviction that Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette bring to their roles. Watch them during the scene in the horse-drawn carriage as they exchange those small gestures to indicate their attraction to each other - was romance ever better expressed in a film?

You either like Troy Donahue or you don't. I happen to think he's very convincing in Rome Adventure as a young man in love. With his warm speaking voice, he has a nice way of minimizing the embarrassing aspects of the script, and he appears totally committed in his scenes to the act of listening as well as speaking. He exudes an aura of integrity. I believe these are the qualities that made Donahue a "heartthrob" - quite apart from his good looks.

The other actors don't arouse such strong feelings in an audience either for or against, so suffice it to say they are all excellent, and that Suzanne Pleshette is even better than that!

The working title for Rome Adventure was Lovers Must Learn. Watch this movie and you may learn a thing or two about the fine art of love.
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8/10
Refreshing
PretoriaDZ13 May 2007
It is a travel log of a sort but that's because most people in 1962 did not get to see much of the world outside of the US so they actually enjoyed the scenery. It was refreshing to see a movie where two people actually attempt to be discreet in front of other people about their possible sexual activity. Not even considering morality, it just shows a little taste. That part may be considered old-fashioned by some, but the problem Prudence is wrestling with is one relevant today. She does want to be a grown, sensual adult but she doesn't want to go down the road that will lead to cynicism. How can you be sure how far to commit yourself, because if you make too many wrong choices, it really does become like "shaking hands" and what fun is that?
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Acting Is Not What Teenage Girls Remember!
luths224 August 2004
Yes, I agree that Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue are not exactly Katherine Hepburn and Lawrence Olivier in this film, but their "chemistry," a beautiful Italian setting, glorious fashion and the overall romantic "intrigue" more than make up for that. In the early 1960's, Troy Donahue was the ultimate in "eye candy" for us teenage girls (and older women, too, I'm sure). I have thought for years that I was surely the only 13-year old girl who sat in a darkened theater so TOTALLY "transported" for several hours by the romance in this film, but apparently I was not. I listen to an "oldies" radio station in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and I cannot believe how MANY times other listeners request that the incredibly romantic "Al Di La" from the dimly-lit-romantic-restaurant-scene be played. Hooray for a day when sex was something seriously contemplated and not something graphically displayed like today!
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9/10
This is a pure delicious, romantic escape.
sannyex16 August 2002
If one must concede to one escapist impulse in movie romance, this is the one. For guys, a fantasy come true in the person of not one but two very desirable 'babes' played by Suzanne Pleshette and Angie Dickinson at their pulchritude best. For gals, Troy Donahue playing a good-looking hunk complete with just the right amount of sensitivity, vulnerability, erudition and passion. Mix the 3 in that Italian landscape and bowl of civilization with the right supporting cast and that wonderful theme song 'Al di la' and you have the surefire delight not seen since Three Coins in the Fountain and Roman Holiday.

I wish this was in DVD.
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10/10
Two young Americans find their way to love in gorgeous Italy! Beautiful scenery as the audience is taken in a tour of Italy! Entertaining and informative! You will want to get on the plane and go to Italy!
Prudence, Assistant Librarian, Suzanne Pleshette (The Birds, Newhart) resigns from the preppie and all women school Braiarcroft because of the book "Lovers Must Learn" that she lends to a student. The Faculty Board did not approve, and she was forced to resign. She wants to live her life and to really fall in love as the book has inspired her. She goes to Italy and she gets a job at a book store run by an American woman who lives in Italy.

When in Italy she meets, Don, Troy Donahue (The Godfather Trilogy, Imitation of Life), a graduate student in Architecture, who is working on his thesis, in Italian architecture. They fall madly in love. He had this mistress Lydia, Angie Dickinson(Dressed to Kill). Rossano Brazzi plays this really lovable Italian gentleman (Roberto) whom Prudence meets on her way to Italy. He is really a nice guy and also friends of Don. Don and Prudence go on a tour around Italy by bus and then on his Vespa. It is a beautiful love story!. It is a love story, an old fashion love story as the people in love still sleep in separate beds and rooms. My favorite scenes in this movie are: the fluffy dog, Don playing with a piece of grass and caressing Prudence's face with it, the scenery of Italy, the friendliness of the Italian people, and their "savior de vivre," and ultimately when Don meets Prudence back in the States with this huge candelabra in his hands! I have such good memories of this movies that I have to give it a ten. The chemistry between Pleshette and Donahue is outstanding. They fall in love in real life in this movie. I was very disappointed when Suzanne and Troy were separated after a short marriage, I believe they were married one month. But I guess some love stories only have happy endings in the movies. I have the video, but the video it is not easily available at your rental video store. I highly recommend this gorgeous love story!
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9/10
A love story - it melts my heart
Irma-522 August 1999
An old fashioned love story which I've been waiting for years to come to television again. The music is wonderful and I could watch the scene in the dimly lit restaurant when "Al di la" begins to plays all night long... it's just so romantic.
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8/10
The Italian Candlestick
Claudio Carvalho1 April 2012
In Connecticut, the twenty-one year-old assistant librarian Prudence Bell (Suzanne Pleshette) is summoned by the board of the Briarcroft College for Women to explain why she had lent the forbidden romance "Lovers Must Learn" to a senior student. She gives a lecture about love to the old and lonely teachers and resigns from her position.

Prudence travels to Italy expecting to find independence and the true love. Along her trip, she befriends the experienced and mature Italian Roberto Orlandi (Rossano Brazzi) and the boring student of Etruscology Albert Stillwell (Hampton Fancher). In Rome, Roberto brings Prudence and Albert to the boarding house of and old Countess (Iphigenie Castiglioni).

Prudence finds a job in and American bookstore in Rome and she celebrates with the brokenhearted guest of the Countess Don Porter (Troy Donahue), whose girlfriend Lyda Kent (Angie Dickinson) has just broken up with him and traveled to Switzerland. Prudence and Don spends a holiday touring through Italy and she fall in love with him. But when they return to Rome, Lyda is waiting for Don.

"Rome Adventure" is one of the most romantic films from the 60's. The story is simple and naive, but supported by wonderful landscapes in Italy; a haunting music score with the song "Al Di La"; and the gorgeous Suzanne Pleshette. The witty lines and the voice of Prudence Bell are delightful. Troy Donahue was successful with the women..

The unforgettable music score was a hit in Brazil when I was a child and "Rome Adventure" was a great success in my country. I had seen this film for the last time on 22 April 2001 on VHS and today I have just seen it again on DVD. I like also the Brazilian title, "Candelabro Italiano", meaning "Italian Candlestick", since it represents the integrity and the love of the youngsters. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Candelabro Italiano" ("Italian Candlestick")
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10/10
Troy Donahue Was A Movie Star!!!
williwaw14 June 2011
Warner Bros 'Rome Adventure' is one of the more pleasurable films I have ever seen. Troy Donahue after 'A Summer Place' and 'Parrish' and 'Susan Slade'- all Warner Bros films and Delmer Daves directed hit films- was a big romantic star and was Warner Bros biggest male movie star. Troy Donahue is at his peak as a matinée idol in this romantic film. Lush scenery, and magnificent settings that make one travel to Rome!, glorious music by a real legend WB Maestro Max Steiner, and that wonderful romantic song Ai Di La!!! Splendid as always WB production values!

Delmer Daves made enjoyable romantic films and Warner Bros. has released Rome Adventure as part of its Romance Classics DVD.

Angie Dickinson, Hampton Fancher and Rosanno Brazzi co star and Chad Everett has a small role. Natalie Wood was announced for this film but refused the film and Natalie Wood's mistake became Suzanne Pleshette's good fortune as Ms. Pleshette assumed the role and had a long romance with Troy Donahue and eventually would marry Mr. Donahue ( and later co star with Troy Donahue in a great Warner Bros. western 'A Distant Trumpet' the last film directed by the legendary Director Raoul Walsh) and become a major star. I love the scene in the bistro where Suzy Pleshette just places her head on Troy's shoulder as Ai Di La plays.

Someday a book will be written on the career of Troy Donahue. A big star, when Troy left WB his career crashed. Troy Donahue blamed an Jack Warner edict that blackballed Troy Donahue from the Industry. True?

Rome Adventure is a great romantic movie and was a smash hit for Warner Bros, Delmer Daves and Troy Donahue.

Bring me back to those days!!

Williwaw
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6/10
As travelogue, glorious, as story - eh
kirksworks26 May 2011
There is a time for most people when, as children, they become aware.  It's the time when suddenly, the world opens up and you see yourself fitting in.  Things you took for granted or never noticed over night become worth investigating.  You become aware of not only your surroundings, but the time in which you find yourself.  Just like that things get emblazoned on your brain like never before.  For me, that happened in 1960.  It has always been a special year.  It was the year I discovered girls.  It was the year art had new meaning for me.  It was the year I learned to type and it was the year I realized movies would be a part of my life forever.

When I watch films from 1960 they bring back that connection to becoming aware.  They aren't all my favorite films, but it doesn't matter.  When I see pretty much any film from the early 60s I get a jolt.  Even if I've never seen the film before, movies that were made in the early 1960s, somehow trigger a response.  It's a combination of the hair styles, the fashion, automobiles, the film stock and lighting use of that time, the cast, acting and scoring style.  Films from 1960 through about 1962 have this in spades, including "Rome Adventure."

Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donohue just radiate early 60s like nobody's business, as does Max Steiner's score, the cinemascope cinematography and the dialog.  Even watching the credits in combo with Steiner's music swept me back to that era.  In this regard the film was a joy to watch.  It's very romantic, but you know that going in.  

Having said that, essentially, "Rome Adventure" is a travelogue romance, and pretty much nothing more.  I enjoyed it but I can't say it was very good.  Though it has some of the same cast members, it doesn't hold a candle to Delmer Daves' previous film, "Summer Place."  It's no where near as well written and quite shallow by comparison.  The visual symbolism (the candelabra, for example, representing Donohue's integrity) was more than heavy-handed.  I wonder what most women today would think of the scene where Donohue tells Pleshette that women's role on Earth is to be the anchor for the man?  I can understand the meaning behind the thought, but in todays PC environment, the way it was handled in the big love scene at the climax is totally chauvinistic. It comes down to script.  It could have been written in a way that suggested Donohue was talking about just he and Pleshette themselves, but the grand gesture of suggesting that the notion that all women were put on earth as the anchors for men is a cage many people (men and women) would bristle at. And the use of Al Hirt gives new meaning to the term "shoe-horned in."

I really enjoy Suzanne Pleshette in most things I've seen her in.  She ended up being cast often as the world weary but intelligent woman who harbors an old love. This is exactly the character she plays in Hitchock's "The Birds," losing out to Tippi Hedren for Rod Taylor's love.  Pleshette's small role is still one of the most remarkably well-developed of any secondary character in all of Hitch's films.  When Rod Taylor discovers what has happened to her during a bird attack, it's a powerfully emotional moment.  Amazing how much sympathy she created for herself with so little screen time. Pleshette in "Rome Adventure" doesn't start out playing the world weary woman she became in later films, but she sort of becomes one as the film progresses.  Of course, the ending pretty much disregards that concept of her character, but it's there nonetheless.  

Troy Donohue, who gave a very good and believable performance in "Summer Place," is pretty wooden here.  He's actually the film's greatest flaw, which I find hard to understand.  He had the same director and writer as "Summer Place," yet Donohue just doesn't connect.  There is little chemistry between he and Pleshette, certainly no fire like he had with Sandra Dee.  

The real star of "Rome Adventure" is Italy.  It was photographed to look quaint and romantic, but the choice of locations, the time of day and consideration of lighting were all beautifully realized.  The film has many similarities to another film from that same year (which also gives me that early 60s jolt), "Light in the Piazza."  Rozzano Brazzi, who stars in "Rome Adventure," was also in "Piazza," playing a similar character.  In the case of "Piazza," however, he's after the mother (played by Olivia deHavilland).  "Piazza" also stars ingénue of the day, Yvette Mimieux and up and coming heart throb, George Hamilton.  Hamilton plays an intrinsically happy Italian who falls in love with Mimieux' childlike character.  "Piazza" is much more successful as a Euro romance than "Rome Adventure" because its plot takes some truly unexpected turns.   "Rome Adventure" unfortunately telegraphs all its surprises along the way.

Yet, in spite of all this, I found there was a lot to enjoy, and I think it's even a film worth revisiting on occasion, if nothing more than to give me another early 60s jolt, but to also re-experience that idyllic world of Rome the filmmakers created.
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10/10
The Power of Life
randwolfray23 May 2010
I'm writing these comments from a man's point of view. "Rome Adventure" is a movie that most guys today would consider a "chick flick." But let me tell you something: this is a "guy flick" too, even though you may not know it yet.

I'm a red-blooded male who enjoys blood-and-guts action flicks with the best of 'em. "Bombs, bullets, and babes," oh yeah... Yet I turned on the TV one night and this film was just starting, so I watched it. I was mesmerized until the end. The scenery is great, and although I'm not usually too fond of Max Steiner's musical scores, he outdid himself here with a lush hypnotic atmosphere. And oh, what I would give to have an experience like this! I mean, c'mon guys, wouldn't you love to have a thing going with a babe like Suzanne Pleshette, especially in such awesome settings? If not, you must be a total meathead.

To me, the only thing that is weak in this movie is the title, which they could have made a little more interesting. But still, it says it all, and I think that this has got to be one of the most romantic movies ever made. It's never syrupy or sappy. It was made before my time, but 1962 was a good year for it to be released. People did not yet dress like slobs every day. The old sexual stuffiness was loosening up, and the "anything goes" Sexual Revolution had not yet steamrolled everything. In my opinion, the power of life exists when real committed love and uninhibited sexual desire are united in balance. I felt that in this movie.
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Rome Adventure
mhrabovsky691211 September 2007
The first thing you have to ask yourself about this film is is it a travelogue about Rome or is it a a romance movie??? Eighty percent of the film is Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette riding around Rome on a motor scooter while the camera pans all the historical sights in Rome. I have never learned so much about Rome all rolled up into one film!!! Troy Donahue, who was at the peak of his career in soap operas when this film was made gives another super soaper-doaper heart throb performance. Donahue was riding high with soapers like "Imitation of Life", "Parrish", "Susan Slade" and "A Summer Place"......the following year he was another hearthrob in the light headed "Palm Springs Weekend" with Stephanie Powers. In Rome Adventure Donahue is a student mired in Rome in a love mixup with the lovely Angie Dickinson and a young, very young Suzanne Pleshette. Who does he like better...sort of hard to figure at points in the film....Donahue runs around the entire film chasing both women. Rosanno Brazzi plays a very suave Italian gentlemen who is of wealth in Rome and tries to fall in love with Pleshette but he appears to be many years older than her.....it just wont work with a 20 year age difference!!! Substance wise this film did not give Brazzi the actor appeal he showed in "South Pacific"......in that film he was the hearthrob.....the famous "Al Di La" song rang out throughout the whole film and was a record hit in the US in 1962 from the movie soundtrack. All in all this film is a soaper special......teenage and young girls no doubt flocked to the theaters to see Donahue in 62 at the height of his career. Angie Dickinson had second fiddle in this film and you wonder how she liked playing second fiddle to Pleshette. The venerable Constance Ford, who usually plays a mother from hell is top notch as the owner of a book store in Rome where Pleshette gets a job....she was always a Delmer Daves favorite for his soap operas. Check out her voracious, aggressive dog..... This is a film that Warren Beatty probably could have played at the time too.....he and Donahue were top Hollywood hearthrobs at this time in the early 60s.....however, Beatty usually chose much more complex characters with mixed emotions like in "Splendor in the Grass" and "All Fall Down".......as for Rome Adventure cook up some popcorn and relax to a nice little love story from the early 60s when romance was more on the sweet side.
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Why not "Lovers Must Learn" instead of (yawn!) "Rome Adventure"?
Greg Couture30 April 2003
Never understood why this nondescript title was used for the American release of this piece of prime Delmer Daves eye candy. Certainly "Lovers Must Learn" says it all when it comes to the unrelenting emphasis on relatively discreet sex and romance-novel plotting that were the prime ingredients of this exercise in audience titillation, before the so-called Sexual Revolution of the late Sixties upended everyone's estimation of what could be shown on the big screen.

Delmer Daves was a master at getting the maximum out of his casts, both the talented and the merely decorative. I recall being highly entertained by Constance Ford's witty embodiment of an American shopowner, enjoying her European exile far from the shores of her prudish native land (and so much more sympathetic than that harridan she had to play in Daves' "A Summer Place," unforgettably chewing the proverbial scenery as she terrorized poor Sandra Dee and unrelentingly driving a stolid Richard Egan into the willing arms of Miss Dorothy McGuire!) And in this one I do recall thinking that Angie Dickinson had never been more lovingly photographed, more elegantly made up and coiffed, nor more expensively gowned, playing the spoiled temptress toying with the hapless (or do I mean, hopeless?) Troy Donahue. And let us not forget Suzanne Pleshette with her raven tresses, thoroughly modern good looks, and that throaty voice which fascinated many more, I'm sure, than just this besotted admirer. This kind of escapism, with very few exceptions, is a thing of the past, and I'm not too eager to agree that that's something about which we should have precious few regrets.
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6/10
"Al di lá, del mare più profondo, ci sei tu..."
moonspinner5520 August 2005
Troy Donahue was the eternal Rock Hudson substitute (just a few steps ahead of John Gavin), and his movie performances aren't exactly immortal, however his overly-serious manner worked in a melodramatic setting and he did some good pictures (a handful of them the plush Delmer Daves-directed soapers which swept into theaters in the late 1950s and early '60s). Troy was a perfect match for Sandra Dee or Connie Stevens, but here he's caught between Angie Dickinson and Suzanne Pleshette, and neither fits him especially well (this despite the fact he married Pleshette briefly in real-life). Pleshette is so-so in only her second film, cast as a librarian dismissed for loaning out a risqué book, "Lovers Must Learn"; fed up, she heads to Italy to put into use the romantic advice she's only read about. The scenery is gorgeous, and Al Hirt's jazzy music (and supporting performance) is fun, but the movie plods a bit and runs too long. Theme song "Al Di La" is very romantic, and the travelogue shots are an eyeful, yet this story and these characters merit little interest. **1/2 from ****
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9/10
I always wanted a romance like this, since I was a boy
letra634 May 2007
I was born in 1963, one year after the movie was made; and remember my parents watch it on TV. I was hidden behind watching too (when I was 5 or 6 years old). During the hard years (the teenage time), I saw that movie again, alone and wondered someday have a big-screen movie romance. Now I'm 43 years old, a married man with a amazing woman, and have two children. We are planing to visit Rome in a couple of weeks. I pray to the Lord to make this dream come true. A second honey moon, ready to live all the affair, as the film with my princess-wife. I hope so. Speaking about the movie, I always pay many attention to the soundtrack. The music, the lyrics, the sound effects are very important in almost every movie. In the "Rome Adventure", songs like AL DI LA, "Lovers Most Learn" (Main Title), Serenade, etc., gives a very tender weather to the plot; a very strong story for that time. I think so. So, I record from the LP (with scratch and noise) to the MP3 device, and gave her a surprise when, after the audition I said: "Honey, together we will listen these bells in Rome". She was petrified, breath and speechless. The day after she reacted and gave me thanks for the amazing gift.
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8/10
Oh what a view
jjnxn-130 April 2013
Gorgeous locations and unbelievable hair lend interest to this soap opera. Everyone is incredibly young and beautiful. Suzanne is as usual the best thing in the film. Two enjoyable performances stand out: the first thanks to Constance Ford, a brassy delight as the book store owner where Suzie works. Her blunt but cheery presence adds immeasurably to the pleasure of the picture. The other notable work comes from Angie Dickinson as a vixenish hoochie with an ice cold cash register of a heart and amazing wardrobe. Troy Donahue however is a block of wood who throws the whole movie off. Ignore him and enjoy the absolutely breathtaking scenery at every turn. You'll be booking passage by the time the picture is done.
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6/10
The real star of this movie is Italy
Martin Bradley21 January 2007
This sudsy, corn-filled romance would have been affectionately known as a 'woman's picture' back in 1962 when it was made. Today we would call it a 'chick-flic'. After giving up the western, (and he made a handful of very good ones), Delmer Daves turned to churning out some very glossy love stories, usually taken from best-selling novels of variable quality and, more often than not, starring the hottest property of the day, Troy Donahue. Donahue was blonde and beautiful and he could even act after a fashion in that kind of stiff American manner that belonged to an altogether different age; perhaps that is why his career was so short-lived.

Here he's an American artist living in Rome and the girl that falls for him was newcomer Suzanne Pleshette who has left American in search of adventure while clinging to her virtue. If for nothing else we should be eternally grateful for any film that gives us Pleshette who was smart, sexy and beautiful beyond her years but whose career never went anywhere either. There is also an older man in the mix as well, a charming Italian played by ... yes, you guessed it, Rossano Brazzi, (were all middle-aged Italian men like Brazzi?), and a bitch played by Angie Dickinson. (Pleshette acts her off the screen). But the real star of the movie is Italy, photographed in all its Technicolor, travelogue glory pushing the story very much into the background. The Italian tourist board should still be paying Daves royalties.
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7/10
Mid-Century Eye Candy
bcrumpacker14 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT Troy Donahue deserves further consideration. Yes, he's wooden; but what about that soapy script? And maybe Troy did what the director told him to do, as opposed to what Troy could or wanted to do with his role. Anyway, give the dude a break. He put butts in the seats, and he looks great just standing there.

Another theme was fairly new in 1962: After Suzanne Pleshette meets slinky Angie Dickinson, she fears that she cannot compete with Angie for Troy's love because Angie is more sexually experienced. Yikes! Looks aren't enough anymore! Should Suzanne practice with Mr. Brazzi?

This downside to female virtue was seldom discussed so openly in movies before, probably due to censorship issues, and due to our cultural assumptions. Here, Suzanne worries needlessly, because Troy greets her in NY with the obviously symbolic gold candlestick. The message is clear: these two lovebirds will work it out.

As a warning to young girls, we are shown the downside of experience, namely Angie trapped by a Howard Hughes type control freak. Bottom line: It's OK, they're engaged. Enjoy the mid-century eye candy.
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7/10
Rome Adventure- The Scenery is Sumptuous With Weak Script ***
edwagreen25 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is really a boy meets girl film with plush Italian scenery and another memorable musical score by Max Steiner.

The story itself isn't really that noteworthy. An assistant librarian, Suzanne Pleshette, quits before she is removed from her Connecticut College position when she gives an unauthorized book to a student. Note that Norma Varden, the memorable housekeeper in "The Sound of Music" briefly appears as the college trustee who questions Pleshette at her hearing.

This all sets the stage for Pleshette's trip to Italy where she secures a position in an American bookstore, owned by a former American schoolteacher, the latter got tired of the brats and fell in love with Rome one summer vacation and wired her resignation.

At an inn, Pleshette meets Donahue who has just been thrown over by Angie Dickinson. Amazing that Dickinson got second billing as she basically didn't appear until later in the film. In addition, as an Italian, (of course) Rossano Brazzi was given little to do.

The endearing part of the movie is the plush scenes as we are literally swept into a tour of Italy.
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4/10
Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue put Romance in Rome
wes-connors7 November 2010
Beautiful college librarian Suzanne Pleshette (as Prudence Bell) quits her job after officials scold her for dispensing a naughty book on love (read "sex"). She decides to cool her heels in Italy. Not a bad choice of locale. In Rome, Ms. Pleshette meets doughy cute Troy Donahue (as Don Porter). The Technicolor twosome have the expected "Rome Adventure". But, Mr. Donahue's attractive girlfriend Angie Dickinson (as Lyda Kent) gets in the way. And, Pleshette also attracts native Italian charmer Rossano Brazzi (as Roberto Orlandi) and shyly insecure Hampton Fancher (as Albert Stillwell). Romantic in any language, Emilio Pericoli's "Al Di La" became a big top ten hit in 1962. The film's music and Italian scenery are its strengths.

**** Rome Adventure (3/15/62) Delmer Daves ~ Suzanne Pleshette, Troy Donahue, Angie Dickinson, Rossano Brazzi
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6/10
Trite love story elevated by lush Italian scenery and equally lush Max Steiner score...
Neil Doyle19 September 2010
ROME ADVENTURE has two things going for it: Gorgeous photography of famous Italian landmarks and landscapes, and a lush and very appropriate Max Steiner score that makes the most of "Al Di La." The scenery alone is worth giving the film at least 6 points, so it's a shame that the boy meets girl/boy loses girl/boy wins girl plot is so tiresome and moves at a snail's pace. By concentrating on the music and the scenery though, you can get a lot of pleasure from just watching this travelogue unfold.

And, of course, no film about Italy in the '60s would be complete without the suave presence of ROSSANO BRAZZI as the older man that SUSANNE PLESHETTE finds hard to resist. But it's her affair with TROY DONAHUE--the blond Tab Hunter type of the '60s that teen-age girls swooned over--that occupies most of the story. The real life attraction between Pleshette and Donahue is evident in many of their flirtatious scenes. Alas, their good chemistry should have been given a more substantial script.

The "other woman" role is ably played by ANGIE DICKINSON, who wears her stunning outfits to great effect. With all the eye candy going on, it's easy to see why ROME ADVENTURE was an easy pill to swallow.

Max Steiner certainly comes to the rescue with a handsome score, its main source of pleasure being repeated hearings of the song "Al Di La." Summing up: Pleasurable fluff will have you dreaming of a luxurious vacation in the Italian alps.
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6/10
Surprisingly good
HeathCliff-225 October 2009
Maybe it's because my expectations were so low that I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was the fluffy counterpart to the other Delmer Daves movies, eg Summer Place, etc. A romantic travelogue silly movie. I was surprised. Yes, it's dated beyond belief, with the sole focus of Suzanne Pleshette being a "good girl" or a "bad girl" - the same lament as Sandra Dee and the other juvenile leads of the time. And yes, surprisingly, there's dialogue that sounds like it's written by men ABOUT women and speaking FOR women - such as characters like Angie Dickenson who has claws and feminine wiles, and a later thematic scene between Pleshette and Brazzi, when we learn that the primary role of woman is to ultimate support and encourage her man. But putting aside the obvious dated content, I found a lot of richness and soul in acting and direction that surprised me. Suzanne Pleshette's inner warmth and intelligence infuse her performance beyond the boundaries of this kind of material. She never became a big film star, not sure why, but this performance, her first lead, was very impressive in transmitting her aura intact to the audience. Troy Donahue would never win an acting Oscar, but he has two redeeming qualities, or maybe three: he is so beautiful to look at that you soak up his beauty with every shot, as a treat in itself; he has an innate sincerity that, even if he isn't Laurence Olivier, still gives his screen presence grounded and appeal; and he's just a big ol' movie star with charisma that makes you want to watch him. Constance Ford is always fabulous. And the scenery was a pleasure, and the tour of Italy was more substantive and less filler than usual, for these movies. I appreciated the narrative of some of the sights. Of course, all of us watching this movie really enjoy the debonair, long-disappeared dressing-up, from skirts and heels, to daytime suits, and nighttime gowns and tuxes. I'm glad we don't have to dress like that - I enjoy wearing shorts and flipflops - but it's wonderful and wistfully nostalgic to see. The one negative for me was Angie Dickinson. I thought her innate intelligence and warmth was also palpable, like Suzanne Pleshette, so I was impressed in that sense. But her character was written so caricaturishly as a viper and shallow, that it diminished the overall quality of the film, since it was the single plot device beyond boy meets girl, falls in love with girl, has a falling out with girl, and reteems with girl. Angie's part was the plot device, and the weak link in an otherwise pretty enjoyable film.
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8/10
"Lovers Must Learn" was the title in Hong Kong circa 1962 - Suzanne Pleshette's debut feature film with Troy Donahue and Rossano Brazzi
Ruby Liang (ruby_fff)30 April 2009
What can I say, those 'confectious' soapy romance classics that writer-director Delmer Daves superbly delivered with early 60's heart-throb Troy Donahue, pairing up with Sandra Dee ("A Summer Place"), Connie Stevens ("Parrish"; "Susan Slade"), and Suzanne Pleshette in "Rome Adventure" (aka "Lovers Must Learn"), were simply irresistible to then budding teenage girls, hands down. So when Warner Brothers (47 years after) finally released the DVD set of 4 (including "Palm Springs Weekend" with Donahue and Stevens once again together) this year in January, it's a wonderful feeling expecting to hear Al Hirt and Al-Di-La being sung all over again. (One might deduce this is more of a 'girly' favorite movie).

The word 'Adventure' in the film title is more of the 'adventure' of the heart or hearts. 'Rome' is the perfect location chosen for "Lovers Must Learn," indeed. Max Steiner's music undoubtedly gave the movie the lush and elegant touches, binding the story segments together most melodically. Director Delmer Daves wrote the screenplay based on Irving Fineman's (a Jewish American scholar) novel, and once again showed his masterful hand at romance classics, including dashes of humor and smiles from the dialog exchanges. The inferences to Prudence Bell's 'cultural' hangups, upbringing restraints are not entirely confined to American girls. "But you are special," Don reassured Prue. Don also needed lessons on his frustrating heartaches over Lyda (glamorously portrayed by Angie Dickinson). Rossano Brazzi's Roberto provided the necessary lessons to both girl and boy sides, well-played. (Besides the famous musical "South Pacific," watch Brazzi also in director Jean Negulesco's 1954 "Three Coins in the Fountain" and David Lean's 1955 "Summertime" romancing Katharine Hepburn in Venice). Interwoven are conversational pieces around "capillary attraction" (physics of raindrops), Etruscan archeology (Rosetta stone), even a brief recital from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

"Rome Adventure" is very much a travelogue in itself, you get to see many famous spots of Rome. (Could very well be a good one to familiarize the city of Rome before Ron Howard's "Angels and Demons" with Tom Hanks opening in May 2009.) For the ultimate soap drama, see Delmer Daves' 1961 "Parrish." Noticed Hampton Fancher played Albert Stillwell rather well, quite a departure from seeing him as the irresponsible spoiled brat Edgar Raike in "Parrish," also opposite Troy Donahue. Constance Ford as Daisy Porter of the book shop (with Mr. McGinnis, the shaggy dog) also played the mother to Sandra Dee's character in Dave's 1959 "A Summer Place."

The song "Al-Di-La" sung by Emilio Pericolli in the film can be heard at 00:36:11 mark, thirty-six minutes into the movie, at the dinner restaurant with Prue and Don. He explained 'Al-Di-La' as: "Far, far away. Beyond the beyond. Beyond this world. That's how much he loves her in the song." ROME ADVENTURE is a rich (not at all fluffy) romance drama, worth enjoying and to reminisce.
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