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|Index||41 reviews in total|
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.
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.
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!
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
I wish this was in DVD.
*** This review may contain 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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!
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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