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The Picasso Summer (1969)

M | | Drama | 1969 (USA)
A San Francisco couple travels to France in search of Pablo Picasso.



(film concept), (screenplay) (as Douglas Spaulding) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview:
Alice Smith
Luis Miguel Dominguín ...
Luis Miguel Dominguín
Theodore Marcuse ...
The Host (as Theo Marcuse)
Jim Connell ...
The Artist
Sopwith Camel ...
Sopwith Camel
Peter Madden ...
Blind Man
Tutte Lemkow ...
Kathryn Reynolds ...
(as Kay Reynolds)
Man at Party
Georgina Cookson ...
British Woman at Dinner
Stephen Scott ...
German Tourist
Miki Iveria ...
Blind Man's Wife
Bee Duffell ...
German Tourist


George Smith, an architect in San Francisco, is feeling "a bit flat" after completing his latest, less-than-fulfilling project: designing a warehouse for a commercial complex. George's wife, Alice, tries to cheer him up by taking him to a party of artists, but it turns out to be a gaudy, pretentious affair that leaves both of them dispirited. After a restless night, George wakes up to find himself gazing with newfound fascination at the Picasso reproductions that adorn the walls of their apartment. Overcome with admiration for a truly brilliant artist, George impulsively proposes that he and Alice fly off to the south of France to track down Picasso and thank him in person. Alice agrees, thinking the trip will prove a delightful lark. But George's desire to find Picasso turns into an obsession that starts to take a toll on their seemingly ideal marriage. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El verano de Picasso  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Producer Wes Herschensohn in his book "Ressurection in Cannes: The Making of The Picasso Summer" states that the final shot was filmed in Catalina, because it resembled the shores of Southern France. Mr. Herschensohn did the sand drawings and a local man named Duke Fishman played Picasso -- he bore a striking resemblance to Picasso. He was somewhat of an artist himself and briefly able to continue Herschensohn's sand drawings for the camera. See more »


Blind Man: Ah, Picasso.
Alice Smith: You know, I don't always understand his paintings.
Blind Man: I know. But can you understand when a bird sings?
See more »


Hey Ho The Wind and the Rain
Lyrics by William Shakespeare from "Twelfth Night"
Sung by Albert Finney
See more »

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User Reviews

Train wreck of a movie and a squander of the actor's talent.
6 July 2013 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

Originally completed in 1969 but not released by Warners Bros. TV division until 1972 and broadcast on CBS late night movie, "The Picasso Summer" demonstrates, in the most negative manner, what happens when a film director and the "groupthink" of the film's producers are in complete disagreement.

Clocking in at a scant 90 minutes, 60 minutes of which are devoted to frequently tedious animation of Picasso's works, Warner Bros. would have been better served by entirely jettisoning the framing story, that of self-absorbed architect (Albert Finney) and his loving, long suffering wife (Yvette Mimieux). The framing story is reminiscent of the excellent 1967 film, "Two for the Road," which also starred Finney, but with Audrey Hepburn playing the long suffering wife. Hepburn and Mimieux project similar spiritual images, but Mimieux has the added bonus of a sexiness, of which Hepburn could only dream. Think of Jennifer Love Hewitt playing Hepburn (which she did, for a TV movie), but with Hepburn's acting abilities. Even so, most of that 30 scant minutes of live action consists of footage either of peripheral characters, "60's style artsy" footage of the Finney and Mimiuex observing Picasso's art, attending a "pop art" party (the film's worst live action sequence) or bicycling through France. Actual dramatic screen time between Finney and Mimieux clocks in at about 10 minutes.

Fortunately, Warner Bros. did not jettison the live action sequences, because of a roughly 8 minute segment involving Mimieux, an elderly painter and his wife. Of the live action, that is one of the few segments which does not appear to be ugly work-print; and the two scenes are so profound, they make including the live action worthwhile.

Given the talent involved, (Oscar-nominated Serge Bourguignon, five-time scar-nominated Albert Finney, two-time Golden Globe-nominated Yvette Mimieux, Hugo Award-winning classic fantasy/science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, three-time Oscar winner Michelle Legrand and Oscar-winner and multi-nominated cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, the fate of the "The Picasso Summer" seems especially tragic. However, if you do happen to come across "The Picasso Summer" and are not a particularly huge fan of Picasso (which, I am not), copy it and fast forward to the last twenty minutes, as they are worth the watch and are worthy of a "10" rather than the "4" I gave the movie overall.

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