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The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

An aging actress travels to Rome with her husband; after he suddenly dies during the flight, she begins a passionate affair with a young gigolo.

Director:

José Quintero

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (novel), Gavin Lambert (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vivien Leigh ... Karen Stone
Warren Beatty ... Paolo di Leo
Coral Browne ... Meg
Jill St. John ... Barbara Bingham
Jeremy Spenser ... Young man
Stella Bonheur ... Mrs. Jamison-Walker
Josephine Brown ... Lucia
Peter Dyneley ... Lloyd Greener
Carl Jaffe Carl Jaffe ... Baron Waldheim (as Carl Jaffé)
Harold Kasket Harold Kasket ... Tailor
Viola Keats Viola Keats ... Julia McIlheny
Cleo Laine Cleo Laine ... Singer
Bessie Love ... Bunny
Elspeth March ... Mrs. Barrow
Henry McCarty Henry McCarty ... Campbell Kennedy (as Henry McCarthy)
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Storyline

Critics and the public say Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a play she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been the angel for the play and gives her a way out: They are off to a holiday in Rome for his health. He suffers a fatal heart attack on the plane. Mrs. Stone stays in Rome. She leases a magnificent apartment with a view of the seven hills from the terrace. Then the contessa comes calling to introduce a young man named Paola to her. The contessa knows many presentable young men and lonely American widows. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

contessa | gigolo | actress | death | widow | See All (48) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Widow and the Gigolo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to his memoirs, Oliver Reed was interviewed by Elia Kazan for a role in the movie. See more »

Goofs

The handkerchief Karen Stone takes out is different from the one picked up by the young man outside. See more »

Quotes

Meg: Of all the people in Italy, why did you have to pick on that bunch? Oh, the young ones are pretty, of course, and I'm told they make love very nicely. But, is that enough to ask of a whole human society?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Warner Brothers shield logo which normally introduces a Warner Brothers film appears at the end of this film instead of at the beginning. See more »

Connections

Version of The Drift (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is a Bore
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Addinsell
Lyrics by Paddy Roberts
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Essential truths beneath the artifice.
17 September 2007 | by ags123See all my reviews

Tennessee Williams' gift for exposing the heart and soul - the core - of human experience was so fine-tuned it transcended clumsy handling and Hollywood censorship. "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" captures the essence of Williams' profound understanding. Even the film's missteps - the fake sets, the beige hair, Warren Beatty's Italian accent – fail to detract. The surface artificiality contrasts with the underlying truths, making them that much more pronounced. In fact, the curious production values add another level of interest to the proceedings. There are lots of fine things about this film, which far surpasses the later television remake. Vivien Leigh's tortured persona brought added dimension to every character she played. Here she really "gets" what Mrs. Stone, and Williams, were about. Lotte Lenya's knowing performance remains timeless. Richard Addinsell's hypnotic score adds to the strange, foreign atmosphere. This is a rewarding, intelligent, entertaining film for thoughtful viewers. Obviously, it's not for every taste.


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