6.5/10
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The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 28 December 1961 (USA)
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 ... 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) »

Taglines:

The story of an American woman and her abandonment in Rome

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

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 (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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


Goofs

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

Quotes

Karen Stone: Paolo, why have you done nothing but...
Paolo di Leo: Please, I have a terrible headache.
Karen Stone: And you can't stay tonight? That's it, isn't it! But, not because of any headache. It's because you made a date with that cheap little...
Paolo di Leo: Cheap is not a word, I think, that you should use.
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 »


Soundtracks

Love Is a Bore
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Addinsell
Lyrics by Paddy Roberts
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Vivien Hypnotic
15 February 2010 | by CasadenaSee all my reviews

"Are you trying to--touch me, Contessa?" No one who sees Vivien Leigh on film can remain unmoved by her for long, if they are sensitive to beauty. Or pain. Despite whatever faults it may reveal to some, this film is a truly beautiful representation of the singularly tormented art of a hypnotically compelling actress. Watch her eyes in the introductory scene on the sofa, as she glances at the Contessa and her boy, over the smoke rising from her filter-less cigarette. Or at the villa lunch party--is anyone more graceful on screen with a fork and an awkward plate of food in their hands while managing to consume, register taste, swallow, and speak "sophisticated" dialog in the best postwar style, in a foreign (American) accent? Watch her in the café scene with Lotte Lenya's voracious pimp zeroing in on its prey: Leigh was tormented by the word "Beautiful"--friends and fans called her that to her face almost involuntarily, yet she couldn't tell them it drove her crazy, that her English convent school upbringing made that word synonymous with "shallow", at least to her way of thinking--but what other word describes her? Vivien Leigh casts a spell on all who see her, long after her death from tuberculosis in 1967. Oh, and the 1961 Lincoln convertible is as beautiful as any of the "Roman" scenery in the background; it is the perfect choice for Karen Stone's car.


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