The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

DVD - 2006
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Karen Stone, a lonely, aging actress, lives in a luxurious apartment in Rome where she has a romantic fling with a young gigolo.


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Shown at the St. Louis Public Library - Buder Branch's Senior Film Series on 6/22/2016 when the theme was "Pageturners: American Literature Classics on Film."

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Jun 17, 2018

An ambiguous, but mostly sad film about love and its losses and phoney imitations of it, and also of fear of poverty and of inauthenticity. I think that the film ended too abruptly: it could have gone on to develop the new angle with the waif-y stalker. The film uses an awful lot of cutbacks and close-ups, and music isn't effectively used.

Jun 02, 2018

This sordid melodrama from 1961 was a truly nasty, depressing, and downright distasteful story about rich, old, American women succumbing to the charms of young, pretty, Italian gigolos who are even more ruthless and conniving gold-diggers than are American toy-boys.

Full of venomous dialogue - This story was adapted from the screenplay by Tennessee Williams who seemed to have a real spiteful knack for presenting all of his characters in the most unfavorable light imaginable.

All-in-all - This movie was lousy viewing entertainment.

May 17, 2018

While watching 1961's "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" - The question that kept coming to my mind was this - "Didn't playwright/screenwriter, Tennessee Williams know how to do anything else but to bring out the vile side of people in his plays?"

Believe me - I got so frickin' tired of Williams' dialogue here. It was always so full of cutting jabs like everyone was (forever) verbally fencing with each other (and they were all out for blood).

And, speaking about the neurotic, frail, and brittle-looking Vivien Leigh (wearing a godawful wig) in this picture - She was 48 at the time, but she looked more like 60 to me. And, within 6 years, she would be dead from the ravages of tuberculosis.

With the one exception of "A Streetcar Named Desire" - I hated this movie like I've hated every other Williams' movie that I've ever seen. I think his plays translate terribly into motion pictures. They really do.

Dec 30, 2014

After her husband’s sudden death aging actress Karen Stone finds herself adrift in Rome—a city which, like herself, exists largely in the past. He had been twenty years older than her and that age gap, plus a circle of flattering friends, allowed Karen to ignore some harsher truths about herself: she had more personality than talent, and she was quickly approaching middle-age. Alone for the first time Stone falls prey to the wiles of Contessa Magda, an embittered relic of European nobility now peddling illusions of romance to rich lonely women (and men) in the form of dashing young gigolos. One such rent-boy, Paolo, slowly works his way past Karen’s defences threatening both her personal stability and very public reputation in the process. A lush technicolor adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ tragedy headlined by Vivian Leigh (whose personal life mirrored much of Karen’s) and a shockingly young Warren Beatty who sabotages his own good looks with a ridiculously affected Italian accent. True to Williams’ style everyone seems to exist within a comforting bubble of unreality from Paolo’s pathetic attempts to rise above his station in life to Stone’s own fragile vanity as she wills herself into believing she’s finally found love and passion. Reality, however, is never far away for Karen’s future is literally shadowing her through the streets and alleyways of Rome. A fine cast is rounded out by screen great Lotte Lenya as the Contessa, a cynical dowager who mocks the very women she purports to be helping, and Jill St. John as Barbara Bingham, a shallow starlet who embodies everything Karen feels she has lost. A sad tale presented with style and flair.


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