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Seven years before Rome Adventure (1962), Rossano Brazzi had romanced Katharine Hepburn in Summertime (1955). This time around, Brazzi was in support of Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue, the new young lovers of the screen.
In a plot similar to Summertime, Rome Adventure concerns a young American woman (Pleshette) who comes to Italy in search of love. It was based on the 1932 novel Lovers Must Learn by Irving Fineman, which was the original working title of the film. After its release, the film reverted back to the original title. Filmed on location at various locations in Italy, the story was secondary to the scenery and the appeal of Pleshette (in her first starring role) and Troy Donahue, who was at the peak of his brief career as Hollywood's Golden Boy.
Rome Adventure had its own behind-the-scenes love story. Stars Pleshette and Donahue fell in love and were married in a ceremony that cost five figures and was paid by Warner Bros, which soon put the couple in another film A Distant Trumpet (1964). The marriage lasted a year.
A young Chad Everett has a small role and jazz great Al Hirt makes an appearance in which he plays some music in a Rome nightclub before a brawl breaks out and the musicians get involved. The most memorable thing about Rome Adventure was the tune Al-di-La which became a hit for singer Emilio Pericoli and appears, according to Billboard Magazine - an astonishing 22 times within the film. Director Delmer Daves had heard the original 1961 recording of the song, sung by Pericoli, and hired him to sing the song in the film exactly as it was performed on the record.
Rome Adventure opened in New York on March 15, 1962. Life magazine called it "the year's sappiest love story" but praised Pleshette's performance, "the movie has one joyous surprise Suzanne Pleshette, a Liz Taylor-like brunette whose humor, verve and sexy charm should make male movie-goers if you'll pardon the profundity feel good to be alive."
Producer: Delmer Daves
Director: Delmer Daves
Screenplay: Delmer Daves; Irving Fineman(novel)
Cinematography: Charles Lawton
Art Direction: Leo K. Kuter
Music: Max Steiner
Film Editing: William Ziegler
Cast: Troy Donahue (Don Porter), Angie Dickinson (Lyda Kent), Rossano Brazzi (Roberto Orlandi), Suzanne Pleshette (Prudence Bell), Constance Ford (Daisy Porter), Al Hirt (Himself), Hampton Fancher (Albert Stillwell), Iphigenie Castiglioni (Contessa), Chad Everett (Young man), Gertrude Flynn (Mrs. Riggs).
by Lorraine LoBianco
The AFI Catalog of Feature Films
"'Al Di La' Tale of Patience" Billboard 2 Jun 62
"Movie Provides Zip to 'Al Di La'" Billboard 8 Sep 62
Hofler, Robert The Man Who Discovered Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson
"Rome Adventure" Life Magazine 20 Apr 62
Yarrow, Scott Jazz on Film: The Complete Story of the Musicians and Music Onscreen