- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Summertime in Venice
I adore this film, and have lost count of the number of times I've watched it. It's hard to believe it's almost 60 years old, I hope no-one decides to do a re-make, because they would surely ruin it, you can't beat perfection. Venice is magnificent and it really makes you want to go there. The music is hauntingly beautiful. Katharine Hepburn was the perfect choice for this part, she played Jane so well. Rossano Brazzi is absolutely gorgeous, - what woman could resist him! Mauro was annoying, but very cute and the MacIlhenny's crass, but also very funny. I loved the tolling bells and the symbolism of the gardenia and the shoes. Sometimes I really wanted to shake Jane, and tell her not to be so prim, a man like that would never come along again, just grab him for goodness sake. Sad as it was, I don't really think the ending could have been any different. Although wild horses couldn't have dragged me on to that train! Although I dislike the term "a woman's film" if ever there was one, then this is it. I've never spoken to a woman yet who hasn't loved it. It's romantic, seductive, funny and pure escapism, you can watch it over and over again, and enjoy it just as much every time.
I love Summertime...
- el debbo
if only because of the incredible beauty throughout... and Rosanno Brazzi. His expression was PRICELESS that first time we see him in the square, studying her shoe and foot. He was understated, real, and devastatingly handsome throughout. He's the reason for the 5 stars, as well as the scenery. Hepburn should have thrown her oar in a bit more with Lean, as her character seemed a teeny bit contrived. Why wear a coat, yes, a coat, stepping off the train in Venice in the summer? Why back up into the canal? She should have refused a few things; she had clout. Anyway, it's still a wonderful old beauty of a movie, a beautiful era, a gorgeous visual capture of Venice... She was supposed to be from Akron, as I am. Made it harder to believe she didn't stay in Venice forever.
LOVE IN VENICE ~
OH HOW I ADORE THIS BEAUTIFUL COLORFUL MOVIE, ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LIKE IT HAS NO SENTIMENT FOR LOVE AND ROMANCE, I THINK IT'S THE BEST LOVE STORY EVER......IT'S FILL OF INNOCENT SENSITIVE PASSION FOR THE FEELINGS OF LOVE, THAT ALL WOMAN DREAM OF AND DESIRE.....I WANT TO GO TO VENICE AND FIND LOVE AND MAKE BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES TOO ! IF ANYONE WONDERS WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE LITTLE BOY " MAURO " HES THE ONLY ONE ALIVE FROM THE MOVIE, HE LIVES IN NAPLES ITALY AND IS 71 YEARS OLD AND A FRIEND OF MINE ! HE HAS SHARED SOME WONDERFUL STORIES WITH ME ABOUT FILMING THE MOVIE BACK IN 1955.......I WOULD LOVE TO SEE TCM HAVE HIM ON TO INTERVIEW HIM , AS THE MOVIE IS SUCH A CLASSIC GEM AND HE'S THE ONLY ONE TO BE ABLE TO SHARE THOSE DAYS OF LONG AGO ......I FEEL JANE HUDSON SHOULD STILL BE IN VENICE AND THE SUMMERTIME OF LOVE SHOULD LIVE ON FOREVER !!!
The Romance of Italy
I wish everyone could experience Italy and, in particular, Venice on a beautiful day! You almost have to do this to really understand this film. You go there and you see all you have ever read about. You are entranced from day one and it does get to you. There is an eternal romance in the Italian air and I understood Kate Hepburn's character, Jane Hudson, from the beginning. She was in love with Italy and the romance extended to a man when she took her host's advice and gave it "a little push." Brazzi is magnificent as the romantic lead, Renato, and who could resist him? Not Jane! David Lean's film is brilliant but, then again, how can you go wrong with Venice as a backdrop? I do take exception to those disappointed in the ending to this film. It was 1955 and women in film either had to pay for their "indiscretions" or break them off. Jane wrestled with her decision, as it was obvious how much she loved Renato; however, I'd like to think she came back home a lot wiser, more mature and much more open to love! This is Italy's gift to her!
Answers to some questions here
- Tom Lowery
After reading many of the comments here and elsewhere about this film, I thought I'd stick my two cents in! Firstly, anyone expecting a love story is in for disappointment. Summertime is not a love story but a coming of age story. And a nearly flawless one at that. It is the love affair with Venice that opens Jane's heart to the affair with Renaldo. I love David Lean's use of the McIlhenny's to comment on the phenomenon of "ugly Americans" abroad, although most tourists could easily fit the bill (Brits are notorious for behaving badly away from home). Mr. McIlhenny is the film's answer to Archie Bunker, and his wife, while more endearing, is just as comedic for being so clueless about being offensive. Lean said: "...in 'Summertime' I couldn't resist having a good (and I hope affectionate) dig at them [tourists]." I travel a lot and you'd be amazed at how many people just like them I have met. I also enjoyed the subtle things Lean added to the film. Notice that in early scenes, Jane is wearing white gloves. Later, as she relaxes a bit, she wears only one glove in certain scenes. When things get too unfamiliar for her, the gloves come back on. Then, for her grand first date with Renato, her color scheme changes from white and lite colors to black with shades of red - and black gloves - which come off completely during their evening of dancing. In other words, but this time, "the gloves are off" and Jane has, finally, grown up! Also leans use of the color red at various points in the story. I've never tired of watching this gentle yet loving tribute to Venice and to growing up late... Finally, the theme song (the one Renato sings a bit of) is "Summertime in Venice" by Alessandro Cicognini. The music they listen to in the Piazza San Marco is "La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie)", a melodramma or opera semiseria in two acts by Gioachino Rossini.
- Dashiell Barnes
In this film, Lean discovers a new love, shooting on location. Hepburn gives fragile, Oscar-nominated performance, Brazzi is impressive as her failed love interest. This film & "Three Coins in the Fountain" are a perfect snapshot of Italy in glorious color. The picture, though overly melodramatic, is still a good film from the filmography of Lean. I give it a 4/5.T
The 30 min (last) I watched of this movie MADE me want to see MUCH more of a ROMANTIC movie I saw with KATE (hepburn)..She almost looked pretty...
- Brenda Lester
David Lean is one of my favorite directors. I've watched SUMMERTIME, with Kate Hepburn, more than once, and I cannot understand how he could make such a horrible film. Hepburn, in most of her scenes, walks around Venice, for the most part, simpering, looking at statues,and sighing; not the Kate I've come to know and love. I adore her wardrobe, except the one evening dress that pinches her bodice, making her look even more flat-chested, not at all flattering. The only reason to watch this film is the beautiful on-location scenes and the wonderful performance of Rossano Brazzi.
A truly romantic movie
I saw this movie for the first time a few days ago. Watching this movie made me want to take a vacation to Venice! The scenery is breath-taking! Also, the scene where Rossano Brazzi's character first sees Katherine Hepburn's character is one of the best. The look on his face as he checks her out just makes you melt (well, it did me, anyway). As the movie unfolds, I could almost believe that they were actually lovers in real life. I think the chemistry between them is very good. I knew, eventually, she would give into his charm (who wouldn't?) but I didn't think she would run off at the end like she did. That's not how I would have handled it but then again, I wasn't alive in the 50's where such things were looked upon in such a different way than they are today. Too late, I have become a fan of Rossano Brazzi. I've seen a few of his movies, 'A Certain Smile', 'Interlude' and 'The Story of Esther Costello', but this is my favorite. If you're in the mood for romance, check this movie out.
Ciao,Rosanno,what a handsome man
Watched it mainly because I'm a Rosanno Brazzi fan,and fell in love with movie
- Bill Merrill
My wife and I just returned from a European vacation... We spent one day in Venice...We spent almost our entire day and evening exactly where the majority of this movie was filmed... It is just amazing how things have remained the same over all the years since the movie was filmed in 1955...If anyone is going on a trip to Venice, this is the movie to see.... Bill from Indiana
Oh how I love this movie. Just the ticket for the romantics at heart. I am so glad Hepburn played this roll instead of some "hottie" of the time. I agree that "it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all". One would hope this is how Hepburn's character left Venice. One question yet. Does anyone know of the song playing when they were dancing the night she wore that black gown? Rossano sang it to her. I appreciate any help with this.
This is to Gayle: I believe you are thinking of the theme music to this film. It was written for this film, just like most other scores. It's in the tradition of Italian melody. If you play an instrument, it has been published, and called "Summertime In Venice." It actually is quite a beautiful melody, very Italianate. I am a pianist, and when I first saw this film, I couldn't stop playing it for a afew days. As for the film, a little too contrived. What saves it for me is Kate's acting, which is extraordinary. Did she draw on her own life for those scenes in the Piazza San Marco? Who knows....
Hepburn In Venice
- Bruce Reber
Katharine Hepburn gives a fine Oscar-nominated performance in Director David Lean's "Summertime" (1955) against the backdrop of the atmosphere of Venice. My two favorite scenes are when Rossano Brazzi tries unsuccessfully to retrieve the flower that Kate dropped in the canal, and the final scene when she leaves on the train, and he is running trying to catch up with her to give her another flower, and they end up waving to each other. Another of my favorite scenes is when she is backing toward the edge of the canal with her movie camera filming the shop, and she falls in. I have heard that Kate Hepburn developed an eye infection that remained with her the rest of her life because of the bacteria in the canal's water.
Excellent. I cannot rave enough about it. When this movie was released (1955) I was only 13 years old. Now I am 67 years old....I do have a question that I hope some one "out there" can answer. I'm a music/song buff and it is bothering me that I could not recognize for sure a haunting song in this movie. I think it is As Long As He Needs Me.....but that song was attributed to the movie Oliver (I think). This is driving me crazy....please someone, answer me. I don't want a tossing and turning kind of night. Thanking you in advance.
- Jarrod McDonald
To really appreciate this film you have to do a bit of cinematic homework. First, you need to see Kate's earlier romantic melodrama 'Alice Adams' which is referenced quite a bit in 'Summertime' (the business with the flower and a midwestern woman pining for a grand life). And after this film, you need to see 'The Lion in Winter' which references this film by the way that Kate leaves her husband by boat. And then, considering director David Lean, you need to have seen 'Brief Encounter' which came ten years before this film. The ending is essentially the same, with a farewell along a train platform and the consequences of an extra-marital affair. Once you've seen these other titles, then you can really understand how Hepburn and Lean's careers combine at this juncture to make a unique film. Of course, this is lauded as one of her most poignant portrayals on film, and after 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,' it probably is. She's at an interesting stage in her career, and so is costar Rosanno Brazzi. The characters are not exactly likable in this story (young boys that smoke and sell things they shouldn't be selling; an older over-ripe American woman who succumbs to a shop owner's lustful desires; other tourists who seem to be negative and selfish, etc.). But what makes 'Summertime' interesting is that it provides a romantic look at a very unromantic situation, and it uses the splendor of a Venetian locale to do it.
Summertime - 1955
I can see this film over and over. I am never sure whether the ending is sad or quietly happy. After all, she has a love that she would have missed if she hadn't gone to Venice. When in Venice, I waited to hear the violins and then I did. If you walk beyond San Marco and leave the Grand Canal and tourist shops, you find the Venice of the movie. My expectations were high, no doubt because of the film, and they were met at every turn.
A Pure Gem
This is one of my 3 altime favorite movies. Katherine Hepburn is just perfect as Jane. The first time I went to Venice and was broght down the Grand Canal I thought of the opening of this wonderful film. If you never go to Venice, this film is the closest to being there. A true treasure.
Katherine Hepburn gives one of here finest performances in this very entertaining and touching film. The casting is perfect for the entire cast. Hepburn has such a tremendous understanding of her role, she's amazing. David Lean's direction is superb. The Venice setting is marvelous.
Just a wonderful movie.
- Pat the romantic
I visited Venice recently and stayed very near St Mark's square. It always seemed like a movie set and I kept feeling I should see Katharine Hepburn at any time. The movie captures the oh, so romantic feeling of Venice and the unexpected things that could really happen during that type of trip. It's played so wonderfully by Hepburn (of course!) and Rosanno Brazzi, I always hate the ending and just feel they should have stayed together. A movie I love to see over and over.
Venice in a sexy pair of red mules
I long to see the unspoiled non-touristy Venice depicted in this film. This is a touching story about a not so young woman who breaks out of her routine and visits the most romantic city on earth. She finds love but it's not quite the way she's been imagining it all her life. What she finds is that real life can be more satsifying than fantasy. Watch for the "makeover scene", if you've seen Moonstruck you'll see where it got it's inspiration. Rosano Brazzi is oh so sexy in this film, Kate is so wonderfully repressed, and it's fun seeing him encourage her to "drink from his red goblet".
Lovely movie, lovely Hepburn
- Fan of the Classics
Often overlooked in the Lean and Hepburn canons, this touching romance shot in Venice is an underrated gem. Well worth a look for the director, star or photography.