Seven Hills of Rome


1h 47m 1958
Seven Hills of Rome

Brief Synopsis

A television star finds love while trying to get away from it all in Rome.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Le Cloud Productions; Titanus, S.P.A.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
Italy and United States
Location
Rome,Italy; Vatican City,United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
9,282 or 9,291ft (12 reels)

Synopsis

While performing a song during a television broadcast, famous Italian-American tenor Marc Revere sees his fiancée, wealthy socialite Carol Ralston, in the control booth standing next to a man whose arm is draped around her shoulders. After finishing the song, Marc jealously storms into the booth and berates Carol, who then informs him that she is leaving for Europe the next day. Marc follows Carol to Europe and is on a train bound for Rome when he meets an attractive young Italian woman from Savona, Raffaella Marini, who slips and loses her purse as she boards the moving train. When Marc overhears the conductor threaten to throw her off at the next stop, he offers to pay her way to Rome. Raffaella then tells Marc that she plans to get a job in Rome and stay with her uncle. However, when they reach Rome, they discover that her uncle has gone to Argentina and Marc insists that she come with him to meet his cousin, Pepe Bonelli, a jovial pianist who lives in a bohemian garret. Pepe throws a party that night at which Raffaella, who is falling in love with Marc, is disappointed when he asks another woman to dance. As the party ends the next day, one of the guests takes Marc, Pepe and Raffaella on a helicopter ride over Rome and its surrounding sights. The next day, Pepe and Marc awaken to find that Raffaella has shoplifted some food for them, although she intends to repay all the shopkeepers. When the landlady demands 40,000 lire in back rent by the next day, Marc decides to earn some money by performing at the Ulpia, one of Rome's best nightclubs. After Raffaella says she will also look for a job, Pepe invites her to come to Signora Beatrice's fashion salon where he is playing for a fashion show, and offers to speak with Beatrice about hiring her. Pepe is touched when Raffaella kisses him on the cheek and says he is a kind man. At the fashion show, Beatrice, aware of Marc's celebrity, mentions that Carol left for Capri three weeks ago but plans to return to Rome shortly. Although Raffaella is hired by Beatrice to work as an assistant, Marc is turned down for a job at the Ulpia because the owner has never heard of him. At the next club, the Tivoli, an American owner tells him that Italy exports, not imports, singers, as tenors are one of its greatest resources. That night, he and Raffaella meet Pepe at a cinema in Trastevere, where Pepe plays for "amateur nights." After Marc is pushed onto the stage to perform, he wins the competition and is signed to sing nightly at 4,000 lire a night. Following a performance one night, Marc brings a friend and two American women back to Pepe's room where he unconsciously treats Raffaella like a servant, then leaves with his guests without eating the meal she has prepared. When Pepe later rebukes him for hurting Raffaella, Marc is surprised to learn that she has romantic feelings for him. One day, as Pepe is about to propose to Raffaella, Marc interrupts them with news that he has just received an offer from the Ulpia and wants Pepe to be his accompanist. As Marc rehearses an aria with Pepe, he is drowned out by rock-and-roll coming from a party outside. When the partygoers learn that he is an American, Marc, to their enjoyment, imitates Italian-American singers Perry Como, Frankie Laine and Dean Martin, and then Louis Armstrong, who, he says, does not need to be Italian. On the afternoon before his debut at the Ulpia, Marc runs into Carol. They both apologize for the scene in New York, and she invites him to a yacht party, assuring him they could get back before his opening. However, when the yacht's engine develops problems, they are unable to return until the next morning. As Raffaella is berating Marc for his selfishness and for treating her like a child, Pepe, who has lost the Ulpia job because of Marc, overhears her assert that Marc is "not good enough to be Pepe's accompanist." After Marc departs, Raffaella cries and Pepe comforts her, but refrains from embracing her. Later, as she is putting away some dresses at work, she finds a diamond bracelet and locks it in a cabinet. That night, Marc arrives ten minutes late for a date with Carol and finds that she has gone to the Ulpia without him. When he finds Carol there dancing with an Italian man, Marc angrily twists this man's nose, thus inciting a brawl that ends with Marc being ordered to pay over one million lire for damages to the club. Pepe pleads with Beatrice for a loan, but she refuses, saying she dislikes tenors, having fallen in love with one once. Just then, an American woman, Mrs. Stone, comes looking for the diamond bracelet she has lost, and Raffaella claims she has not seen it. Carol apologizes to Marc and offers to write a check for the damages, but he refuses to accept her offer. Raffaella then brings Marc the bracelet, saying she now can repay him for helping her. When he demands to know where she got it, she begins to cry, and Pepe slaps Marc. Realizing that the bracelet belongs to Mrs. Stone, Pepe promises that Raffaella will return it. Afterward, Marc goes to the Ulpia and agrees to work for two weeks at half-price to pay the damages, if they will hire Pepe at full scale. He then asks Raffaella to convince Pepe to accept the job. As they dress for opening night, Marc and Pepe avoid speaking to each other until their eyes meet and they embrace. After the show, Raffaella sees Marc kiss Carol and tells Pepe that she has decided to leave Rome. When Pepe informs Marc, he explains he was just saying goodbye to Carol, because they have realized that their affair will never work. After Pepe tells Marc that Raffaella has always loved him, Marc runs after her. As they embrace, Pepe sees them from the balcony of the club, and they wave at Pepe as they walk together toward the ruins of Rome.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Le Cloud Productions; Titanus, S.P.A.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
Italy and United States
Location
Rome,Italy; Vatican City,United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
9,282 or 9,291ft (12 reels)

Articles

Seven Hills of Rome


MGM star Mario Lanza's career was at its apex when production began on the musical Seven Hills of Rome (1958, a.k.a. Arrivederci Roma). Lanza, who had recently moved to Italy, insisted that the film be shot on location there, and MGM readily agreed. Lanza, who was born in America but ultimately died in Italy, stars in the somewhat autobiographical role of an American singing star.

Travelling through Italy searching for his jet-setting girlfriend, Lanza befriends a local girl who teaches him the true meaning of love. Together, they tour ancient ruins from a helicopter, and Lanza performs an exuberant musical number on a sienna-hued staircase and in an outdoor marketplace.

The travelogue pace is augmented by stunning aerial photography - a clever approach to viewing architectural antiquity on film - and charming scenes of strolls in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Director: Roy Rowland
Producer: Lester Welch
Screenplay: Art Cohn, Giorgio Prosperi (based on a story by Giuseppe Amato)
Cinematography: Tonino Delli Colli
Editor: Gene Ruggiero
Art Direction: Piero Filippone
Music: George Stoll, Irving Aaronson
Cast: Mario Lanza (Marc Revere), Renato Rascel (Pepe Bonelli), Marisa Allasio (Rafaella Marini), Peggie Castle (Carol Ralston).
C-104m. Letterboxed.

Seven Hills Of Rome

Seven Hills of Rome

MGM star Mario Lanza's career was at its apex when production began on the musical Seven Hills of Rome (1958, a.k.a. Arrivederci Roma). Lanza, who had recently moved to Italy, insisted that the film be shot on location there, and MGM readily agreed. Lanza, who was born in America but ultimately died in Italy, stars in the somewhat autobiographical role of an American singing star. Travelling through Italy searching for his jet-setting girlfriend, Lanza befriends a local girl who teaches him the true meaning of love. Together, they tour ancient ruins from a helicopter, and Lanza performs an exuberant musical number on a sienna-hued staircase and in an outdoor marketplace. The travelogue pace is augmented by stunning aerial photography - a clever approach to viewing architectural antiquity on film - and charming scenes of strolls in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Director: Roy Rowland Producer: Lester Welch Screenplay: Art Cohn, Giorgio Prosperi (based on a story by Giuseppe Amato) Cinematography: Tonino Delli Colli Editor: Gene Ruggiero Art Direction: Piero Filippone Music: George Stoll, Irving Aaronson Cast: Mario Lanza (Marc Revere), Renato Rascel (Pepe Bonelli), Marisa Allasio (Rafaella Marini), Peggie Castle (Carol Ralston). C-104m. Letterboxed.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to the Variety review, an Italian-language version of this film was also made. Le Cloud Productions was owned by star Mario Lanza and producer Lester Welch. According to reviews, The Seven Hills of Rome was Lanza's first film in two years and his first made abroad. According to the New York World Telegram, in a highly publicized incident similar to a scene in the film, Lanza failed to perform at the last minute at a club in Las Vegas because of "turbulent personal difficulties." Renato Rascel, who played "Pepe" and wrote the song "Arrivederci, Roma," among others, was a top Italian singer and comedian. A February 6, 1958 Los Angeles Times article claimed that the song "The Seven Hills of Rome" was the last that Victor Young wrote before he died.
       A January 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that Welch had signed Rudolph Maté to direct the film. An April 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that the shoot date had been pushed back from April to June due to need for additional script work. Hollywood Reporter production charts note that Giuseppe Rotunno was replaced as the film's director of photography by Tonino delli Colli. Charts also include Charles Fawcett in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Reviews praised the travelogue aspects of the film, but criticized the story. The New York Times review commented on the helicopter scene, "The views of St. Peter's Square, Ponte Palatino and various other famed Roman ruins such as the Colosseum [sic], have never, if memory serves, looked lovelier than they do in this airborne view." According to Hollywood Reporter, music supervisor George Stoll conducted the Italian National Radio Symphony, and the prerecordings were done at the Vatican's Auditorium Angelico.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1957

Released wide in the USA January, 1958.

Technirama

Released in United States 1957