The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Vivien Leigh, so stirringly memorable as Blanche in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, stars in this 1961 adaptation of Williams's only novella, giving a nuanced, slightly neurotic performance that is haunting and all the more tragic by its being one of the actress's last performances before her sad death at age 53. Leigh plays Karen Stone, a 50-ish theater actress whose comeback vehicle never gets off the ground; en route to Rome for a brief escape, she's devastated by the sudden death of her beloved husband. She decides to stay in Rome, and there, her loneliness takes root against the spectacular backdrop of the city. Lotte Lenya plays a viperous contessa who pimps young men to older rich ladies, and introduces the handsome Paolo (played with dissolute perfection--though his Italian accent is shaky--by Warren Beatty) to Mrs. Stone. Leigh's performance is unnervingly raw, though one wonders why a woman with a long, happy marriage and at least one very real friend (played by Coral Browne) should be doomed to such relentless loneliness--surely she and her hubby had some pals back in New York? But with Williams, you simply must go along for the ride, and the journey through the emotional dark spaces of Mrs. Stone's life is gripping. The location shots of the glorious, decaying beauty of Rome are fabulous, as are the costumes. Extras include a featurette, Mrs. Stone: Looking for Love in All the Dark Corners. --A.T. Hurley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lotte Lenya was in From Russia With Love (1963). Jill St. John was in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Both are "James Bond 007" films.
Showtime cable network presented a 2002 version of "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stome", starring Helen Mirren and Olivier Martinez with Anne Bancroft. This 2002 version is a much better version in adult storytelling and is jaw-dropping and erotic as well. "(...). Available on DVD.
It's that vacuous 'la dolce vita' climate for her until a rather 'shady' madame [a scary Lotte Lenya] procures a companion - Warren Beatty, with obligatory accent, he defines "boy- toy" in this one!
This premise is vaguely dated, and everyone seems to be having a real bad hair day [ugh! those ugly wigs!], and our Karen is suitably disillusioned as the evenings churn on and on ....
Good moments from Corale Brown and Jill St. John in supporting roles BUT it's that wonderful free-spirited, is it[?] conclusion [similar to 'Summer and Smoke'] that stays! Another Great view from the Terrace! AND just what is it with these lone American ladies abroad??
Good companion to Hepburn's "Summertime" - possibly "Death In Venice" [just a shade darker though.........]
Karen Stone is the quintessential woman on the verge and Paolo is the tart that will keep her teetering there.
Warren Beatty (with an accent equal only to Dick Van Dyke's "chimernee" sweep) looks the part, all low rent in high fashion.
Miss Leigh about to lose her marbles at any moment, wondering whether this is scripted or the real world.
Coral Browne as butch as ever and a great performance by Lotte Lenya, doing an early rehearsal for "Rosa Klebb".
4 stars for cinematic camp, especially the sets, (the villa party set is tragic!), but it needs Sir Ian McKellan in a modern remake... (as "Darren Stone".)
Most recent customer reviews
This is a true collector's item for any Tennesse Williams, Warren Beatty or Vivien Leigh fan! Also very enjoyable for any woman or gay man over 50 years of age! Read morePublished 14 months ago by J.A.L.
They speak of Garbo, Davis and Hepburn. But no one could touch the great Vivien Leigh. Each role; another interpretation. She was a stunning actress with gorgeous looks. Read morePublished on June 14 2000
It is the most wonderful moment to enjoy Vivien's outstanding performance. The role suits her very much. She could touch those hearts who are also losing their youth. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 1999
why you should buy this wonderful movie... -to breathe the magic aura of Rome in the 60's -to admire 24-year-old and breathtakingly handsome Warren Beatty,and Vivien Leigh's great... Read morePublished on Aug. 20 1999