Vivian Leigh (Gone With The Wind ) plays a Broadway star, Mrs. Karen Stone. She is 48 years of age. Her husband suddenly dies on an airplane trip. She retreats to Rome. She is mouring, miserable and lonely. She meets a Contessa (Lotte Lenya) who arranges a young french man, Paolo (Warren Beatty) to be "company" to her. Paolo is an "escort", a "gigolo" if you will. Mrs. Stone and Paolo begin to date on a professional level. It is nothing but cordial. After weeks of courting and Mrs. Stone keeping this "arrangement" at a discreet level, she finally relaxes with Paolo and recites the memorable line, "When the time comes when nobody desires me for myself, I'd rather not be desired at all." Mrs. Stone awaits in the bed. Paolo catches the hint and takes the lead and they make love for the first time. A wild romance begins. It is love springs eternal for mrs. Stone. But can this may-December romance last? The very surprise end of this film will have your mouth dropped wide open. If your jaws are not sore already. Very provocative and sexy film for 1961 and even for 48 year old Vivian Leigh. Also in the cast: Jill St. John, Jean Marsh and Coral Browne. Sadly, Vivian Leigh died six years later after this film in 1967.
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.