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An American spinster's dream of romance finally becomes a bittersweet reality when she meets a handsome-but married-Italian man while vacationing in Venice. Katharine Hepburn's sensitive portrayal of the lonely heroine and Jack Hildyard's glorious Technicolor® photography make Summertime an endearing and visually enchanting film.
There was a time before Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago when David Lean made smaller, more effortlessly picturesque movies, and this splendid Venetian travelogue and love story is one of them--the last, actually, before the epic onslaught started with the Oscar-winning The Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957. "Sometimes I think a schedule in Venice is just, well, all wrong," observes a bewitched tourist to Katharine Hepburn's vacationing spinster near the beginning of Summertime, which is based on Arthur Laurents's play The Time of the Cuckoo. Before the end, however, Jane will have thrown her idealized romantic notions into the canals and embarked on a passionate affair with a married art dealer (Rossano Brazzi). More blissful than Lean's adulterous fable Brief Encounter 10 years prior, but not entirely guilt- or pain-free, this deceptively simple romance is an often-fascinating glimpse at a time when sexual revolution for Americans--and especially middle-aged women--was confined to fanciful European trysts. Plus, with all the architecture, art, Italian conversation, music, and fine cuisine around you (all richly photographed on location by Jack Hildyard), who's to pish-posh a furtive all-nighter between one repressive country and a free-loving one? The two leads are graceful and even musical in their movements and line deliveries. Hepburn's initial outrage at the idea that illicit love is part of her impossibly beautiful surroundings may at first seem outdated, but the Academy Award-winning actress is too good not to suggest as well the poignant, deep fear her character has of opening up emotionally to anybody. Ultimately, Summertime is the movie equivalent of a deep, satisfying sigh. --Robert Abele
Summertime (1955) is one of those classic movies that makes you want to visit Venice, sit in the Piazza San Marco with a cold drink, see all the sights, and soak in the vibrant... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mys M
Romantic, sentimental. Venice shown to it's best advantage.Published 10 months ago by askedtoreview
Great plot line, excellent acting and wonderful music. The shots of Venice were magnificent and as a lover of Italy and having visited Venice twice, I found the entire movie very... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Colleen Cunningham
I think that this is a great movie and I have been to Venice so really wanted to have it so I could remember my trip. Love the story and Rossano Brazzi. Bitter-sweet love story.Published 18 months ago by Katie G
I enjoy this not only because of the love story but of the views of
Venice as I have been there myself and enjoy seeing it again.
I have loved this movie since I first saw it especially since I have been to Venice. Now I have my own copy.Published on Sept. 25 2013 by Joyce McCallum
I had remembered this movie - already old - from my youth (I first saw it when I was babysitting on the late, late movie). Beautifully filmed in Venice. Fun movie.Published on Oct. 17 2012 by CeeEmm
Katharine Hepburn plays Jane Hudson, an unmarried woman vacationing alone in Venice. The city captivates her, though it's not long before her loneliness begins to take away her... Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by ShamayimBlue
My second all-time Katharinge Hepburn movies. I have seen it at least five times. It is the epitimy of romance movies. Read morePublished on April 2 2004 by Michael McGhee