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Summertime (The Criterion Collection)

Katharine Hepburn , Rossano Brazzi , David Lean    Unrated   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

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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initial outrage at the idea that illicit love is part of her impossibly beautiful surroundings may at first seem outdated, but the Academy Award-winning actress is too good not to suggest as well the poignant, deep fear her character has of opening up emotionally to anybody.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

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Summertime May 16 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 very entertaining
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Katharine Hepburn April 11 2014
By Katie G
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A look into the way things were Jan. 24 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie Sept. 25 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have loved this movie since I first saw it especially since I have been to Venice. Now I have my own copy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun! Oct. 17 2012
By CeeEmm
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summertime April 2 2004
Format:DVD
My second all-time Katharinge Hepburn movies. I have seen it at least five times. It is the epitimy of romance movies. Miss Hepburn and Rosana Brazzi, with the masterful touch of David Lean, make Venice come alive on film. Watching it is the best 90-minute summer a movie lover can spend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I never knew when to leave, until now." Aug. 19 2006
By Kona TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
Ohio secretary Jane Hudson (Katharine Hepburn) has saved up for years to visit Venice and it's everything she hoped it would be...exquisitely beautiful and romantic...but lonely. Or so she thinks on her first night there, as she sits alone and watches the lovers in Piazza San Marco. Then, she sees Renato (Rossano Brazzi), a handsome and charming shopkeeper, and she starts to change her mind. He pursues her, too, and before you can say, "Buona Sera!" they are in love. Jane now thinks Venice is perfectly glorious, but some information about Renato may change her opinion of both him and Venice.

Directed by David Lean, known for his wonderful epic movies, this is a very simple and personal story of a middle-aged woman's wistfull dream of romance. It's easy to feel Jane's sadness and later, her exhilaration. Hepburn is perfectly cast and gives a wonderful performance, full of spunk and longing. Charismatic Brazzi was just starting his American film career in 1955 when he played Renato, and he certainly could sweep a woman off her feet. Filmed entirely in Venice, the scenery is lovingly photographed, and there's even a sweet subplot about a little boy. Highly recommended for those who like a (nearly) proper romance in an idyllic setting. Lovely.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful and colorful Hepburn film July 13 2004
Format:DVD
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 enjoyment of its sites. When she meets Renato, an Italian who owns an antique shop, she is nervous and thrilled by the near instantaneous attraction between them. Like the city itself, Renato holds out the promise of an unforgettable experience, even though he's a married man. Hepburn does a fine job as a spinster seeking a little bit of romance before she grows too old.
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