The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)


“You see… I don’t leave my diamonds in the soap dish… and when the time comes when nobody desires me… for myself… I’d rather not be… desired… at all. ” – Karen Stone

Number of Times Seen – 1 (23 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Following a tragedy, a famous American actress decides to stay in Rome and tries to make a better life for herself when she pursues a young Italian gigolo.

My Take on it – In my quest to watch all films that have garnered Oscar nominations for their acting, I have come across lots of movies that I’d never heard of beforehand.

This film joins that rapidly growing list.

This movie actually has a very interesting idea as it tries to explore what kind of life an actress in her twilight years of fame can have in a foreign country.

Unfortunately, the film is a bit too long and drags along much too much and hurts itself by adding extraneous lot points to the story line.

Vivien Leigh is quite good in the lead role and is able to make us believe that she is truly the character that she is playing.

She is at the end of her career yet isn’t quite sure how she is meant to spend her life in a foreign place while just relying on her past fame.

It surprised me that Warren Beatty was in this film and unfortunately, he is quite disappointing and unimpressive in his role largely due to the very fake Italian accent.

This form of speech actually makes him even more laughable in this role.

They do a nice job portraying the way that fame can consume people yet once they themselves believe in this fame, it’s hard for them to find a newer more different way to live their life.

They make a strong correlation between success and fame and the way people get lost in the world when they no longer have that.

Lotte Lenya was able to somehow get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in a very small yet very significant part.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that drags along a bit too much for it’s own good. Leigh is quite good in the lead role and manages to give off the feeling that she is an actress who has reached the twilight of her career and wants to finally enjoy life but isn’t quite sure how that should be done. Beatty is unimpressive in this early role and his Italian accent makes him somewhat laughable here. The film does a nice job though of showing how people deal with fame and good looks even after they start to become fleeting.  The story is able to make a correlation between keeping the flame of fame going and keeping life interesting for some people. Lenya has a small yet significant role as a friend of Leigh’s who tries to help her while she is living in Rome She was able to somehow garner an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in this film.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  This was Tennessee Williams’ personal favorite film adaptation of any of his works. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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3 thoughts on “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1961 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1961 | MovieRob

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