Maybe it’s because my nephew was in Rome on Sunday, maybe it’s because I didn’t really feel like chores, maybe because it was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I was waiting for dough to rise…but I was trolling the channels and came across this little gem.
Suzanne Pleshette is the 25 year old ingenue ( in her first film role and as the main character) who travels to Rome by ocean liner, meets Rossano Brazzi ( in a blue suit, he is always filmed in a blue suit…) on the ship, along with a hayseed that her parents know. They arrive in a pensione in Rome and Prudence ( played by Pleshette) meets a friend of Rossano played by Troy Donahue. Cut to the chase, Prudence and Don leave Rome to tour the rest of Italy, and fall in love. They return to the pensione where Don’s ( Donahue) ex-lover ( Angie Dickinson, and her mile long legs) is waiting. In a wilting scene she reduces Prudence to tears while she details her affair with Don, and Prudence leaves. Prudence calls on Mr. Blue Suit to “teach” her how to love a man, and Rossano does the decent thing and locates Don, sends the young Prudence home to NYC, and goes about his business. Prudence arrives by return ocean voyage to her parents’ open arms and in the distance at the pier, hears Don calling her. Tipped off by the blue suit, Don flies to NYC and beats her home.
Although not a great movie, and kind of sappy, it is a travelogue for Rome and Italy.
You remember Brazzi from
Back to Rome…For some inexplicable reason, the great jazz trumpeter Al Hirt, is a minor character in the film. The costumes for the women are pure vintage 60’s,right down to the pink pumps that Pleshette wears. And in my six degrees of separation to this movie, the opening ocean liner shots are of the Italian Line’s “Christoforo Colombo”. The liner was in Boston once, and my father took us on board to snoop around. Imagine being able to do that in today’s context…Nothing but personal honesty and an “all visitors ashore” call and you were back on the pier. No searches, no security, no ID checks…nothin’!
And I just want to clarify that although I have many less than seminal movies on my all time favorites list, this is not one of them!
Best place to watch this movie: anywhere dressed in cute capris
What to drink with movie: Prosecco or Campari