|The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone|
|Directed by||José Quintero|
|Produced by||Louis de Rochemont|
|Written by||Gavin Lambert|
Jill St. John
|Music by||Richard Addinsell|
|Edited by||Ralph Kemplen|
|Distributed by||Warner-Pathé Distributors (UK)|
Warner Bros. Pictures (US)
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone is a 1961 British romantic drama film made by Seven Arts-Warner Bros. It was directed by José Quintero and produced by Louis de Rochemont with Lothar Wolff as associate producer. The screenplay was written by Gavin Lambert and Jan Read and based on the novel by Tennessee Williams. The music score was by Richard Addinsell and the cinematography by Harry Waxman.
This was the only theatrically released film directed by José Quintero.
Karen Stone (Vivien Leigh), an acclaimed American stage actress and her businessman husband are off on holiday to Rome. On the plane, her husband, a multi- millionaire, suffers a fatal heart attack. Karen decides to stay in Italy and rent a luxury apartment in Rome. She has no reason to go home. She shut down her latest play, Shakespeare's “As You Like It“ because she realizes she is far too old to play Rosalind. A year later, the Contessa Magda Terribili-Gonzales (Lotte Lenya), a procurer, introduces her to a handsome, well-dressed, narcissistic young Italian named Paolo (Warren Beatty), who is one in her stable of professional gigolos. Magda plots and plans, telling Paolo that Mrs. Stone has just begun to taste loneliness. Paolo and Mrs. Stone go out for dinner and dancing, but no more. Eventually, she begins the affair. She falls in love with him; he pretends to love her. She believes that she is different from other mature women he has known. Her self-deception is aided by the fact that she does not actually pay him, but buys him expensive clothes and gifts, including a movie camera, and pays his bills through charge accounts. They become the subject of gossip columns. It soon becomes obvious that Paolo is only interested in himself. Eventually he is bored by Mrs. Stone's possessiveness and pursues an American starlet (Jill St. John). Abandoned by Paolo, ridiculed by the Contessa, with her only real friend, Meg (Coral Browne), on a plane to New York, Mrs. Stone looks over her balcony and sees the ragged, mysteriously menacing young man who has followed her everywhere since the day she moved in, pacing. She tosses the keys of her apartment down to him and walks back inside, remembering what she told Paolo after he tried to frighten her with a story about a middle-aged woman murdered on the French Riviera by someone she invited into her apartment: “All I need is three or four years. After that, a cut throat would be a convenience.” She lights a cigarette and sits down to wait. The youth comes into the apartment and walks toward her slowly, hands deep in the pockets of his filthy coat, smiling faintly as his shadow fills the screen.
- Vivien Leigh as Karen Stone
- Warren Beatty as Paolo di Leo
- Lotte Lenya as Contessa Magda Terribili-Gonzales
- Coral Browne as Meg
- Jill St. John as Barbara Bingham
- Jeremy Spenser as Young Man
- Stella Bonheur as Mrs. Jamison-Walker
- Peter Dyneley as Lloyd Greener
- Carl Jaffe as Baron Waldheim
- Harold Kasket as Tailor
- Viola Keats as Julia McIlheny
- Cleo Laine as Singer
- Bessie Love as Bunny
- Elspeth March as Mrs. Barrow
- Henry McCarty as Campbell Kennedy
- Warren Mitchell as Giorgio
- John Phillips as Tom Stone
- Paul Stassino as Stefano, the Barber
- Ernest Thesiger as Stefano (his final film)
- Mavis Villiers as Mrs. Coogan
- Jean Marsh (non-speaking) as a party guest and object of Paolo's attentions.
Awards and nominations
- "Variety". 6 December 1961. p. 6. Cite magazine requires
- "Harrison's Reports". 25 November 1961. p. 186. Cite magazine requires
- "Monthly Film Bulletin". 1962. p. 36. Cite magazine requires
- Erickson, Hal (2014). "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014.