Light in the Piazza (1962) DVDRip Tri-Audio Ita Eng Esp (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Light in the Piazza (1962).rtf
Light in the Piazza (1962)
A young American woman traveling in Italy with her mother is slender, blonde, beautiful and there is something charmingly naive about her. Fabrizio Naccarelli seems to always know where the mother and daughter will sightsee next. Signor Naccarelli is just as concerned about where this will lead as Mrs. Johnson is. Then she starts thinking that perhaps her daughter can be a wife of a wealthy young man in a society where all she has to do is look beautiful. What happens if Signor Naccarelli finds out who his prospective daughter-in-law really is?
Olivia de Havilland ... Meg Johnson
Rossano Brazzi ... Signor Naccarelli
Yvette Mimieux ... Clara Johnson Naccarelli
George Hamilton ... Fabrizio Naccarelli
Isabel Dean ... Miss Hawtree
Moultrie Kelsall ... The Minister
Nancy Nevinson ... Signora Naccarelli
Barry Sullivan ... Noel Johnson
Caught this one on Turner Classic, and for the longest time was stuck in a battle of the wills - turn it off and walk away, or allow inertia to force me to be on the couch through the whole thing. After all, I have better things to do with my time than watch George Hamilton attempt to play a young Italian lover. Inertia chalked up an embarrassing victory.
Inertia had help. This movie grew on me, because it danced the Hollywood formula for romance in front of me and then backed away from the pat and added a layer of depth to the situation. The story, in brief is as follows: DeHavilland and Mimieux are the mother and daughter from a monied American family (shares in a tobacco company) on an extended vacation in Italy. There is something wrong with the daughter. With a daughter who looks like Yvette Mimieux it is not long before a young Florentine, Hamilton, sees her and is smitten, and if you aren't familiar with who Yvette Mimieux is, suffice it to say that she was one of the most gorgeous and kittenish actresses of the early 1960's, all flaxen blonde hair, blue doe eyes and curves. To say her Clara character is a bit simple and sweet is an understatement. With his broken English, Hamilton's character does not detect anything is wrong and pursues the romance anyway, getting the concierge to tip him off as to where the mother and daughter will be going that day and just happening to show up uninvited, to Mimieux's delight and Dehavilland's growing consternation. The mother is conflicted - the boy wants to marry her daughter, but she can't let him (and his family) take her without knowing the truth.
This film is carried by DeHavilland's complex and powerful performance as a woman who has buried her hopes for her child only to see them being struck alight very much against her will. And in spite of numerous opportunities to do so, Epstein's script manages to hold off surrender to bathos, providing an interesting ending that left me surprised.
Not to say that this film had everything going for it. Casting George Hamilton as a young Italian can best be described as adventurous. Mimieux's Clara really does grow in Italy, but anyone familiar with her wide-eyed acting will know that she was an unlikely candidate to ever effectively portray a rocket scientist. Their pairing as the lovers had to have been concocted by the studio marketing department. Since the charisma supply on the lovers is not exactly overflowing the dike, DeHavilland's performance becomes even more important.
Some wonderful vistas are rendered of Florence, one of the world's loveliest cities. Coupled with DeHavilland's slow and patient explanations to the befuddled Mimieux of what they are looking at and how it is important, the film also provides a short travelogue of Florence that even an Englishman could follow.
Olivia de Havilland is traveling with her daughter in Italy when romance strikes in "The Light in the Piazza," a 1962 film based on the novel by Elizabeth Spencer. The story was also made into a highly successful Broadway musical of the same name. De Havilland's costars include Yvette Mimieux,Barry Sullivan, George Hamilton and Rossano Brazzi.
Because her adult daughter has the mental age of 10, Meg Johnson (de Havilland) keeps very close watch over Clara (Mimieux), a beautiful blonde who, despite her impairment, is very much a woman and attracting a lot of attention in Italy. (This is extremely realistic - blondes do great over there.) In Florence, Clara is pursued relentlessly by an enthusiastic suitor, Fabrizio. His parents (Brazzi and Nancy Nevison) approve of the relationship. What's waiting for Clara back home is an institution, though a good one, that her father (Sullivan) is insisting upon in hopes of rekindling his lost relationship with his wife. Meg is in a dilemma and makes a bold decision.
Set against the magnificent backdrop of Florence and with a beautiful performance by de Havilland, "The Light in the Piazza" is a marvelous film and the story of a perfect love. Though Meg is protective of Clara and always with her, when she sees that her daughter has a chance at a normal life, she lets go - giving both of them a chance at a life they're missing.
One can argue the ethics of Clara's decision but given the Italian scenario: servants in the home, the constant attention of the in-laws, the place of the wife in the home, I believe that Clara will be happy with this loving family. She is mentally impaired due to an accident but that doesn't make her a slow or impaired 10-year-old - she is, in fact, very bright, mastering Italian with ease, and she has all the normal, healthy feelings of a woman. If she has a child's outlook on laughter and fun, that is something to be prized. The most telling moment for me in the film was when Clara asks her mother to read to her "one last time," knowing that her husband is not going to like the kinds of stories Meg reads to her. Then the camera shows one of her beloved stuffed animals on the floor. Clara knows her life is changing; she's in love and ready for it.
De Havilland, one of the truly great film actresses, was 47 at the time of the filming and very attractive. She conveys not only the needed maternal qualities but a womanliness and uncommon strength. "I made the right decision," she whispers at the wedding, looking at her lovely, serene daughter. "I KNOW I did." She will always be available to Clara - but now, she will be available to the rest of her family as well.
Yvette Mimieux does a fine job as Clara, capturing her childishness very well. Hamilton is in his element in the light role of Fabrizio - he wasn't really capable of much more, and this suits him. Rosanno Brazzi is very charming, sexy, and funny as Fabrizio's father. But the film belongs to de Havilland's anchoring performance.
This is a well-directed film, beautiful to look at, with a very touching story. Highly recommended.
My chief reason for seeking out this movie was the fact of being very much captivated by Adam Guettel's score for his musical adaptation. Without having seen the stage production, the overall impression is that it's a deeper far more intense treatment of the novel than is the movie. But in fact, the film's greatest achievement is that while not skirting the issues it refuses to seep into melodrama. It's a strange amalgam; a family's dealing with a retarded child, together with Hollywood's version of carefree, emotive Italians filmed on location in sunny Italy.
The story concerns the difficulties in dealing with retarded children. This is a serious, complex topic and one that is a constant challenge to the many families who have to deal with children who are mentally handicapped. A particularly problematic junction is the onset of adulthood for such a child.
The pivotal role in the movie is that of the mother, superbly played by Olivia de Havilland. She focuses on her daughter's inherent kindness and goodness and has a developed a down to earth, decidedly non tragic attitude towards the situation. The critical decision of whether to marry her off to an unsuspecting Italian family or placing her in an institution (her husband's choice) is not one she wrestles with. The blossoming of young romantic love is overwhelming and her daughter, like everyone else, has a right to taste these fruits. With great satisfaction she feels she's done the right thing.
One has to be cautious not be too judgemental, but despite the happy ending, one is left with an uneasy feeling that the couple's future may not be as rosy as is suggested. (I am no doubt influenced by the knowledge of a similar real life situation which did not fare well.) There is a discrepancy between this complex topic and the feel of the movie itself. Italy and the Italians are portrayed in the same glowing, carefree spirit as many other movies depicting the romantic antics of American's falling in love with locals , ("Come September", "Buona Sera Mrs. Campbell", "Time of the Cuckoo"). But the fact that the poignancy of the story is not compromised is the movie's triumph.
De Havilland gives a layered, knowing, almost underplayed performance. She's simply terrific and possibly the best reason for seeking this one out. The rest of the cast fare pretty well. (George Hamilton is surprisingly competent.) While far from essential, it's a Hollywood oddity with definite interest value.
Stunning vistas of Florence, Italy, and the Italian countryside draw you into what is, overall, a fairly slow and ordinary film. "Light In The Piazza" is nice to look at. And the performances are nice. And the story is nice. There just isn't anything spectacular beyond the glossy facade. The movie is just...well...nice.
Olivia de Havilland plays a wealthy American on vacation in Italy with her beautiful 26-year old daughter, Clara(Yvette Mimieux),who, due to a childhood accident, has the mentality of a 10-year old. Once Clara meets a handsome Italian named Fabrizio, played surprisingly well by George Hamilton, her mother becomes increasingly overbearing and pulls out all the stops to keep the two of them apart. However, once Clara's cold-hearted father arrives in Italy, will de Havilland have a change of heart?
Olivia de Havilland saves this film. She brings tremendous grace to the screen and compensates for any of the movie's shortcomings. Also very good is Rosanno Brazzi as Fabrizio's father. Brazzi is shamelessly handsome and de Havilland and Mimieux are beautiful. But where does all of this beauty get you? Not far. The story is limp and full of holes. And you keep wanting it to come to a climax(or at least the end). Interestingly, the ending is a real tear-jerker. I was completely caught off guard by how touching the story's conclusion is. Despite the highlights, however, "Light In The Piazza" is sweet, nice, and incredibly forgettable. But it is a great ad for Italy's Department of Tourism.