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The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

How people do not love this movie more is mind-boggling. It stands out as one of Vivien’s darkest films (and her last great one), which you can barely turn away from despite knowing what's going to happen to Karen Stone. Warren Beatty's accent is laughable, but this lovely sad film belongs to the divine Vivien Leigh.

“I’m no diamond in a soap dish. If the time comes where I’m no longer desired for me... well, I’d rather not be... desired... at all”

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by Anonymousreply 80April 2, 2024 8:28 AM

I’m no diamond in a soap dish

Thats a great line.

by Anonymousreply 1March 26, 2024 12:03 AM

Love Jill St John as the cunty young actress.

by Anonymousreply 2March 26, 2024 12:04 AM

I think Karen looks better before she has her makeover.

by Anonymousreply 3March 26, 2024 12:10 AM

I like the version with Helen Mirren and Rodrigo Santoro

by Anonymousreply 4March 26, 2024 12:11 AM

Except that has that stupid Tennessee Williams gay best friend.

by Anonymousreply 5March 26, 2024 12:12 AM

I always imagine meeting my brutal end by tossing my penthouse keys, wrapped in a kerchief, to a homeless man.

by Anonymousreply 6March 26, 2024 12:18 AM

I love this movie but wish she hasn't worn the blond wig (minor squabble) and that someone more suitable played Paolo (much bigger issue). Beatty is horrible.

by Anonymousreply 7March 26, 2024 12:23 AM

Vivien should have been nominated

by Anonymousreply 8March 26, 2024 2:33 AM

Still processing-this was a tough one…

by Anonymousreply 9March 26, 2024 3:02 AM

[quote]I always imagine meeting my brutal end by tossing my penthouse keys, wrapped in a kerchief, to a homeless man.

I've never had a problem, r6.

by Anonymousreply 10March 26, 2024 3:15 AM

Hard to believe she's only in her 40's when she starred in this film. Did they make her look older?

by Anonymousreply 11March 26, 2024 3:37 AM

Beatty is terrible—but looks gorgeous.

by Anonymousreply 12March 26, 2024 3:50 AM

Beatty was hard to take until he shed some of his Method madness in "Bonnie and Clyde."

by Anonymousreply 13March 26, 2024 4:22 AM

Jean Marsh in a blink and you’ll miss role

by Anonymousreply 14March 26, 2024 1:31 PM

Or* you’ll miss

by Anonymousreply 15March 26, 2024 1:31 PM

"Is this yourself? Or, rather, what you've become. A figure of fun. The stock character of a middle aged woman, crazily infatuated with a succession of young boys!"

by Anonymousreply 16March 26, 2024 1:46 PM

“Rome is 3000 years old. You're what – fifty?”

by Anonymousreply 17March 26, 2024 2:05 PM

Fantastic film ! Vivien is superb and Warren gorgeous . It is prime DL gold.

by Anonymousreply 18March 26, 2024 2:09 PM

Well, Viv brings a lot to the role, just as she did in William's "Streetcar." The wig is right up there with Stanwyck's concrete blonde in "Double Indemnity." Warren is truly terrible as an Eye-talian, but looks great in his swim trunks...

by Anonymousreply 19March 26, 2024 2:16 PM

Warren Beatty's Italian accent was about as laughable as his liquid bronzer but.......he was fucking gorgeous.

by Anonymousreply 20March 26, 2024 2:17 PM

Paolo sometimes you're quite ridiculous!

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by Anonymousreply 21March 26, 2024 2:21 PM

[quote]Well, Viv brings a lot to the role, just as she did in William's "Streetcar."

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 22March 26, 2024 2:43 PM

That was Coral Browne as newspaper woman "friend"-she looked so different!

by Anonymousreply 23March 26, 2024 3:06 PM

Heartbreaking News-DL spelling/punctuation monitor vilified.

by Anonymousreply 24March 26, 2024 3:12 PM

I was never taken in by Beatty's beauty(like Redford he seems like a plank of wood. They must have gone to the Colton school of acting.) and in this he gives one of the worst major performances in film. He is truly painful to watch and listen to. It's like everyone else is in a different film. Another film that could only have worsened Leigh's mental illness.

by Anonymousreply 25March 26, 2024 3:15 PM

I like to think that Viv's character is really a man.

by Anonymousreply 26March 26, 2024 3:18 PM

Every gay man can relate to Karen Stone once they reach a certain age

by Anonymousreply 27March 26, 2024 3:20 PM

The problem with the film, actually, is that it's basically an aging gay man's problems and attitudes transposed onto the character of an aging straight woman, and that's pretty much clear to everyone.

by Anonymousreply 28March 26, 2024 3:24 PM

I’m shocked no one’s mentioned Lotte Lenya yet. DL is slipping!

by Anonymousreply 29March 26, 2024 9:50 PM

On set, Beatty was coached all day by an Italian tutor.

by Anonymousreply 30March 26, 2024 9:54 PM

Op got the diamonds quote wrong. It's I don't leave my diamonds in the soap dish.

by Anonymousreply 31March 26, 2024 9:57 PM

The movie was wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 32March 26, 2024 10:03 PM

Is the Helen Mirren remake worth watching?

by Anonymousreply 33March 27, 2024 12:50 AM

R33, I think it's very good. Helen is heartbreaking, and the rest of the cast holds their own. The whole thing is free on Youtube (right now, in the US).

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by Anonymousreply 34March 27, 2024 1:09 AM

Most of Tennessee Williams' main female characters were based on himself, especially the later ones that were on the edge...

by Anonymousreply 35March 27, 2024 1:33 AM

The remake is more sexually explicit.

by Anonymousreply 36March 27, 2024 1:39 AM

[QUOTE] The remake is more sexually explicit.

It was in my contract that I had to show my tits.

I put it it in there myself.

by Anonymousreply 37March 27, 2024 1:54 AM

Yeah I guess it was ok,she had too much scary make up on and the “helmet” hair,clothes were great and she is fascinating to watch. But sad because it was close to home for her,alone,sick. Such amazing talent doesn’t stay on earth very long. FOREVER SCARLETT

by Anonymousreply 38March 27, 2024 2:47 AM

I loved her apartment. And the beautiful scenery. Rome was the co-star.

by Anonymousreply 39March 27, 2024 2:48 AM

Wow, just thrilled you guys even care about Vivien and this film. The actress who played the “match maker “ was amazing, I had never seen her in anything before.

by Anonymousreply 40March 27, 2024 2:51 AM

Lotte Lenya was superb! Ann Bancroft played the role in the Mirren remake.

by Anonymousreply 41March 27, 2024 2:58 AM

R40 Lotte Lenya was amazing in this, and also in From Russia With Love. She plays the ruthless double agent Rosa Kleb.

by Anonymousreply 42March 27, 2024 3:22 AM

I this the Lotte Lenya from the song Mack the Knife?

by Anonymousreply 43March 28, 2024 5:20 AM

I first saw this movie when I was 24 and absolutely loved it. I thought Vivien Leigh was wonderful and still beautiful. That said, I really was too young to understand the story. Now, nearly 40 years later I really get Karen Stone. Unfortunately, I don’t have “the most fashionable apartment in Rome” or “Tom Stone’s filthy millions” to rely on. I do have this film in my library, and enjoy watching and appreciating it whenever the mood strikes me.

by Anonymousreply 44March 28, 2024 5:42 AM

Thanks guys, I'm going to give it a try this weekend!

by Anonymousreply 45March 28, 2024 6:34 AM

Brian Dennehy plays Mr. Stone in the remake.

by Anonymousreply 46March 28, 2024 7:15 AM

Woman Theatergoer #1: Oh, come now, she can't be that old.

Woman Theatergoer #2: Oh, she's forty-five.

Man Theatergoer #2: And then some.

by Anonymousreply 47March 28, 2024 7:17 AM

[quote]I like the version with Helen Mirren and Rodrigo Santoro

Olivier Martinez played the Warren Beatty role in that version.

Santoro's was a bit part.

by Anonymousreply 48March 28, 2024 7:57 AM

LOL! I'm Italian-American with relatives still in Italy and I thought Warren Beatty was fine.

Much better than Olivier Martinez in the remake, but of course he gets a pass from Europhilic DLers.

You people just like to rag on Americans for everything and never want to give them credit for anything.

IMO, Vivien Leigh never played a convincing American, but of course Europhilic DL are singing her praises.

by Anonymousreply 49March 28, 2024 8:09 AM

[quote] Is this the Lotte Lenya from the song Mack the Knife?

It's Lotte Lenya from "Lotte Lenya, one of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century"' R43. The muse for the Brecht-Weill collaboration and the main force in making it known in America from the '50s onward. An inspiration to to Kander and Ebb in creating the original Cabaret, in which she had a major role. The same one who has a major yearly "one-of-a-kind contest that requires demonstration of both acting and vocal skills" for Opera/Musicals performers named after her, celebrating her heritage.

And yes, she was, and still is, the ultimate interpreter of Kurt Weill's repertoire, Mack the Knife included.

by Anonymousreply 50March 28, 2024 8:36 AM

[quote] I'm Italian-American with relatives still in Italy

Oh, my Christ. So am I but I never would have even thought to use that as some way to imply my opinion was superior to all others as I feel no need to think my opinion is superior to anyone else's.

You sound miserable.

by Anonymousreply 51March 28, 2024 5:39 PM

Vivien was perfecto. Mirren failed because she was never a "great beauty" faded or otherwise. Oliver Martinez had it down as the "marquetta". Beatty was laughable. Lets not talk about Bancroft playing a bag lady.

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by Anonymousreply 52March 28, 2024 6:09 PM

[quote]It was in my contract that I had to show my tits.

Helen's funny that way...

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by Anonymousreply 53March 28, 2024 6:23 PM

It's the Lotte Lenya from "From Russian With Love."

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by Anonymousreply 54March 28, 2024 7:15 PM

And the ship...

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by Anonymousreply 55March 28, 2024 7:17 PM

R53 - that's a fail by Tracey Ullman. She doesn't sound like Helen.

by Anonymousreply 56March 28, 2024 7:19 PM

[quote]Lets not talk about Bancroft playing a bag lady.

R52 She wasn't a bag lady. She was a pimp and lived off her stable.

by Anonymousreply 57March 30, 2024 5:34 AM

R55 Thank you! That clip is great.

by Anonymousreply 58March 30, 2024 5:37 AM

I like Nina Simone’s version better:

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by Anonymousreply 59March 30, 2024 6:45 AM

Vivien Leigh seems prissy and tiresome in this, like she’d be terrible company.

Helen Mirren is good in the role because you get to see her actually experience sexual satisfaction. (That also has to do with it being filmed in a more frank style, though.)

by Anonymousreply 60March 30, 2024 6:50 AM

Helen Mirren would have an orgasm in a Snickers commercial.

by Anonymousreply 61March 30, 2024 10:19 AM

The Mirren ending appears different in that there was quite a lot of focus given to the young man throughout the film and there wasn't a sense of terror in the closing shot (as compared to the Leigh version). How would the ending have been if the young man wasn't gorgeous Rodrigo Santoro?

by Anonymousreply 62March 30, 2024 12:32 PM

R48- Both of those actors looked like HOMOS to me.

by Anonymousreply 63March 30, 2024 12:53 PM

Too bad the '61 version didn't have an attractive "Angel of Death" as well. That guy who played him looked freakish. Though it's amusing to know that the same actor made his debut 13 years earlier next to Leigh in Anna Karenina (pic of them together in AK below).

That reminds me of Beau Wilkes reappearing in A Streetcar Named Desire, as a sailor who gives Leigh the right directions in the beginning of the film.

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by Anonymousreply 64March 30, 2024 1:11 PM

The Roman Springs on Mrs. Stone, 1963

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by Anonymousreply 65March 30, 2024 1:17 PM

The character of Karen Stone is written as vapid, vain and shallow. I remember the narrator stating that she carefully managed to avoid all forms of self-knowledge. The expat community she adopts is full of euro trash and loud Americans. It’s a really cool old story and film, and pretty subversive for the period.

I think the Italian government ceased allowing them to film in Rome when the plot was revealed to be unseemly.

by Anonymousreply 66March 30, 2024 1:38 PM


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by Anonymousreply 67March 30, 2024 1:47 PM

The Contessa’s apartment, in garish red velvet, is a handy piece of set design. She’s a greedy character looking for things like lobster for her cat. Lotte Lenya was so good in this part, lowering her voice a register when discussing money, stirring up conflict by deploying Paolo to another “mark”, Barbara Bingham.

In her last scene she mutters “wunderbar” and saunters out the door of Stone’s apartment, slamming it behind her.

The film is full of details like these. It’s DL catnip. We recognize a lot of these mannerisms and characters in our own lives.

by Anonymousreply 68March 30, 2024 1:48 PM

Barbara Bingham: “It’s such a thrill to meet you, even though I never saw you on the stage. Isn’t that terrible??”

Karen Stone: “Why, not at all! I’m afraid I’ve never seen you on the screen…”

by Anonymousreply 69March 30, 2024 3:06 PM

I'm waiting for the gay remake: "The Roman Todd of Mr. Stone."

by Anonymousreply 70March 30, 2024 10:35 PM

I could’ve sworn this was a William Inge story.

by Anonymousreply 71March 30, 2024 11:56 PM

Such a dark movie.

by Anonymousreply 72March 31, 2024 12:08 AM

Sharon Stone should have done the remake so they could say Sharon Stone IS Karen Stone.

by Anonymousreply 73March 31, 2024 12:11 AM

R65 Quite the time capsule. That film was made when JFK was Potus. Most of those queens are long dead or in there 90's.

by Anonymousreply 74March 31, 2024 2:45 AM

Are we to believe the tattered gigolo who followed her stabbed her at the end? That when she threw her keys to him, she was ultimately committing suicide? I always thought she was simply desperate and finally came to grips with what she had become but I've heard people comment on the implied knifing. Is that true?

by Anonymousreply 75March 31, 2024 7:40 AM

R75 yes. She commented earlier that a slit throat would be a blessing. There was also a story of similar killings told earlier in the movie. However, he might have just pulled down his pants and given her a mouthful of cock too.

by Anonymousreply 76March 31, 2024 7:49 AM

R76 Thanks. Wow. It went straight over my head. I need to watch again.

by Anonymousreply 77March 31, 2024 8:30 AM

Just watched it for the first time thanks to this thread.

It was very good, especially Vivien in her later scenes where she tries to preserve her dignity but eventually cracks. I loved her friend Miss Bishop too, wise and cool.

Warren was beautiful but I didn't find Paulo sexy or charming, just a vacuous, petulant bully. He must have been great in the sack to have Karen indulge him.

Was there ever any detail who the kid following her was? That guy was actually more beautiful than Paulo!

by Anonymousreply 78April 1, 2024 6:40 PM

R78 I always find Warren Beatty vacuous on screen. He’s obviously not in real life. And I think even he would admit to being a superior producer and director than performer. But as an actor, there’s not much “there”, there. There’s this shy diffidence mixed with his potent sexuality that comes off as vaguely boring rather than intoxicating. He didn’t even have that X-Factor that makes middling actors like Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise galvanising stars.

by Anonymousreply 79April 2, 2024 6:04 AM

R79 when the Contessa told Karen his story about his impoverished friend will break her heart I was expecting something good. Then Paulo told it and I got bored halfway through.

His little sulks and tantrums would have made me pitch him off the terrace.

by Anonymousreply 80April 2, 2024 8:28 AM
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