The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

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Movie Info

Karen Stone (Vivien Leigh) is a middle aged former actress who moves to Rome after the death of her wealthy husband. The lonely widow is fawned over by a series of men seeking a short cut to the good life. Contessa (Lotte Lenya) is the pandering madame who sets Mrs. Stone up with Paolo (Warren Beatty). Karen falls in love with her handsome young "escort", who breaks her heart when he is given another assignment by Contessa. She is shamed and humiliated by the pretentiously prophetic gigolo, whose prediction comes true when the lonely woman swallows all her pride by again opening her bedroom door to him. Taken from the Tennessee Williams novel, The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone, this film marks Vivien Leigh's return after a six year hiatus.
Rating:
R (for sexuality/nudity)
Genre:
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Warner Home Video

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Cast

Vivien Leigh
as Karen Stone
Warren Beatty
as Paolo di Leo
Jill St. John
as Barbara Bingham
Lotte Lenya
as Contessa Magda Terribili-Gonzales
Jeremy Spenser
as Young man
Bessie Love
as Bunny
John Phillips
as Tom Stone
Peter Dyneley
as L. Greener
Cleo Laine
as Singer
Harold Kasket
as Tailor
Elspeth March
as Mrs. Barrow
Paul Stassino
as Barber
Mavis Villiers
as Mrs. Coogan
Carl Jaffe
as Baron
Ernst Thesiger
as Stefano
Stella Bonheur
as Mrs. Jamison-Walker
Viola Keats
as Julia
Henry McCarty
as Kennedy
Henry McCarthy
as Kennedy
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Critic Reviews for The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

All Critics (4)

The disappointing pic is right in Vivian Leigh's wheel-house, as she inhabits her aging and fading beauty character to the fullest and gives a superb performance.

Full Review… | April 19, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

As the aging actress, Vivien Leigh is good but Warren Beatty is miscast as the gigolo in this weak screen adaptation of Tennessee William's novella.

Full Review… | June 17, 2011
EmanuelLevy.Com

The tagline says that they called it love and it was for sale, to which the appropriate response is that one hopes they kept the receipt.

Full Review… | June 19, 2006
Film Freak Central

The prose is so purple and the tone so overripe that ... what wants to be mature, sensual romance-novel boilerplate becomes instead a plodding exercise in intriguingly cast camp.

Full Review… | May 14, 2006
DVDJournal.com

Audience Reviews for The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

vivian leigh is amazing in one of her later star vehicle gutted and sanatized tennessee williams' play.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood
½

This film must have been truly shocking in it's day. And the subject matter still seems fresh & adult. Leigh is compelling as the fading beauty spiraling downward in this richly photographed piece. I actually prefer this daring story to "Streetcar". And it faithfully captures the tone & themes of the novella. Treat yourself to this hidden gem if you've never seen it. Brown & Lenya also lend wonderful support, & Beatty does his best.

Terry I.
Terry I.

A chagrin-filled tragedy following the deterioration of youth and the worthlessness of wealth in forging meaningful relationships . Significant because Leigh offers an emotional and frighteningly calculated portrait of the somber main character, seemingly drawing on her own experience in later life as a complex and talented actress, prized in many ways only for the fresh beauty of youth. Ringing with the loneliness of suffering within while grappling with the shifting external world, Leigh offers us a view into the world of a beautiful, aging, and prideful female.

Morgan Stark
Morgan Stark

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