Summer Madness

Summer Madness PG

Films About Looking: Mark Cousins Sunday Brunches


Please note: This was screened in Oct 2017

David Lean
Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda
101 mins, 1955, UK

Before becoming known for his sweeping epics with casts of thousands, director David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) shot this sumptuous Technicolor, Venice-set romance in which Katharine Hepburn has a close encounter of the Italian kind.

American schoolteacher Jane Hudson (Hepburn) has finally saved enough money to take the trip of a lifetime and she hopes Venice will bring a much needed spark of magic into her life. Overwhelmed by the beauty of her surroundings her holiday becomes all the more special when she encounters Renato (Rossano Brazzi), a charming, but married, antiques dealer and is soon swept of her of her feet. Could this be the romance she has waited her whole life for?

This delicately handled love story was legendary director Lean's first colour film and his own personal favourite. A gorgeous, chaste, Technicolor love letter to Italy, Lean's love for the city shines out in every scene (United Artists had to sweeten the Italian authorities to allow him to film at the top tourist locations). It's shamelessly romantic and glamorous, and like Venice herself, hard to resist.