Review: ‘Summer Madness’

Summer Madness, made in Venice during the summer of 1954, is a loose adaptation of Arthur Laurents' stage play, The Time of the Cuckoo. With Katharine Hepburn in the role originated by Shirley Booth and with the scenic beauties of the canal city, the film stacks up as promising entertainment - with some reservations. There is a lack of cohesion and some abruptness in plot transition without a too-clear buildup. Lesser characterizations, too, are on the sketchy side.

Summer Madness, made in Venice during the summer of 1954, is a loose adaptation of Arthur Laurents’ stage play, The Time of the Cuckoo. With Katharine Hepburn in the role originated by Shirley Booth and with the scenic beauties of the canal city, the film stacks up as promising entertainment – with some reservations. There is a lack of cohesion and some abruptness in plot transition without a too-clear buildup. Lesser characterizations, too, are on the sketchy side.

Covering these flaws is a rich topsoil of drama as the proud American secretary who hits Venice as a tourist falls for and is disillusioned by the middle-aged Italian charmer.

Rossano Brazzi, as the attractive vis-a-vis, scores a triumph of charm and reserve. Hepburn turns in a feverish acting chore of proud loneliness.

1955: Nominations: Best Director, Actress (Katharine Hepburn)

Summer Madness

UK - US

Production

Lopert/London. Director David Lean; Producer Ilya Lopert; Screenplay H.E. Bates, David Lean; Camera Jack Hildyard; Editor Peter Taylor; Music Alessandro Cicognini; Art Director Vincent Korda

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Katharine Hepburn Rossano Brazzi Isa Miranda Darren McGavin Mari Aldon Jeremy Spenser

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