Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. United Kingdom/USA, 1955. Lopert Films. Screenplay by H.E. Bates, David Lean, based on the play The Time Of The Cuckoo by Arthur Laurents. Cinematography by Jack Hildyard. Produced by Ilya Lopert. Music by Alessandro Cicognini. Production Design by Vincent Korda. Film Editing by Peter Taylor. Podcast: My Criterions. Academy Awards 1955.
Katharine Hepburn plays an aging spinster who arrives in Venice at the opening of this gorgeous film. While there she entertains the advances of Rossano Brazzi, a local shopkeeper who is immediately smitten with the American visitor. David Lean’s observations of the tourists surrounding Hepburn are all sharp and intelligent, while the romance at the centre is mature and erotically muted to perfection. Hepburn has never been more achingly vulnerable, the island city never lovelier.