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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Light in the Piazza (1962) - Star of the month... Olivia de Havilland

'Light in the Piazza' is a 1962 romantic drama directed by Guy Green and starring screen legend Olivia de Havilland with Yvette Mimieux, George Hamilton, Rossano Brazzi and Barry Sullivan. The film is based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Elizabeth Spencer.

Olivia de Havilland shines as protective mother
Meg Johnson
Meg Johnson (played by de Havilland) is spending time with her daughter Clara (played by Mimieux) in Florence, Italy. Clara is 26 years old, but has the mentality of a 10 year old due to a childhood accident involving a pony. During their stay Clara meets and falls for a young Italian man, Fabrizio Naccarelli (played by Hamilton). Meg has concerns Fabrizio will not accept Clara's disability, and attempts to hold off Fabrizio with one hand and the clutches of his charming father (played by Brazzi) with the other. 

Watch a clip from the film:

Closing remarks

'Light in the Piazza' is a beautiful film featuring breathtaking location shooting in 1960s Florence and Rome by cinematographer Otto Heller. A word of warning: watching this film will give you a burning desire to fly to Italy, and absorb the stunning beauty of Florence.

The cast is first class, with fantastic performances by de Havilland, Mimieux and Brazzi. American actor George Hamilton delivers an authentic Italian accent which even had my Nonna fooled (who asked me why she had never seen this Italian actor before). My one complaint is the film not resolving the sexual tension between de Havilland and Brazzi, leaving you guessing as to whether they are or are not having an affair.

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