Thursday, November 15, 2007


Then The Battle of the Villa Fiorita [1965] is for you. How any woman could walk away from Rossano Brazzi is beyond me, but that's what Maureen O'Hara's character does in this film. She plays a married woman who leaves her kind, decent, British husband and two children for the charms of Rossano and his Italian villa. The children, rather improbably, go to Italy to find her and bring her back. After staging a "hunger strike" they make their mother see that she must come home with them. I suppose it was rather a daring film for its time, as even now, women who leave their children are pilloried whilst men get away with it all the time.

My favourite Rossano Brazzi film is Summer Madness, [Summertime - US] with Katharine Hepburn [the one in which she falls into the lagoon]. She, too, manages to leave him at the end.

I was in Italy when Brazzi died in 1994 and cried buckets.


Leslie: said...

Wasn't Rossano Brazzi in South Pacific with Mitzi Gaynor, too? How anyone could leave HIM is beyond me, too! At least Shirley Valentine stayed in Greece, at least that's how I like to imagine it, instead of returning home to her husband. Brava for any woman who is able to follow her dream(s) without sacrificing her responsibilities towards her children. Hard to do, but possible in this day and age.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, that's when I first saw him. I think he must have started me off on Italian men! I was very young, but I knew the Mitzi character wasn't going to " wash him right out of her hair"! I always hoped SV's husband stayed in Greece with her! Very hard to do, as you say.

jmb said...

I thought Katherine Hepburn was left by Brazzi in Summertime or whatever. After falling into the Venetian canal she got a infection in her eye that she suffered from for the rest of her life so I read.

James Higham said...

Yes, the children were quite right. The woman was deeply in the wrong, realized it and did the right thing in the end. Just becasue someone has skin deep beauty is no reason to wreck a family.

There are other higher values, all too sadly lost these days.

lady macleod said...

I loved "Summer Madness" I have already had my cry for this year, so I'll save that movie for 2008. Brazzi does such a good job of representing all we love about Italian me doesn't he?

Ellee Seymour said...

It sounds like the Italian version of Shirley Valentine, one of my favourite films.

I'm getting ready to go out to a ball this evening, do they have such events in Italy. Roast beef is on the menu and prawn cocktail to start. Doesn't it make you yearn for the UK?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. No, the KH character decided she had "stayed too long at the party" and went home. Then he chased the train trying to give her a camelia... that bit makes me use up a whole box of tissues! I agree with you, James, but we are all fallible . I just meant that men leave their children and do not face the criticism a woman does when she takes this course of action. I didn't mean to imply it was right. Remember I'm out here on my own and I have often been flabbergasted when friends put the safety of their marriages at risk. Hi, Lady M. Yes, I think he's every woman's ideal Italian. Hi, ellee. Sadder than SV, I think. Yes, we have balls. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to eat the prawns! Have a good time.

lisata said...

I had forgotten about him for years until I just happened to purchase "Summertime" and "Three Coins in the Fountain" DVDs.

I must say however that I liked "Three Coins in the Fountain"(referring to the fountain at Trevi) best-especially the scene with the runaway truck and Jean Peters. It has a very happy ending also.

Have you seen "Fatal Frames"? It was the last movie he did before his death. There is a scene where he is again in front of Trevi-but it was 50 years later.

I am still mesmorized.

I am anxiously awaiting delivery of "Interlude"

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lisata. Thanks for visiting. I love "Three Coins..". I haven't seen "Fatal Frames" but will look for it.

lisata said...

It was his last movie. The cinematography was interesting but the movie itself wasn't very good.

You mentioned that you were in Rome when Rossano Brazzi died. Was there a lot of comment at the time? I don't think very many Americans remember him.

Do you know anything about his last wife? I read that she fell in love with him as a teenager after seeing "Three Coins.." She said she waited for him 30 years.

Your profile is interesting. How did you end up in Sicily?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi again, Lisata. I was actually here in Sicily when brazzi died and there was a lot of coverage, especially about him being the "ideal Italian male" to foreign women. He certainly was to me! I'm afraid I don't know anything about his last wife. As to how I ended up in Sicily, I am an Ital graduate and teacher so have always loved Italy, but when I first came to Sicily, in 1992 for a school exchange, the culture so fascinated me that I fell in love with the place. I made many more visits here and also made a lot of friends . When I was 55 I decided I couldn't wait any longer!


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