Light in the Piazza

Overview

A mother who wants only the best for her challenged daughter faces a number of new and unexpected dilemmas in this romantic drama. Margaret Johnson Olivia de Havilland is a wealthy woman taking a tour of Europe with her 26-year-old daughter Clara Yvette Mimieux. Clara is blonde, beautiful, and charming, but beneath the surface lurks a serious problem -- as a result of a head injury she suffered as a child, Clara is mildly retarded and has the mental capacity of a ten-year-old. While Margaret's husband Noel Barry ...
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Overview

A mother who wants only the best for her challenged daughter faces a number of new and unexpected dilemmas in this romantic drama. Margaret Johnson Olivia de Havilland is a wealthy woman taking a tour of Europe with her 26-year-old daughter Clara Yvette Mimieux. Clara is blonde, beautiful, and charming, but beneath the surface lurks a serious problem -- as a result of a head injury she suffered as a child, Clara is mildly retarded and has the mental capacity of a ten-year-old. While Margaret's husband Noel Barry Sullivan has long contended that Clara should be institutionalized, Margaret refuses to hear of it, and she sees to it that her daughter lives as normal a life as possible. While in Italy, Margaret and Clara meet a handsome young man named Fabrizio Naccarelli George Hamilton, the son of a prosperous local, Signor Naccarelli Rossano Brazzi. Fabrizio is immediately smitten with Clara, and she seems equally fond of him; since Frabrizio has a spotty command of English and isn't especially perceptive to begin with, he doesn't notice anything unusual about her. Before long, Fabrizio asks Margaret for Clara's hand in marriage; while this would be a big step toward the "normal" life that Margaret has long dreamed of for her daughter, she's not sure if Clara is capable of handling the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood, and she is equally uncertain if she should reveal the nature of Clara's condition to the Naccarellis, even though she knows that it would be terribly unfair for Fabrizio to marry Clara without knowing the truth. Light in the Piazza was beautifully shot on location in Italy by award-winning cinematographer Otto Heller.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A small gem, Light in the Piazza is a sweetly affecting little film that will please fans of romantic drama. It is not a perfect film, veering as it does occasionally into light soap opera and featuring a few unconvincing moments, but overall, Piazza is very pleasant and involving. Julius J. Epstein's screenplay oversimplifies the original Elizabeth Spencer novella and skirts over some of the book's issues, but on the whole, it is a respectful adaptation and one that is professionally crafted without becoming overly manipulative or mechanical. It also gives Olivia de Havilland one of her finest late-career roles, a character that is complex enough for the actress to really sink her teeth into. De Havilland carries much of the film with her richly textured performance, revealing a woman caught between reality and fantasy, between what she desires for her beloved child and what she knows is right, and this fine actress handles every demand of the part with assurance and expertise. Yvette Mimieux's performance is less impressive, but she's ideally cast, and George Hamilton, while perhaps not as believably Italian as one could wish, pairs her very well; Rossano Brazzi brings genuine continental charm to his role. Director Guy Green's work is good, if at times not as imaginative as might be desired, but he works with cinematographer Otto Heller to create an exceptionally handsome film. While it falls short of greatness, Piazza is an engaging movie with plenty of appeal.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/1/2011
  • UPC: 883316381830
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Remastered
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 14,199

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Olivia de Havilland Margaret Johnson
Rossano Brazzi Signor Naccarelli
Yvette Mimieux Clara Johnson
George Hamilton Fabrizio Naccarelli
Barry Sullivan Noel Johnson
Isabel Dean Miss Hawtree
Moultrie Kelsall The Minister
Nancy Nevinson Signora Naccarelli
Luciano Barontino Marchese
Peppino Demartino Train Conductor
Bonas Eugevio Policeman
William E. Greene The Consular Agent
Steve Plytas Concierge
Robert Rietty The Priest
Rosella Spinelli Guiseppi Naccarelli
Technical Credits
Guy Green Director
Frank Clarke Editor
Christian Dior Costumes/Costume Designer
Julius J. Epstein Screenwriter
Arthur Freed Producer
Otto Heller Cinematographer
Tom Howard Special Effects
Dock Mathieson Musical Direction/Supervision
Mario Nascimbene Score Composer
Tom Smith Makeup
Frank White Art Director
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Light in the Piazza
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