The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) Movie Script

Act 3, beginners, please.
My God, what's happened
to Karen Stone?
- Yes, isn't it strange?
- She used to be so wonderful.
Well, you know, the time comes...
...when Mother Nature
catches up with all you old gals.
Oh, come now, she can't be that old.
- Oh, she's 45.
- And then some.
Oh, really.
- Darling, don't panic.
- What's the difference? I'm just not right.
Nonsense. You know better than that.
- I just hate myself.
- Now, stop this.
You're going out on that stage.
You're going to do
the very best you can...
...and nobody could do more.
Loved every moment of it, darling.
You looked wonderful.
Aren't you pleased?
What do we have to say
to convince you?
Just admit I'm a bad investment
this time...
...and there's nothing to be done except
pay off the actors and close the show.
But the advance in New York is great.
- Another theater party today?
- Oh, Julia.
You're both very sweet,
but do you mind?
I'm-- I'm awfully tired.
Can we talk about it tomorrow?
- Lunch?
- Yes.
- Where?
- Oh, anywhere.
You choose someplace and call me.
- Good night, honey.
- Good night, Campbell.
- Honest, I loved every moment of it.
- Thank you, Julia.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Why, Meg.
- You never told me you were coming.
- I didn't know I was.
I arrived this morning to interview
senators who got back from Russia...
...and found you were opening tonight.
Come in, darling.
- Would you like a drink?
- Yes, Scotch. I'll only stop a moment.
I wish they hadn't told you.
Do you?
You want to talk about it?
There's really nothing to say.
I should've learnt my lesson
the first time I tried to play Shakespeare.
I thought you'd never played it before.
Think again.
You told me I had talent...
...but that I'd never make
a classical actress.
What, I?
When we were at school together.
And it was Rosalind then.
Well, this time, my pet... be honest with you,
it's not a question of talent...
...but time of life.
Why not take yourself to New York
and something more suitable?
You're tired and want me to go.
I'll call you tomorrow
and we'll have a little talk.
Good night, my pet.
Good night, Meg.
Is this Mr. Tom Stone?
Yes, operator, this is he.
Tum 7
Hello, Karen.
- Darling, how are you feeling?
- Fine.
What did the doctor say?
He wants to keep me in bed
another couple of days.
- And then?
- I'll be on my feet again...
...and up in Washington, if you want.
- No, darling, don't.
- Why?
Oh, Tom, tonight was worse than ever.
Just awful, desperate.
I could only just get through.
Everybody is being unbearably kind...
...telling me I'll be all right,
but I know I won't.
And I'm just wasting your money
and Campbell's.
...I want to take the show off.
We could use my health, sweetheart.
You're closing the play
to look after your husband's heart.
I need a vacation.
We both need a long vacation.
You'll want to get back to it all
inside a month.
No, not this time.
Where would you like to go?
Oh, I don't think I mind.
As long as it's warm and--
And far away.
Tom. Darling? Darling.
My husband's very ill.
You'll have to make a landing.
Mrs. Stone, it's impossible.
There must be something you can do,
somewhere you can land.
- There's an island. Look.
- Mrs. Stone...
-'s impossible to make a landing.
- There's an island.
Tom. Tom.
- You'd better get the emergency oxygen.
- Emergency? Right away.
Tell the captain to wire for a doctor
to meet us when we land in Rome.
- Rome Daily American.
- Here, kid, give me one.
Rome Daily American.
Because so much of Rome
seemed to exist in the past...
...Mrs. Stone decided it was, perhaps...
...both an appropriate and comfortable
place to lead what she was sure...
...would be an almost
posthumous existence.
For more than two centuries...
...the inmense cascade of stone stairs...
...descending from Trinita dei Monti
to the Piazza di Spagna...
...has been a favorite place
of assignation.
A multitude of assorted humanity
comes every day... crouch in the sun... seek fulfillment of some desire...
...or to dream.
And here, in one of
the ancient palazzi...
...flanking the higher reaches
of this fountain of stairs...
...Karen Stone chose to make her home.
Simultaneously, a solitary young man...
...with no regular
or legitimate occupation...
...had appeared on the Spanish Steps
to spend all his time...
...keeping watch
on Mrs. Stone's apartment... if waiting to give or receive
some kind of secret signal.
What puzzled Mrs. Stone was
why this strange youth...
...should make any impression
on her consciousness.
Self-knowledge was something
that Karen Stone...
...had always been able to avoid.
The obsessive, ruthless pursuit
of her career...
...and the childlike adoration
of an indulgent husband...
...had kept this proud
and arrogant woman...
...from exploring the dark corners
of her own nature.
As her body began adjusting
to its new condition...
...and herself to the upheavals
which had so greatly unnerved her...
...Mrs. Stone was also becoming
alarmingly conscious...
...of a sense of drifting,
if not of drowning... a universe of turbulently rushing
fluids and vapors.
But now the drift was beginning
to take direction.
- Signora?
- Come in, Mita.
Contessa Terribili-Gonzales
y Signore di Leo.
Thank you. Tell them I'll be in
in a minute and offer them a drink.
Believe me, Paolo...
...nothing touches me more deeply
than human loneliness.
The first time I met Signora Stone,
almost a year ago...
...I could hardly stop myself
from weeping.
This Signora Stone is a very great lady.
She is very rich and famous...
...still quite beautiful.
What makes her so lonely?
Answer that and you'll solve one of
the great mysteries of the human heart.
This lady--
Signora, signore,
you would like a drink?
- Negroni.
- Whiskey.
This lady lost her husband,
gave up her career.
Why did she do that?
Youth is so impatient.
You think it would be easy to go back
and face that world on her own?
Won't she have to face the world here?
And with a little help from me...
...I hope she'll succeed.
I remember, Paolo...
...when my first husband died.
I retired like Signora Stone.
I had to be forced back to life.
That was in Budapest...
...years before I came to live in Italy.
- Contessa.
- Signora Stone.
How are you?
I breathe.
Signora, this is the young man
I wanted so much to introduce to you.
May I present Signore Paolo di Leo.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
Won't you sit down?
I was telling my young friend
that you have...
You have the most elegant
apartment in Rome.
- Don't you admire it, Paolo?
- Very nice.
And so quiet.
So peaceful.
That's why Signora Stone chose it... be by herself, away from people.
Thank you.
- You like to be by yourself?
- Not particularly.
But when everything
around you changes... takes a little time
to get one's bearings.
Deep wounds take time to heal.
I think it's bad to be alone too much.
I know.
It makes you sad.
Makes you drift.
- Drift?
- Yes, drift.
Like a flower on a river?
I always say there's only
one view in Rome...
...which is even more beautiful
than Signora Stone's.
From the Casina d'Este.
Very fine restaurant.
In January, you can...
...sit on the terrace
and see something quite wonderful.
Ten thousand...
- Swallows?
- Swallows.
Ten thousand swallows...
...all flying away to the south.
And almost any time of the year... can enjoy
a delicious risotto of veal.
Have you never been there?
No. No, I must try it sometime.
Do you still go riding, signora,
in the Borghese Gardens?
Yes, sometimes.
What other sports do you enjoy?
Do you swim, perhaps?
- Oh, yes.
- What else?
Nothing else, I--
I suppose I'm lazy.
Do you...?
Do you like to lie in the sun?
How lucky you are.
You have such a beautiful terrace for it.
I don't have a terrace.
- Come, Paolo.
- You're leaving?
Signora Barrow is expecting us
for cocktails.
You haven't forgotten?
Signora Barrow is also
a very charming American lady.
Oh, I don't think I know her.
Is an honor to have met you, signora.
- My card.
- Thank you.
Goodbye, my dear.
Thank you for thinking of me.
Now, how do you explain a woman
like that? I tried everything.
Dinner at the Casina d'Este,
lie in the sun on the terrace, nothing.
I warned you she was very proud.
But when I had the inspiration
about Signora Barrow...
...and invented the cocktail party...
...I could see she was a little...
Well, a little something.
- Hello?
- Signora Barrow?
Oh, yes, contessa.
- I have very good news for you.
- Really?
My friend Franco, the young nobleman,
has finally returned from Spain.
- Well, that's wonderful. Can he...?
- Yes.
- When?
- In half an hour?
- At Caf Minerva?
- We shall meet you there.
- You're wonderful.
- Goodbye.
If the signora likes you...
...she'll be very generous to you.
But remember,
we go fifty-fifty on everything...
...and no tricks.
Excuse me, signora.
Excuse me, baron.
I will have news for you both
in just a few minutes.
Still no words from the Signora Stone?
No, and I have exactly $130
left in the world.
You're such an extravagant boy, Paolo.
The ruby cuff links
from Signora Jamieson-Walker...
...didn't they fetch 2500?
That was last season.
I needed new clothes.
I tell you, if something
doesn't happen soon...
...I'm going to start hanging out
at the galleria.
Do that and you're finished.
You want to end up walking the streets?
A boy with only one shirt, no socks?
I don't know. Maybe I do.
I thought you're better than that.
I hoped you would be strong enough
to play for all or nothing.
I admit, the usual strategy has failed.
Unlike when I presented Franco
to Signora Barrow.
I shall be eating again
by the end of this month.
- You always eat.
- No, but real eat.
...and some lobster.
Will you stop thinking about eating
and concentrate on me?
You must invite Signora Stone
to dinner.
And pay?
A short-term investment
on a rising stock.
Believe me, this woman is only beginning
to find out what loneliness is.
Telephone her...
...with your best voice.
Caress her with your voice.
Purr for her... little Ludwig.
Or better still...
...arrange an accidental meeting.
You have imagination, don't you?
Think of somewhere the signora goes
and go there too.
That's how I caught my first husband,
the Turkish general.
I followed him to a notorious
skating rink in Budapest.
And now, go off.
I have some arrangements to make
with the Signora Jamieson-Walker...
...and the Baron Waldheim.
You see, Paolo...
...I work.
You are lazy. That's your trouble.
And should you fail with Signora Stone...
...would you be interested
in another proposition?
- Contessa?
- Roberto?
Signora, I have an appointment
for you this evening.
- Ten o'clock, Caf Minerva.
- Thank you.
...for you, I need
a little bit more time.
- Oh, hello.
- Hello. What's going on?
Well, I got lost.
All the trails seem to go
in different ways.
- Would you like a cigarette?
- Oh, thank you.
Wasn't that foolish?
I just got sort of panicky.
Thank you.
I don't think that was foolish.
After all, you are all alone
in a strange city.
You're probably upset
about something else.
I have been that way, lost, perhaps...
...and get all upset about nothing.
- But you are fine now.
- Yes, thank you.
Well, I'm glad I was here.
Tell me, Mr. Leo,
how's it happen that you are here?
I wanted to see you again.
You know I have been here four times?
Will you have dinner with me tonight?
For a very simple reason: I would like it.
Well, I'm sorry, I'm busy tonight.
You don't trust me?
Why? I met you through the contessa.
Well, I--
I've heard many bad things
about the contessa...
...but do you think I am like that?
Karen. Karen Stone.
Why, Meg.
- So it's true.
- What?
But you're still here.
Nobody in New York seemed to be sure.
You don't answer anyone's letters,
mine included.
This is Paolo di Leo, Miss Bishop.
- How do you do?
- Hello.
- So you really like Rome?
- I love it, don't you?
Depends what you come up against.
There's a lot of corruption.
If you don't believe me, talk to the
social-survey team I've been pumping.
- They're bursting with--
- How long are you here for?
I don't know yet.
I hope to see Nehru next month.
If that falls through,
I may take a gander at the Middle East.
- But we must get together.
- Well, of course.
Well, when?
How about tomorrow, say, 7:00?
Still at the same apartment?
Yes, yes, I am.
That'll be wonderful.
Well, I want to hear everything.
- Till tomorrow, then.
- Till tomorrow, darling.
Delighted to have met you.
Thank you.
Would you like a cocktail, signora?
A Negroni?
How did you know I like Negroni?
The first time I saw you
in your apartment, you drank one.
Who was your friend?
Is she a journalist?
Yes. Politics, that kind of thing.
I don't really want to see her
alone tomorrow. She'll pump me.
What could she possibly ask you
that you don't want to answer?
I just don't feel like
one of those women's talks.
What I've been doing,
who I've been seeing...
...why I'm drifting.
When I told you I was drifting...
...did you understand?
Not why it made you sad.
I too am drifting, signora.
The whole world.
Everybody, the stars,
everything is drifting.
Is it so bad to drift?
Is it so unhappy?
...when you've nowhere to go.
Your hand is a fist.
Open it.
Give it to me.
It is a beautiful night.
Thank you for inviting me to dinner.
Look, your hand is a fist again.
The contessa told me that your husband
was much older than you.
- Is that true?
- Twenty years.
- But you loved him.
- Very much.
I didn't know how much until he died.
Good night. Thank you again.
Mrs. Stone?
There'll never be energy
like prewar Berlin.
A real, wide-open nightclub.
Rollie considers himself
the Duncan Hines of the nightclubs.
Oh, excuse me a moment.
Meg, I'm so glad you could come.
I didn't realize
there was going to be a party.
I wanted you to meet
some of my friends.
Miss Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. Griffing.
Rollie, you never told me that.
- Hello. Hello.
- Do you mean to say...?
Don't you think it's chilly out here?
Meg, what's the matter?
Well, if you don't like the party,
at least you can enjoy the view.
- If you look over there, you can see--
- Now, let's stop this.
Tell your old friend what you're up to.
Well, I don't know what you mean.
- Have you really retired from the stage?
- Yes.
You told me you'd go on acting till you
were 80 and they had to wheel you on.
That was before I discovered
I hadn't as much talent as I thought.
Talent? Oh, what's talent?
Being able to get away
with something, that's all.
You got away with
some very effective performances.
Of course, it was a mistake to play
Rosalind so long after you left school.
Paolo. You remember Miss Bishop?
How do you do?
It's chilly out here.
I don't like a cold sun.
- Would you like a drink?
- No, thanks.
- Negroni, Karen?
- No. No, thank you.
Isn't it odd how women of our age
suddenly start looking for beauty in our...?
Well, our male partners.
I suppose after you've been married
to that elderly invalid for 20 years--
I loved Tom Stone.
Oh, did you?
Everyone thought
you married him to avoid...
- What?
- Love.
I think you depended on him,
but that's different.
Now he's dead, what have you got
to fall back on, except his filthy millions?
- A great deal.
- For instance?
This country. These people.
Look, of all the people in Italy,
why did you have to pick on that bunch?
The young ones are pretty, of course,
and I'm told they make love very nicely...
...but is that enough to ask
of a whole human society?
I'm beginning to think so.
Oh, you are such an escapist.
You may have quit the stage,
but you won't escape public attention.
Don't you read the gossip columns?
No. I've quit that too.
Maybe you have,
but they can still hurt you.
I don't want them to hurt you.
Oh, Karen, there isn't anybody who ever
knew you and who ever loved you--
Who are these people who love me?
- I want names.
- I can give you thousands.
- You represented--
- Various parts.
Parts in the theater.
Never, ever myself.
And is this yourself?
Or rather what you've become?
A figure of fun.
The stock character
of a middle-aged woman...
...crazily infatuated
with a succession of young boys?
- Such a charming party.
- Thank you. Excuse me.
Karen, please.
Renato, do you know her?
She's not for you.
She only does it for money.
Have you seen the American lady
again this week?
Signora Stone?
Last night she took me
to dinner at the Palazzi...
...and after that we went dancing
to the Rugantino.
And after that?
Is she very rich?
She has more money
than all the others put together.
- Then you'll see her again tonight?
- She asked me, but I told her I was busy.
Because it keeps her interested,
that's why.
Do you know her?
She used to work in a beauty shop.
- Now she's got an old man, a millionaire.
- No.
Well, the wolf pack is back
in Rome again.
The Signora Jamieson-Walker
and the baronessa have both been...
...sniffing at my door.
This Signora Stone is different.
She is a very great lady.
I mean it. Do you know
she is so famous...
...that she has to wear dark glasses
so that people won't recognize her?
Last night--
It is Signora Stone.
I didn't know she was such a great lady.
- What is it?
- Well, nothing. It's--
It's just so silly.
I just lost my sunglasses.
- Well, I'm late for an appointment.
- Paolo.
Can we have dinner tomorrow night?
Tomorrow night,
I have another invitation.
But I think I can put it off.
When will you know?
I call you in the morning, huh?
Good night, Paolo.
I have noticed something.
Even when you smile,
you're not really happy.
Why do you say that?
Because your eyes are sad.
Thank you for inviting me to dinner.
It was a lovely evening.
If you were right
and my eyes are sad...
...I suppose you think
you know the reason.
You are frightened.
What of?
Your feelings.
Good night, Paolo.
Listen, Paolo, there's no such thing
as a great American lady.
Great ladies do not occur in a nation
less than 200 years old.
I am telling you, she has given me
nothing except my dinners.
I don't believe you.
Franco got $500 yesterday
from Signora Barrow.
That's different.
This Signora Stone is not a wolf.
I don't know, we have-- We have dinner,
then we go out dancing, and...
I say good night at the door.
All the others, the Signora Coogan,
the baronessa, even the Jamieson-Walker.
They were all at me like wolves
from the very moment--
Liar. Everyone knows you never
gave in to any of them.
Not even to Signora Jamieson-Walker...
...when she presented you with
a pair of magnificent ruby cuff links.
- Now, you tell me--
- Which you tried to tell me were glass.
Well, I thought they were.
You know what I think?
You are infatuated with Mrs. Stone.
She's the only one you've actually
gone to bed with...
...and are going to bed with,
regularly, all the time.
I will tell you something,
I only wish it were true.
Then why do you tell everybody,
even your barber, that it is?
Now, wait a minute,
how do you know what I say to him?
- What are you doing, spying on me?
- Answer my question.
It's not true.
You are feathering your nest.
What about me?
You're getting 50 percent of Franco.
That's a lot more than
50 percent of nothing.
You're the one that said,
"Be patient, she is proud."
- What is it, you think I would cheat you?
- You have tried before.
That is not true. I'm a di Leo.
And I am a Gonzales, so...
Listen, Paolo, when things went slowly
with Signora Coogan... invented such a convincing story,
you remember, about the prince?
- What about it?
- Why don't you try it on Signora Stone.
Only this time, have him steal a lot more
money from your trusting friend.
How are you? You look wonderful.
Lloyd, lovely to see you.
- This is Mr. di Leo. Mr. Greener.
- How do you do?
Mr. Greener presented me
in my first play, Paolo.
- Oh, what a lovely place.
- Oh, I was so lucky to find it.
And so convenient too.
Only half an hour to the studio.
Paolo, how nice to see you.
I haven't seen you for ages.
May I present Mrs. Stone,
Principessa Bonmeni.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
I've heard such interesting things
about you.
I want you to meet Barbara,
the star of my new picture.
I had a terrible time
getting the studio to release me.
- Yes, you would. And now you live here?
- Well--
What I'd really like to do is
go to New York and study the Method.
- You have never had--?
- Hi, Lloyd.
Barbara, I've got a great surprise for you.
This is Karen Stone,
my first and greatest leading lady.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
Oh, and this is Mr. di Leo.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
Excuse me a minute,
and don't go away.
That's a perfectly lovely dress.
Did you get it in Rome?
No, it came from Paris.
It's such a thrill to meet you, even
though I never saw you on the stage.
Isn't that terrible?
Why, not at all. I'm afraid
I've never seen you on the screen.
- May I get you a drink?
- Yes, thank you, a very dry martini.
I had a terrible time making up my mind.
I think one needs stage experience
before going into movies.
- Karen, I'd like you to meet Contessa--
- Oh, we are old friends.
- Dear Signora Stone, how are you?
- I'm well, and you?
- And this is Barbara Bingham, my--
- Yes.
How do you do? You're quite lovely.
- Telephone, signore, from New York.
- I'll be right back.
Aren't you a little hungry?
Shall we have some lunch?
- Excuse me.
- Sure.
Before the baronessa lost
all her money...
...the most elegant parties in the whole
black world were given here.
And now, at her age,
she's got to go into business.
She isn't the only one.
I understand that you have been seeing
a good deal of young Paolo recently.
We've had dinner together.
You find him charming?
Yes, I do.
Everyone does.
But there are certain things
more important than charm.
I'm afraid Paolo is really
a little marchetta.
- A what?
- That's our word for a boy...
...who has no work, no money,
but lives very well without them.
How do you feel about such people?
I have nothing against them.
Then make sure you get
your money's worth.
Thank you.
Don't get cheated
like Signora Coogan...
...when she took Paolo
to Capri last summer.
They say she was the only one
in the party Paolo didn't make love to.
That poor thing, she broke out
with such a horrible nervous eczema...
...flew straight to Africa
and hid herself in the jungles.
- Little ham?
- No, thank you.
However, there's one nice thing
about Paolo.
Signora Coogan had a great deal
of very important jewelry...
...and she used to have it in
her bathroom all night in a soap dish...
...without even locking the door.
Paolo never touched it.
He doesn't have light fingers.
I don't think it would matter so much
if he had.
I don't understand you.
People who are very beautiful
make their own laws.
Did you?
In a way, when I was very beautiful.
All the same, you're very wealthy
and you must be careful.
Has Paolo ever told you
the story of his friend...
...who was cheated out of 10 million lire
by a wicked prince?
- No.
- He will.
Oh, delicious lobster.
And he will try to touch your heart
so deeply with it... will want to restore
his friend's losses to him.
I might be touched,
but not for 10 million lire.
You see, contessa, Americans aren't
as romantic as their motion pictures.
What a pity.
Still got a headache?
Too much to drink at lunch.
I wanted to get drunk.
I knew if I did, I would cry.
What about, Paolo?
I didn't want to tell you this before.
I didn't want to spoil your party.
But a very good friend of mine,
a terrible thing has happened to him.
He has been...
And a prince told him...
...that he could get a lot of whiskey
at a very cheap price...
...from some Americans
at the base in Naples...
...and then he could sell them
at a great profit.
So Fabio, that's my friend, gave
the prince 10 million lire for the stuff.
The prince kept the money
and Fabio came up with empty hands.
Do you know why?
The prince took cocaine.
He spent all the money
on dope and a woman.
Your friend should have
informed the police.
He did. He knew somebody
that was very important.
But this man told Fabio, he said:
"Fabio, you don't have a receipt,
and you can't prove anything."
Now he's ruined.
How soon does your friend
want the money?
As soon as possible.
He has nothing, and...
I think if he has to wait much longer,
I think he would kill himself.
He's desperate.
I was the first person that he called.
What is money when it's a...
A question of friendship?
When it's that much money,
I think it's usually more than friendship.
What is more?
Friendship is the most beautiful thing
in the world.
Who told you that, Paolo?
Mrs. Coogan?
You see, I don't leave my diamonds
in a soap dish...
...and when the time comes
when nobody desires me for myself...
...I'd rather not be desired at all.
I'm going to walk a little, Giorgio.
Will you follow?
Karen. Karen.
Karen Stone.
Karen, how are you?
You look like a million dollars.
We've been asking
about you everywhere.
Did you see Meg before she left?
Meg? Where did she go?
Oh, someplace in the Middle East.
She says it's a big trouble spot.
I thought everywhere in the Middle East
was a big trouble spot.
- Julia.
- Yes?
Campbell, why-- Forgive me,
I didn't recognize you, I just--
Well, is anything wrong, dear?
Julia, there's something
I want to tell you.
Campbie, I need cigarettes.
There's a place round that corner.
Promise me you won't tell anyone.
Not even Campbell.
I don't want anyone to know...
...but I have been terribly ill.
- No.
- And they've taken some x-rays...
...and say that it isn't possible
to operate.
- Oh, darling--
- Now, you see, darling...
...I don't want you to try
to see me or to call me.
I know you will understand.
Oh, forgive me, there's my car.
Where to, signora?
Just drive. Just anywhere.
I didn't know them.
I didn't know them.
Why did I make up that lie?
What a bore. It's going to rain.
You don't want it to rain?
Well, of course not. I hate it.
I don't suppose it should concern you
that there is something to consider... this country beside
the amusement of rich foreigners.
You don't care if the grain
in the country is all drying up...
...or that the water supply is so low
there's not even enough for electricity.
Oh, Paolo. Since when have you been
so interested in farmers and electricity?
"Oh, Paolo."
You rich American women, you think
that you're the new conquerors of Rome.
Well, you let me warn you something.
This city is old. Three thousand years.
And every one of its conquerors
have went right back to the dust.
Paolo, sometimes you're
quite ridiculous.
So are you.
Like last night, for instance.
What did I do last night?
You asked me if I loved you.
Was that so ridiculous?
Beside my family, the only person that
I ever loved was my second cousin...
...the Principessa di Leo.
She was raped by your soldiers
in Naples...
...and has spent the rest of her life
in a convent.
So you can laugh all you want to at me,
but I don't love anybody.
Is it true they have no legs...
...that's why they stay in the air
all the time?
No. They stay in the air because they
don't want to mix with American tourists.
I've been thinking we ought to go
to that tailor you told me about...
...and have you measured for
new clothes.
It is not important.
Wouldn't you like to?
You don't have to buy me clothes.
I know, but I want to.
Last Christmas, the Signora Coogan
wanted to buy me an Alfa Romeo...
...but I couldn't accept it
because I didn't love her.
This is different.
We love each other.
Just now you said I was ridiculous
to ask if you loved me.
That's because you laughed at me.
When you love somebody,
you must not listen to what they say.
They say things to hurt you because
they don't want to be hurt themselves.
You must look in their eyes
and feel their heart.
Why are you crying?
I'm so happy.
This has just arrived. The newest fabric.
Is smart, no?
- Do you like it, Paolo?
- It's beautiful.
Madame will see it is
the finest cashmere.
- Signore?
- Yes, this one. I'll have this one.
Well, being under exclusive contract,
you see...
...I had a terrible time getting
the studio to release me.
Tell me, what about future?
What I'd really like to do is
go to New York and study the Method.
Paolo, how are you?
Oh, I'd like you to meet...
Signora Coogan,
welcome back from Africa.
Thank you, Paolo.
You are looking wonderful, signora.
The sunshine agreed with you.
Baron, I thought you'd be in Cairo.
Paolo now moves in
a very exclusive circle.
One scarcely sees him anymore.
- Ciao.
- Paolo.
Why didn't you answer my note?
We have an account to settle, you know.
What has she given you?
Cuff links? Dollars?
You're a foolish boy, Paolo.
You might need me again someday.
All Rome is talking about
your great lady.
I wouldn't be surprised
if she moved to Tangiers.
Good evening, signora.
- May I sit down?
- Please, do.
I just saw your charming friend Paolo.
You look wonderful.
I'm so glad.
As you know, signora...
...since I lost my husband... has not been easy for me...
...and frankly...'s never been more difficult
than it is just now.
Are you trying to touch me, contessa?
- A thousand dollars?
- I could let you have 500.
- Seven-fifty.
- Five hundred.
When? Tomorrow?
All right.
You're most kind.
Thank you very much.
- What did she want?
- Money.
- Did you promise her any?
- A little.
You should be careful of the contessa.
Thank you.
All Rome is talking about her.
I would not be surprised
if she moved to Tangiers.
Signora Stone.
You know, Renato, this picture of me
is not really so good.
He loves it. He carries that
magazine around all the time.
I have much better ones.
- Are you finished?
- Only a moment.
No, no, no.
Renato, I have to go to my tailors.
You have no idea the trouble
I've had with these people.
The sleeves are too long on one jacket...
...and the shoulders too narrow
on the other one.
Did I show you this?
A present? How many jewels?
Thirty-eight, and the case is solid gold.
Another present?
How much did it cost?
I forget.
But we're going to change it
for a more expensive one anyway.
Oh, I forgot to tell you, Renato,
I'm to have a charge account now.
So you send the bill at the end
of the month to Signora Stone, huh?
- Ciao.
- Ciao.
Karen, look.
Well. I'm not used to wearing such
expensive clothes.
Are you alone?
Magda, what do you want?
The picture of you and Signora Stone
on the cover of La Settimana...
...some people have found it
quite sensational.
I've seen better.
All the same, Paolo...
...that picture makes it very clear.
You're not just another
beautiful young man.
According to Miss Bingham,
the movie star... have a style.
She says you have a screen personality...
...milflions of women would respond to.
I'm sure Miss Bingham would
like to know you better.
She's between husbands, you know.
And she's terribly lonesome and bored
at the moment.
Anyway, Paolo... might gain more from this...
...than you've managed to get
out of Signora Stone.
I'm not speaking of anything
strictly material.
Karen will be having some friends... come here to see
the moving pictures we have made.
Perhaps you could invite Miss Bingham.
- When?
- Tomorrow night, 8:00.
Very well.
But listen, Paolo...
...we'll be friends again?
Haven't we always?
- Who is this boy that follows you?
- What?
Well, you must have noticed him,
he's everywhere we go.
Come here.
I never saw him before in my life.
The trouble is you make
a spectacle of yourself.
- What do you mean?
- A spectacle?
That's something that's conspicuous.
We're photographed in the magazines,
pointed out in the streets.
And you adore it.
It's you they look at, Paolo, not at me.
You don't hear the comments.
Oh, yes, I do.
"What a beautiful man."
That's what they say
on the caf sidewalks.
And you bask in it like a sunflower.
If I'm conspicuous,
it's because you've made me so.
There's no use contradicting you.
An American woman is never
gonna admit she's wrong.
But you don't hear all the comments.
Last week, I was compelled
to challenge a man to a duel...
...on account of a remark he made.
You fought a duel?
I sent a challenge
and the man left Rome.
And what was this remark?
It's too disgusting. I can't repeat it.
Has it ever occurred to you, Karen,
that women of your kind...
...are very often found
assassinated in bed?
It's true. Only last week,
on the French Riviera...
...a middle-aged woman was found in bed
with her throat cut from ear to ear.
There was no broken lock,
no forced entrance...
...just stains of hair oil
on the other pillow.
Obviously, the lady had asked
the assassin to come in.
Does this mean you're going to kill me?
That's right. Make a joke.
Show your sense of humor.
And then in three or four years...
...ll pick up a paper
and read about your death.
Three or four years is all I need.
After that, a cut throat
will be a convenience.
I'm sorry.
Truly sorry.
Will your beautiful new dress
be all right?
Paolo, you once told me you hurt me
because you love me...
...and were afraid of being hurt yourself.
Shall I never know you love me
unless you hurt me?
- I've found you at last.
- Meg.
Well, I've-- I've been to a shindig
at the Lebanese embassy.
They insisted we all take home
a piece of folk art.
Karen, I'm going back
to New York tonight.
I couldn't leave without asking you
to forgive me.
Darling, we're old friends.
Old enough to quarrel.
- And make up?
- Well, of course.
I said more than I meant to. I'm sorry.
- Good evening, Paolo--
- Excuse me.
Ciao, Amanda.
- Karen, why don't you come too.
- To New York?
Before all your bridges are burned.
I don't want to.
I'm settled here. This is my home.
Meg, I'm in love with Paolo.
He obviously adores you.
That's nothing. The girl's drunk and
he's just trying to be polite, that's all.
So polite he flirts with every woman
who wants him to.
Now, there's another word for that.
It's not a pretty one.
- Are we going to quarrel again?
- No, I hope not.
But I have to be honest with you.
Every time you say that,
you tell me something disagreeable.
Why did you spread that absurd story
about having an incurable disease?
Oh, I didn't.
I didn't spread any story. I--
I just said that to Julia because...
...well, I was feeling happy
and lightheaded that day, and I--
I just didn't want her
to try to see me, that's all.
Well, you told the truth
without meaning to.
You are suffering from a disease, Karen.
I just hope it's not too late to cure it.
- Who is that girl, anyway?
- I don't know.
Why do you follow me?
- Why you walk out like that?
- Please call my car.
- I did, it's late. We have to get back.
- Why?
You invited the contessa
and some friends to look at our films.
I invited?
You invited, I invited,
what difference does it make?
- Karen--
- Meg, will you please go away.
Yes, go away.
- They're going to be there in five minutes.
- Where?
At your apartment,
where do you suppose?
Paolo, why do you behave like this?
There's your car.
Paolo, I am not Mrs. Coogan.
I'm not an old fool with nothing
but money to give you.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Will you get in the car?
Not until you look at me
and tell me I'm not like her.
- I never said you were.
- But you're treating me as if I were.
Ask anybody anywhere,
anybody who's ever known me.
I'm not Mrs. Coogan.
You're not the first great lady
that I've been out with.
But you are the first that has
made a spectacle of herself in public.
Now, will you get in the car?
More brandy, contessa?
No, I mustn't.
I had nothing to eat all day.
You never saw Signora Stone
on the stage, my dear?
I have been told...
...that she was more a personality
than an actress.
Very beautiful, of course.
I've seen her picture on the cover
of lots of magazines.
For years, she was one of
America's 10 best-dressed women.
- Even now, she wears beautiful clothes.
- Very true.
But recently I heard her
described as a chicken hawk.
Chicken hawk? What's that?
You don't know
what a chicken hawk is?
Well, my dear Miss Bingham,
then let me tell you.
A chicken hawk is a bird of prey
with a sharp beak...
...long claws and a terrible appetite.
She feeds exclusively on the flesh
of tender young chickens.
Oddly enough, the species is American.
But all the best young roosters
are Italian.
Trust you to know that, Rollie.
Signorina Bingham, I'm so sorry
to have kept you waiting.
So nice to see you.
We have been amusing ourselves, Paolo.
We have been looking through
Signora Stone's theatrical souvenirs.
I never realized the length--
The extent of her career.
Paolo, perhaps the contessa
would like another drink.
Karen. Hello. How are you?
How nice to see you again, Miss Bingham.
You started shooting your picture yet?
They've had to postpone it
a couple weeks bec--
Please don't let me interrupt you.
Dear Signora Stone,
I was just telling Miss Bingham...
...about Signora Coogan's
spectacular season in Capri.
That ridiculous old woman.
A friend of mine is starting a nightclub
here that sounds rather promising.
What kind of promising?
It's called the Casbah.
You leave your shoes
with a veiled hostess...
...and then recline
on magnificent cushions like a sheik.
Well, we are ready.
That's Hadrian's Villa.
- Who's that?
- It's an Egyptian river god.
The Romans conquered Egypt,
you know.
What's he holding?
That's a cornucopia.
Horn of plenty.
There's a lot of Karen
before we get to me.
Why don't you come outside.
I show you the Seven Hills of Rome.
That's beautiful, Paolo.
But where are you?
There's Paolo.
Good night.
And thanks for everything.
- Where has Miss Bingham gone?
- She went back to her hotel.
Why so quickly?
I told her that you were hysterical.
I advised her to leave.
- Paolo, why have you done nothing but--?
- Please, I have a terrible headache.
And you can't stay the night,
that's it, isn't it?
But not because of any headache.
Because you made a date
with that cheap--
Cheap is not a word, I think,
that you should use.
Your friend the contessa
is nothing but a female pimp...
...with a stable of handsome boys
she sells to the highest bidder.
I won't deal in that ugly traffic... she passes you
on to someone who will.
I had no idea that your mind
was such a cesspool.
If it's become one,
it's because of my association--
You ought to leave Rome.
- You've ruined yourself here.
- Paolo.
I would not be surprised if the police
refused to renew your permit to stay.
That's between you and the police.
But what I personally don't like... your dishonesty.
- Paolo, have you gone crazy?
- No, and I haven't lost my memory, either.
A long time ago, you told me
you'd help a friend of mine...
- ...who got in trouble with the prince.
- Oh, I don't understand.
I-- I thought there was something a--
- I demand to know--
- You demand a lot of things...'re so puffed up
with being a great lady.
Rome is a very old city.
Three thousand years.
How old are you, 50?
Go away. Now. All of you.
And take your little marchetta with you.
Rome is a very old city.
Three thousand years.
How old are you, 50?
I'm leaving for New York tonight.
Why don't you come too.
Before all your bridges are burned.
Hotel Excelsior.
Miss Bishop, please.
Hello, hello?
I am sorry. Miss Bishop left
a few minutes ago for New York.
Thank you.
You like to be by yourself?
I think it's bad to be alone too much.
It makes you drift.
- Drift?
- Yes, drift.
It makes you drift.
I too am drifting, signora.
The whole world. Everybody,
the stars, everything is drifting.
Is it so bad to drift?
This is different. We love each other.
Three or four years is all I need.
After that, a cut throat
will be a convenience.
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)
23 fps. Duration 1:43:49