6.9/10
1,340
45 user 6 critic

Light in the Piazza (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 9 February 1962 (USA)
Upper class Americans Noel and Meg Johnson have a twenty-six year old daughter named Clara Johnson. Clara suffered a head injury as a child which resulted in her being mentally disabled. ... See full summary »

Director:

Guy Green

Writers:

Elizabeth Spencer (story), Julius J. Epstein (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Olivia de Havilland ... Meg Johnson
Rossano Brazzi ... Signor Naccarelli
Yvette Mimieux ... Clara Johnson
George Hamilton ... Fabrizio Naccarelli
Isabel Dean ... Miss Hawtree
Moultrie Kelsall ... The Minister
Nancy Nevinson ... Signora Naccarelli
Barry Sullivan ... Noel Johnson
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Storyline

Upper class Americans Noel and Meg Johnson have a twenty-six year old daughter named Clara Johnson. Clara suffered a head injury as a child which resulted in her being mentally disabled. Clara's mental capacity is equivalent to that of a ten year old. In many social situations, Clara's disability can be passed off as a simple joy of life. The issue of Clara's care has placed a strain between Noel and Meg, the latter who clings to the hope that one day Clara can lead a "normal" life. While on an extended vacation through Italy, Meg and Clara meet a twenty-three year old Italian named Fabrizio Naccarelli in Florence. Fabrizio is instantly smitten with Clara, who returns the affection. Always protecting Clara, Meg initially resists Fabrizio's constant measures to insinuate himself into their lives. But as Meg learns more about Fabrizio and meets his family, Meg begins to believe a marriage between Fabrizio and Clara is Clara's chance for that normal life, all the while not telling the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a love that could not be denied...and the only city in the world where it could happen. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ena fos sto skotadi See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$553,280 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Hamilton was a last minute replacement for James Darren. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Johnson walks around town on her own, just before she decides to go to the US consulate, there is, at one point, a clearly visible crowd of onlookers (and a man trying to keep them back by spreading his arms) in the background. There is nothing about the place or the circumstances that could explain their attitude; they are clearly all watching the shooting of the film. See more »

Quotes

Meg Johnson: Nobody with a dream should come to Italy. No matter how dead and buried you think it is, in Italy, it will rise and walk again.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Behind door number 2....Yvette Mimieux!
17 April 2002 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

This film walks a fine line between touchingly sweet romance and unintentional hilarity. It comes out on the better side of quality drama thanks to some sincere acting by de Havilland and the wry romanticism of Brazzi. Ms. de Havilland is a wealthy tourist on an extended stay in Florence, Italy with her beautiful, but childlike daughter (Mimieux). Mimieux has suffered an accident which left her with a stunted mental age and de Havilland has taken her abroad to keep her out of trouble as she blossoms physically and attracts men. (With this in mind, Italy may not have been first stop on most people's itinerary!) Hamilton is a very eager and adorable young Italian who falls head over heels for Mimieux and eventually furrowed-browed de Havilland must determine whether to move on or allow her daughter a chance at happiness, at the possible expense of her suitor. Brazzi stirs things up as Hamilton's father and Sullivan adds some welcome conflict as de Havilland's hard-nosed husband. Mimieux does a very fine job presenting this difficult character. She is definitely inappropriately childish, yet lovely and sweet. She has one particularly effective scene in which she becomes overexcited and nearly hyperventilates. Hamilton is charming and appealing and Brazzi is ever-suave. Ms. de Havilland (decked out in crisp, tailored, Christian Dior clothes throughout) projects the right amount of concern and longing for her daughter's happiness. She even gets a carriage ride that is only slightly less rough than the one Vivien Leigh took her on in "Gone With the Wind"! She is the emotional core of the film. (People continually refer to her tan in the film, but she looks as pale as a cameo most of the time!) A must in widescreen format, the location filming adds much flavor to the film (which makes it all the more jarring when background screens are used...thankfully very little.) From a certain perspective, the film's message could be quite offensive. It seems to suggest that if a retarded girl wants to be happy, get married and have a family, she only has to go to Italy where no one will be able to tell and she won't have to do much of anything anyway!


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