David Lean

Summertime

Summertime

An American spinster’s dream of romance finally becomes a bittersweet reality when she meets a handsome—but married—Italian man while vacationing in Venice. Katharine Hepburn’s sensitive portrayal of the lonely heroine and Jack Hildyard’s glorious Technicolor photography make Summertime an endearing and visually enchanting film.

Film Info

  • David Lean
  • United States
  • 1955
  • 100 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #22

Special Features

  • The original theatrical trailer

New cover by Gordon Reynolds

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

$650.00

Special Features

  • The original theatrical trailer

New cover by Gordon Reynolds

Summertime
Cast
Katharine Hepburn
Jane Hudson
Rossano Brazzi
Renato De Rossi
Darren McGavin
Eddie Yaeger
Jane Rose
Mrs. McIlhenny
Mari Aldon
Phyl Yaeger
MacDonald Parke
Mr. McIlhenny
Credits
Director
David Lean
Producer
Ilya Lopert
Editing
Peter Taylor
Cinematography
Jack Hildyard
Screenplay
H.E. Bates
Screenplay
David Lean
From the original play by
Arthur Laurents
Associate producer
Norman Spencer
Production design
Vincent Korda
Music
Alessandro Cicognini

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The BFI ruminates on ten masterful portraits of loneliness, including Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Spring, David Lean’s Summertime, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, and Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express. For Eye on Design, Emily Gos…

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Summertime
Summertime

In David Lean’s Summertime, in which Rossano Brazzi seduces Katharine Hepburn—an aging, repressed Ohio “working girl” on vacation in Venice—the Continental lover reached his pinnacle and approached his end. In the next decade, he would be e

By David Denby


Explore

David Lean

Director

David Lean
David Lean

For many cinephiles, the name David Lean signifies grand moviemaking—sweeping epics like Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. But the long and eclectic career of this legendary British director encompasses arresting intimacy as well, as evidenced by the films of his in the Criterion Collection. Among those are pictures that he was responsible for editing, early on in his work in film: some of his national cinema’s greatest hits, including Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard’s Pygmalion, Gabriel Pascal’s Major Barbara, and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 49th Parallel. In the forties and early fifties, having moved to directing, he made several luminous films, including adaptations of such classic and important contemporary works from the stage and page as Harold Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Still Life (Brief Encounter, in the film version), and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. All are graced by evocative, shadowy black-and-white cinematography and elegantly restrained compositions. Summertime, his gorgeous 1955 Technicolor trip to Venice with Katharine Hepburn, marked a turning point in his career: the sun-dappled location shoot was galvanizing for Lean, and the remainder of his films, from The Bridge on the River Kwai to A Passage to India, could be considered outdoor spectacles. Yet Lean’s deep interest in complex characters, his brilliant way with actors, and his classic sense of storytelling were never trumped by scale.