David Lean

Summertime

Summertime

With this sublimely bittersweet tale of romantic longing, director David Lean left behind the British soundstage to capture in radiant Technicolor the sun-splashed glory of Venice at the height of summer. In a tour de force of fearless vulnerability, Katharine Hepburn portrays the conflicting emotions that stir the heart of a lonely, middle-aged American tourist who is forced to confront her insecurities when she is drawn into a seemingly impossible affair with a charming Italian shopkeeper (Rossano Brazzi) amid the ancient city’s canals and piazzas. Lean’s personal favorite among his own films, Summertime is an exquisitely tender evocation of the magic and melancholy of a fleeting, not-quite-fairy-tale romance.

Film Info

  • United States
  • 1955
  • 100 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #22

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with film historian Melanie Williams
  • Interview from 1963 with director David Lean
  • Audio excerpts from a 1988 interview with cinematographer Jack Hildyard
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Stephanie Zacharek

    New cover by Lauren Tamaki

Purchase Options

Coming soon, available Jul 12, 2022

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

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with film historian Melanie Williams
  • Interview from 1963 with director David Lean
  • Audio excerpts from a 1988 interview with cinematographer Jack Hildyard
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Stephanie Zacharek

    New cover by Lauren Tamaki
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
Gaetano Autiero
Mauro
Jeremy Spenser
Vito De Rossi
Isa Miranda
Signora Fiorini
Credits
Director
David Lean
Produced by
Ilya Lopert
Screenplay by
H. E. Bates
David Lean
Based on the original play The Time of the Cuckoo by
Arthur Laurents
Cinematography by
Jack Hildyard
Editor
Peter Taylor
Production design by
Vincent Korda
Music composed by
Alessandro Cicognini

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Summertime
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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

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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.