Directed by David Lean • 1955 • United States, United Kingdom
Starring Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Darren McGavin
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.
The following audio excerpts are from an interview with cinematographer Jack Hildyard conducted by Alan Lawson and recorded on Jauary 7, 1988, as part of the British Entertainment History project. In them, Hildyard discusses his early career and working with director David Lean on SUMMERTIME.