7.11 h 40 min195513+
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.
David Lean
Katherine HepburnRossano BrazziDarren McGafin
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Jane Rose
Ilya Lopert
The Criterion Collection
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4.5 out of 5 stars

761 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Mark N.Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
As only Katharine Hepburn can do, at her age, convincingly, and make it all look fresh and natural.
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I first saw this movie around the year 2010 and immediately loved it. It has everything you could possibly want from Katharine Hepburn and from a film of that era (1955). Hepburn plays the role of Jane Hudson. A middle aged, elementary school secretary whose lifelong dream to vacation in Venice Italy has finally come true . As she arrives in Venice you see her filming everything with a small, hand held, motion picture camera. Then there's the usual hoopla of getting off the train, pushing through the throngs of people, getting her luggage and then eventually, with assistance, locating her hotel. She meets a man, Renato De Rossi ( Rossano Brazzi ) and eventually there is the expected, subdued chase..... as only Katharine Hepburn can do, at her age, convincingly, and make it all look fresh and natural..... Hepburn, whose beauty can be timeless one moment and mature the next, has the uncanny ability to pull you into any scene she's in, completely dazzle and confuse you, and set you quietly back on the couch, making you wonder what the hell just happened and then in the next moment, make you not care at all. Brazzi, who plays this role well, is a very attractive man with a charm and strength that, over time, quietly overtakes you. Then there's the beauty and grandeur of Venice and its people that only Technicolor can capture ( for those of us who cannot afford a trip to venice Italy). For me this is a "time to myself, sit down and spend the rest of the evening watching" very charming movie. I highly recommend it !
16 people found this helpful
ChrisSherrillReviewed in the United States on January 13, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
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There are a lot of reviews here for a Hepburn film and it isn't obvious why. Just a glitch in the matrix, I guess.

Anyway this movie is in Spanish with English subtitles. There are some things that some people will find offensive. This review is about a movie with two bikini clad women talking about a 'haunted' house. In the first thirty minutes nothing happens. That was as long as I could stand. You would think that even bad movies have some redeeming qualities, but this one had none. Okay, the two young women were attractive. Otherwise it was a total waste of time. Skip this one.
3 people found this helpful
ShugReviewed in the United States on August 30, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Love Story
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I’ve been to Rome twice. Watching this wonderful movie gave me the feeling I’d been there a 3rd time.
I’m older, single now, so the romantic aspect of the story allowed me to identify with the main character played by Katherine Hepburn. She’s marvelous as the reluctant and shy female who is hesitant to become deeply involved with an Italian stranger even though he is a perfect male specimen. And in spite of wanting to experience romance because she is so lonely in Rome traveling Alone.
I saw this movie as a teen. It does not age! Thank you Amazon Prime for having this movie available for me to reflect with my memories and return to Rome!💕
One person found this helpful
michaelReviewed in the United States on June 20, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
I loved readilly the narrow lanes as photographed in the film
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Well for once all the technical people got together and made this film work. I have put off writing this, as it is difficult to talk about perfection, heaven, and yes! there is a table waiting in heaven for us also.

I became aquainted with this fil in the late 1950's. For some reason at lunch, this movie was being shown. In black and white. I loved readilly the narrow lanes as photographed in the film, I even looked for area's in a Michigan city that might look and sound the way they did in the film, my Mother and school braught me back from my dreaming.

I saw it in color for the first time on non cable tv... with interruptions of that I am sure. The color was there as a De Kooning painting, the sound was very well done. I got to listen to my heart break with the train and musik,,, the tempo being more and more severe. Well? ?? I bought a vhs with better color and frail words. Finally.

Katherine Hepburn has never been more feminine, and interesting, and damn sexy as she is here in this film. Hepburn has never been more available as she is in this film. Sexual, there I said it. She was never so senual as when she has her hair down on a kind of beach with her lover, and one know she likes it. She falls in love. Before the end of the film she meets some interesting people.

Jack Hildyard fotographed this film with love. Hepburn sitting on her bed and she glows through the heat of summer. All in white, as an angel. Hildyard did all the photograpyy and made Venice so beutiful. Still the sound and the narrow lanes though colored,,, though decades later, reminded me ? I suppose the boy and the others should have some time. REALLY?

Mari Alden, as a blond was very effective, if that is what a man needs. She and Hepburn have some interesting scnenes in the film. Isa Miranda looks amazingly bright in this film. The hair and her face and her carriage float her through this film. What was it about a blond woman with grey eyes and an affectatious way of speaking to the world, that now, no one can remember.

The birds outside my window in Meissen Germany, seem to say,, give the answer. I have ignored Mauro, the boy. Let me ignore him, see for yourself, about boys and Venice. But without him it would not have been the masterwork.

And then the music as the film ends. The music is never seen as special until now. Summer is coming, if you want to know how to survive a romance this credits ending music might give you a real concern.
10 people found this helpful
GryphonisleReviewed in the United States on March 27, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Romantic, Beautifully Filmed Classic
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This has to be one of Katherine Hepburn's better films, especially mid-career. She's often derided for being a one note actress, but what would Bogart be, then? People criticize Meryl Streep for being a chameleon and showing up everywhere, from Vogue runways to 10 Downing Street.

People like to complain.

In this lush David Lean production, set in Venice and filmed in gorgeous full color that looks bright and new, it seems as if the movie was just made, were it not for all the people dressed like adults, instead of adults dressing as kids, as we do today. Sadly, as nicely as they're dressed, most of the American women look like sausages in hats, frumpy little Mamie Eisenhowers waddling about in sensible shoes. Ms. Hepburn, on the other hand, keeps getting better dresses as the movie progresses, even though her footwear mostly resembles orthopedic sandalry.

Still, she eventually gets a zaftig pair of red heels, and, well, a single shoe hasn't said so much since Dorothy met the Wicked Witch of the West.

Ms. Hepburn, as Jane Hudson, is a single woman, of a certain age (a stale potato chip as she puts it, later in the film) who's come from Akron, Ohio, on her first foreign vacation, to Venice. Given that much of Venice, including the body of St. Mark, was stolen from other places, it's no surprise that Venice steals her heart, early in the film. And then, she meets Rossano Brazzi, as Renato di Rossi, a handsome Venetian merchant, who sells her an 18th century red Murano goblet.

Ms. Hudson is trusting, but not well informed, so when an acquaintence shows up with a whole set of what appear to be the same glasses, for the price she paid for one, she knows she's been cheated. To her defense, there were no iPhones, let alone internet service back then, so to understand that the same goblets were made for centuries, would have required a trip to a library that has english language books... The movie is long enough, so we'll skip that point.

It doesn't take long for Ms. Hudson to fall in love with Mr. Rossi and then only to realize he's married. Of course, what else? But, this is Hollywood's idea of Italy, and Italians, and it's all very far away from Akron, Ohio (in an era when a lot of people went to Cuba to have the sort of affairs they could never have at home) so she makes do with what she's got, and I am thrilled to report that, without Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers pushing the envelope, we are spared the sight of a middle aged Katherine Hepburn, naked.

This movie works on so many levels. It's a great, romantic story but told from a more adult perspective than so many today. Since sex isn't an option, the discussions and the movie aren't built around it. The dialog though is often sparkling with those spiky lines that Old Hollywood was so good at, before "F" bombs and the like became standard conversation. The clothes are a visual delight; and of course Venice, which is as intgegral to this film as San Francisco is to "Vertigo", comes across every bit as enchanting as you'd want, every scene is somewhere about town, so no matter what the action is, Venice is a part of it in nearly every scene.

Fun. Romantic. Gorgeous. I recommend it, enthusiastically.
15 people found this helpful
Delta D.Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Splendid first hour, pretty ordinary conclusion
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Points in order of importance. (i) absolutely stunning Technicolor portrayal of Venice. Sadly, those going there these days - especially in summertime - will be facing crowds and ripoff artists, but one can (more or less) believe in the Panglossian presentation back then. (ii) Katherine Hepburn's portrayal of a lonely spinster is deeply moving. Alas (iii) the final section, starting with fireworks as a metaphor for consummation and ending with the lover desperately running down the railway station platform chasing the train is excessively sentimental and mushy.
3 people found this helpful
David MarquetteReviewed in the United States on June 14, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Luminous Hepburn in a luminous Venice.
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This may be one of Hepburn’s very best and yet underrated performances. And although (or because) the infidelity plot resonates with her personal life with Tracy, there is restrained vulnerability without histrionics or self-consciousness. Arguably, Venice has never looked better in a studio film. It’s easy to understand why the director David Lean often called SUMMERTIME his favorite film, and expressed more affection for it than for his magnificent epics. It will make you want to get (back) to Venice as soon as possible,
One person found this helpful
MavrilonReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Classic Story of a bittersweet romance
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A beautiful 1955 film directed by the great British director Sir David Lean stars Katherine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi is set in Venice . Hepburn plays unmarried American spinster who has saved up her money to travel to Europe to find adventure . Her romantic ideas about the city are soon dispersed when she finds about what life is really like there. She has a brief romance with Rossano Brazzi, a married man who runs a Venetian glass shop . Music by Alessandro Cicognini, Cinematography Jack Hildyard and Edited by Peter Taylor. Both director David Lean and actress Hepburn received Academy Award nominations for this film.
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