Cast & Crew
For the past 6 years American millionaire Robert Talbot has been spending September with his 1-month-a-year mistress, Lisa Fellini, at his villa in Portofino. This year he arrives unannounced in July, however, and discovers that his major-domo, Maurice, has been making a tidy profit 11 months of the year by converting the villa into an elegant hotel--La Dolce Vista. Outraged, Robert demands that the guests--six American teenaged girls and a chaperon--leave immediately. Before the eviction can be accomplished, however, the chaperon slips on a champagne cork and injures her back; and Robert is stuck with his "guests." Another setback occurs when four American college boys pitch a tent just outside the villa and begin courting the girls. Apprehensive lest he be liable for arrest on a morals charge, Robert, accompanied by Lisa, sets himself up as both guardian and chaperon of the girls. His primary concern is keeping the most amorous of the boys, Tony, from seducing young Sandy Stevens. When Lisa learns that Robert has warned Sandy that men don't marry girls who "give away free samples," she indignantly storms out of the villa and returns to Rome to rejoin her stuffy British fiancé, Spencer. Robert follows but, despite a marriage proposal, he is unable to stop the infuriated Lisa. After a chat with Sandy, however, Lisa has a change of heart and races, in her wedding gown, to catch Robert. Following their marriage, they return to the villa for their honeymoon. They are appalled to discover that it is once more Hotel La Dolce Vista. This time Robert is confronted with a different problem--his "guests" are nine vacationing nuns!
Brenda De Banzie
John P. Austin
William H. Daniels
Hans J. Salter
Russell F. Schoengarth
Shuberth Of Rome
Waldon O. Watson
Ernest B. Wehmeyer
Gina Lollobrigida began making films in her native Italy after World War II. Howard Hughes signed her to a contract in 1949, but didn't cast her in any films. Tired of waiting, she returned to Italy and became an international star, but because of her contract with Hughes, she could not appear in any American films for several years. She was, however, able to act in English-language films shot in Europe, starting with Trapeze in 1956. Come September was one of those films, and became her biggest box-office hit.
But it was the younger couple in the film, Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, that got most of the fan-magazine attention. Darin was a popular singer-songwriter, making his movie debut. Dee had become a top teen star in such films as Gidget (1959) and A Summer Place (1959). According to fanzine legend, their first meeting on location in Italy for Come September was a typical movie meet-cute. Darin reportedly said, "As I live and breathe, Tuesday Weld! I enjoy your pictures so much." And Dee riposted, "and I buy all your records, Fabian." The version told in Dodd Darin's biography of his parents is just as cute: "He was standing on the shore wearing a yellow suit, and she was in a boat just pulling in to dock. 'Will you marry me?' he called out to her. 'Not today,' she said."
The brash hipster Darin immediately began pursuing the sheltered Dee by befriending her watchdog mother. The unlikely couple married just weeks later. They had one son, and divorced in 1967, but remained close until Darin's death from heart disease in 1973. Their romance during the making of Come September is depicted in Kevin Spacey's Darin biopic, Beyond the Sea (2004), starring Spacey as Darin and Kate Bosworth as Dee.
The Darin-Dee romance, the star power and chemistry of Hudson and Lollobrigida, and such glamorous Italian locations as Rome and Portofino made Come September a box office hit - and the critics liked it, too. The Hollywood Reporter had high praise for the entire cast, especially Hudson, "who is an expert at this sort of thing, and has seldom been better." Bosley Crowther in the New York Times called Slezak "perfect," and Lollobrigida "a superb comedienne, making the mistress a model of dexterity and physical allure." Variety called Hudson's performance "his best to date," and added, "comedy appears to be his forte, which should make him an even more valuable leading man in Hollywood films." That prediction proved to be accurate. Hudson followed Come September with another hit comedy with Doris Day, Lover Come Back (1961), and stepped into Cary Grant's shoes in Howard Hawks' Man's Favorite Sport? (1964). However, a reunion with Lollobrigida in the 1965 comedy Strange Bedfellows proved less successful.
Come September also became a footnote in movie and aviation history. By 1961, airlines had begun showing films on flights, and Come September was the first movie to be shown on transcontinental and intercontinental flights. Co-star Walter Slezak delivered the film to TWA for its premiere in-flight screening. It was a perfect appetizer for travelers on their way to an Italian holiday.
Director: Robert Mulligan
Producer: Robert Arthur
Screenplay: Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin
Cinematography: William Daniels
Editor: Russell F. Schoengarth
Costume Design: Morton Haack
Art Direction: Henry Bumstead
Music: Hans J. Salter; songs "Come September" theme, "Multiplication" by Bobby Darin
Cast: Rock Hudson (Robert Talbot), Gina Lollobrigida (Lisa Fellini), Sandra Dee (Sandy Stevens), Bobby Darin (Tony), Walter Slezak (Maurice Clavell), Brenda De Banzie (Margaret Allison), Rosanna Rory (Anna), Ronald Howard (Spencer).
C-114m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.
by Margarita Landazuri
Sandra Dee, 1944-2005
She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin.
Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide.
Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart.
Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years.
The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977).
Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia.
by Michael T. Toole
Sandra Dee, 1944-2005
Where do you live?- Tony
And where is that near?- Tony
San Fran-sis-co.- Sandy
I am very stu-pid. But I'm loads of fun.- Tony
The first movie to be shown on transcontinental and intercontinental flights. (See also By Love Possessed (1961).) Walter Slezak hand-delivered the film to the plane for the inaugural in-flight-movie flight.
Filmed in Italy.
Released in United States Fall September 1961
Released in United States Fall September 1961