Come September (1961)

  • Premiered August 9, 1961 in Beverly Hills
  • Comedy, USA, 1961,Technicolor, running time 112 minutes
  • A 7 Rivers Corporation,Raoul Walsh Enterprises Inc. Production
  • Story by Stanley Roberts and Robert Russell
  • Screenplay by Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin
  • Music by Hans J. Salter & Bobby Darin ("Multiplication" and theme)
  • Music Supervision: Joseph Gershenson
  • Producer:  Robert Arthur
  • Director:  Robert Mulligan
  • Studio:  Universal International

    Cast:

  • Rock Hudson: Robert L. Talbot
  • Gina Lollobrigida: Lisa Fellini
  • Sandra Dee: Sandy Stevens
  • Bobby Darin: Tony
  • Walter Slezak: Maurice Clavel
  • Brenda De Banzie: Margaret Allison
  • Joel Grey: Beagle
  • Rosanna Rory: Anna
  • Ronnie Haran: Sparrow
  • Chris Seitz: Larry
  • Cindy Conroy: Julia
  • Joan Freeman: Linda
  • Nancy Anderson: Patricia
  • Michael Eden: Ron
  • Claudia Black: Carol
  • Marvin Hamlisch: At the piano in nightclub (we think)

Plot Summary:

Every September American millionaire Robert L. Talbot stays in his villa at the beautiful Italian Riviera together with his Roman girl-friend Lisa Fellini. One year he arrives early in July - quite unexpected by Lisa, who is in the midst of preparations to marry an Englishman, as she sees no future in an one-month-per-year relationship. Yet when Robert calls, she drops everything, packs her bags,and catches the next train to meet Robert at his villa.

Robert's early arrival also surprises Maurice Clavel, his villa's major domus, who secretly misappropriates the villa as a hotel all the time that Robert is away. Maurice manages to hide away the most obvious evidence and even to explain the presence of six giggling, 18-year-old girls, their chaperon Miss Allison, and a parakeet, as an act of mercy. Also, he tells Miss Allison and Sandy Stevens, one of the girls, a wild story to explain Robert's strange behavior towards them.

Unfortunately for him Sandy is a fanatic on psychology. She visits Robert in his room, makes him lie down on the couch, and starts to analyze him. When Robert tells that in the war he was officer on a PT boat, Sandy insists that he is subconscious substituting fantasy for fact, and that really he was standing sentry duty at an ammunition dump which blew up (and caused his mental disorder). Sandy urges Robert to face the reality, that he does not own the villa any more, but that Mr. Clavel bought it to turn it into the hotel "La Dolce Vista".

Now Robert knows what is going on. He confronts Maurice and orders him to throw out the hotel guests immediately and to pack his belongings. When Lisa arrives, she persuades Robert to let girls and chaperone stay for the night and even to keep up the image of a decent hotel. Thus Lisa and Robert try to hide their relationship, but they cannot fool Sandy, who shares Lisa's room, and the chaperone is suspicious and watchful. So Lisa's attempts to join Robert in his room for the night fail, and Robert falls asleep waiting for her. No wonder that the next morning Robert is glad that chaperon and girls are leaving. He opens a champagne bottle to celebrate the occasion. But the cork falls down from the terrace, Miss Allison steps onto it and twists her ankle in such a way, that she must stay in hospital until the next day. Thus Robert must let the girls stay one more night.

To crown Robert's troubles, four fun-loving college boys arrive in their Jeep to check into the hotel.

Robert rejects them, but when they see the pretty girls, he cannot stop them putting up their tent right outside the gate. The girls are enthusiastic about the boys' arrival, and Sandy is strongly attracted to the driver, medical student Tony.

Lisa suggests that the young folks all rent motor scooters to go for a ride in the country, but Robert does not trust the boys. He knows what is on their mind, and as for the moment he is legally responsible for the girls,so he and Lisa must join the party.

Robert's protective attitude towards the girls surprises Lisa and exasperates the boys. Their attempts to shake off Robert and Lisa not only fail, Robert even arrives first on top of every hill.

At a picnic among ruins, Tony comes up with a fake butterfly search so the young couples can scatter and be alone. He leads Sandy to a place where nobody should find them. Tony manages to give Sandy's bone structure a thorough examination, but just when they are about to kiss, Robert finds and stops them.

"It doubled back..."

In the evening they all go dancing. Tony sings "Multiplication".

To counter this, while dancing with the girls, Robert reminds them, that a girl has to make a boy respect her. If a girl gives in too easy, a boy will never take her seriously. The boy will never think in terms of love or home or marriage.

And then Robert and Lisa show a great dancing performance, which makes the younger folks look old.

In a last attempt to overcome Robert's unnerving superiority, the boys suggest they have a farewell drink in Robert's bar. Their plan is to make Robert drunk, but they only end up drunk themselves.

Somewhat later Sandy finds Tony lying unconscious in the bar. She awakes him with the help of a fountain and supports him to walk back to his tent. But when Tony gets fresh, Sandy slaps him and rushes to her room.

Lisa, who watches this, follows Sandy to see if she is all right. To Lisa's surprise, Sandy is very happy and calls Tony cute: Tony's freshness merely indicated he was interested, and Sandy hit him to make sure that he stayed interested. She followed Robert's advice: "A girl must make a boy respect her. If she gives in too easy, he will never take her seriously. Love is the one product that you don't sell by giving away free samples."

This account of Robert's advice opens Lisa's eyes. She is horrified by how easy she was to get. She tells Robert to jump off the terrace and packs her bags. Nothing that Robert says can stop her. The next morning Miss Allison is shocked to discover what happened in her absence, and that the villa is not a hotel at all. She takes the girls, and Lisa also boards their bus to Rome. Tony and Robert helplessly watch their loves drive away. Tony is angry at himself. He knows that Sandy is special and believes to have lost her due to his foolish adolescent-like behavior. When he tells this to Robert, Robert realizes how much more stupid he treated Lisa.

Robert, Maurice and the boys all follow the girls to Rome. But for Robert it is not easy to reconquer Lisa's heart: Driving a truck filled with live chickens, he proposes to her on the bus, but she turns him down.

Later (due to Maurice) Robert gets arrested for stealing the truck and as a member of the Mafia. Meanwhile Lisa resumes preparations to marry the Englishman. When the police (thanks to Maurice) arrest her as Robert's chief acoomplice, she has her wedding dress on, that is how Robert finds out. Released Robert's only goal is to leave Italy as quickly as possible.

At the same time Sandy is desperate that Tony hasn't turned up yet. She fears to end up like Lisa: To marry the wrong man that she doesn't love. Lisa tells her, that love is like fighting a war: If the "enemy" doesn't follow, one must turn around and attack. Lisa realizes what good advice that is for herself. While Tony finds Sandy, who regains self-control immediately, Lisa rushes to the station to stop Robert from driving away and to make him forgive and marry her.

And when an Italian woman has set her mind to get someone, no man can resist her for long...

Comment/Annotations:

Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin star in this racy romantic romp set on the breathtaking Italian Riviera. The original film trailer announces: "It's the champagne crowd versus the campus set with the romantic Riviera as the battle ground. And a happier, funnier, more tantalizing show you'll never find!"

This is the very film in which Bobby Darin not only makes his feature debut, but also ends up marrying his charming co-star, Sandra Dee just ten days after filming wrapped.

You can buy Come September HERE





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