David Lean was one of the best who could craft tragic romances and make them look so beautiful. It's no Brief Encounter but it has just as much heartbreak and Katharine Hepburn plays it beautifully. Also the technicolor is amazing.
The story here is in some ways a MacGuffin, or rather a (sometimes too hectoring) trope, condensed, displaced, for the real drama: the love affair of the camera with a disturbing vision of beauty, Venice, and in that sense the heart of the film is in its first 40 minutes or so, & in the difference/repetition (campanile, doves, gondola ride, verandah of pensione etc) game played with those shots sporadically later on
Delightful Hepburn makes Jane seem in turn giddy and wistful, and she captures perfectly that moment when you realize that you're lonely in a crowd, and you don't know what you're really doing there. Lean's trademark in the scenery photography works even in a small movie like this (Venice is like a character), and the only things that mar the film are the occasional cheesy dialogue and jumpy scene transitions.
Venice in the 1950's, Katherine Hepburn in a very moving and bittersweet performance....its a great rainy day, weepy kind of movie. I was in awe of the beauty of the city and I could totally relate with Katherine Hepburn's character and how she got swept up in the romance of it all.
One of my all-time favourite movies. I love it even more than Brief Encounter - though that is, no argument from me, a better movie - I just find Summertime so... lyrical and beautiful and Hepburn is... so fucking delightful. I love this movie. It's great. ... Great. The technicolor photography is ... great? More greats? I don't know: great, great, great.