Mississippi Matinee an Exhibition of the State and the Silver Screen
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Introduction: Tennessee Williams(4)
Due to Vivien Leigh's stunning performance and the close adaptation of the screenplay to the original, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone(1961) was one of Williams' favorite film adaptations. A story of decay and lust, the old world environment of Rome provides an elegant setting. Tragic stage actress Karen Stone (Leigh) flees New York after a disastrous performance as a much too old Juliet from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. She quickly becomes entangled with an Italian gigolo, Paolo (Warren Beatty). Their affair is brief and Paolo soon moves on to other clients leaving Stone to sink lower into depravity.
Shot on location in Rome, director Josť Quintero had previously only directed theatrical productions, not films. Williams requested Quintero after his successful experience with the off-Broadway production of Summer and Smoke. Initially apprehensive, Quintero credited veteran actress Vivien Leigh for establishing the set's goodwill. During the first day's meeting with the entire crew she told Quintero, "We are with you, aren't we all?"
Featured on display is Vivien Leigh's copy of the screenplay dated November 28, 1960 with handwritten annotations.[go to page 5 >>]

Online exhibition © copyright 2006
Department of Archives and Special Collections
JD Williams Library, 3rd Floor
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
telephone: 662-915-7408
hours: 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday
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