The plot is really rather simple. It is the story of three American girls living in Rome who wish to get married. The biggest disappointment is that Sinatra is singing the title song over a wonderful travelogue around Rome and he doesn't show up once in the film!
These are the three secretaries: Anita, Frances and Maria. What is interesting about them is how their costumes show who they are and who they will end up marrying.
Maria is the youngest and has just arrived in Rome wearing a wonderful travel suit with a matching polka dot blouse and belt and carrying matching luggage.
Her clothes are just a bit more expensive and tailored compared to her two room mates. Her wardrobe looks new and make her look older then she is and she probabily bought everything just before she went to Rome and they look like her first grown up clothes.
Here they are at a cocktail party. I love the criss-cross belt on Frances, but not the colour. Anita looks the most modern and least American and I'd rather have her dress. Maria looks like she's trying to be a society lady, but hasn't yet found herself.
Louis Jourdan plays an Italian prince with a French accent and a cool car. Maria sets her sights on him and starts stalking him. Well, he is a wealthy playboy prince -wouldn't you?
I love this dress of hers. Look at the buttons on the sleeve and her backwards belt and her turquoise choker.
Ooo, a striped double-breasted blouse with a Peter Pan collar!
Maria wears a lot of light colours and pastels in very fine fabrics, like this chiffon wrap.
And the light lime gown underneath.
This is Louis Jourdan's mother. She rocks! Black lace shawl showing that she's a widow, but that expensive necklace shows her position and her little knowing smile can make anyone feel guilty, especially Maria.
A very dull dress, somewhere in between school girl and maiden aunt, but perfect for meeting Mama.
Let's move onto Frances, who can't be older than 35 but she wears drab dresses that make her look about 10 years older then she actually is. Well, she is over 30 and unmarried! But the see-through cardigan shows that she is still trying to look her age.
Frances is the secretary to famous older American writer and she's been in love with him for 15 years. Writer has never noticed this because he isn't interested in women. Oh, right. This is a Code movie. Writer doesn't see that Frances is in love with him because Clifton Webb was miscast and William Powell should be playing the writer.
I love her twisted necklace with the coral to match her dress, the blue for her hat and pearls for shine. I also like Maria wearing a scarf with pearls, which makes her look both old and young.
This is the youngest that Frances looks in the movie and the cut and neckline really go with her figure.
And then she finally wears a real colour at the end. Do you know, I don't think she's wearing a bra!
Anita has the best wardrobe in the film. She looks like she belongs in Rome. She dresses for the weather and wears vibrant colours. Rossano Brazzi and Anita have been in love with each other for two years, but they can't do anything about it because the boss wont let the secretaries date the Roman employees. I don't know why.
Maria wears pencil skirts, but Anita wears nice, flowing skirts and sandals. I still want that dress.
For a picnic in the country, Anita wears a polka dot dress with a draped neckline, matching orange cardigan and belt and a medium-sized picture hat.
The green dress is by favourite. Just look at the button detail on the shoulders.
And the lighter green accents. It's also quite sexy and she covers it up with a voluminous blue duster coat and a sweet straw hat in order to hide her form when walking the streets without an escort. I found it quite bold for a mainstream Code movie to show Anita staying in Rossano Brazzi's room for a couple of days without a set of twin beds.
This travel suit with a pussy bow blouse is the first time that we see Anita dress like an American and it's because she's leaving Rome and going back to her old life, but the beaded bracelet shows that she would prefer to stay in Italy. Suitcases should be brought back, you can sit on them, but you can't sit on the soft wheelie bags that are made now.
Lets look at some of the minor characters. First, there's one of these at every large cocktail party -the society matron who thinks that she could be a great wit if only the popular author of the day would help her. But I really like her pleated cape.
This is the boss and his wife. The wife is the one who got her husband to implement the no office romance rule, but you knew that from the way she is dressed.
The wife is also a gossip and tries to hard to show her position as an American Abroad, but still connected with the Establishment. The dress is nice, but combined with the wrap and her age, she is just trying too hard.
The sets are gorgeous! Like the Writer's antique filled, but airy flat above and Louis Jourdan's family den.
Until I saw the boss's office, I didn't know that many shades of beige existed.
I really like the girls' apartment, it has a very Fifties colour scheme.
That cupboard is so beautiful. I really love the packing scenes! Steamer trunks with built in hangers and drawers and suitcases with straps to hold everything in!
Here is the original trailer. I forgot to mention, but this is the first movie shot in breathtaking Cinemascope.