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Tennessee Williams' 1958 novella The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone was first filmed in 1961, with Vivien Leigh as the middle-aged title character and Warren Beatty as the callow gigolo with whom she falls in love. Since the "shocking" aspects of a May-December romance in which the woman is December have lost their punch over the years, it is perhaps wise that this 2003 made-for-cable remake is a period piece, set in the mid-'50s. Helen Mirren stars as Karen Stone, a former Broadway actress who has given up her career in favor of a secure and somewhat boring marriage to a wealthy American (Brian Dennehy). When her husband dies unexpectedly during a vacation to Italy, the widowed Mrs. Stone is desperate for companionship and affection. Through the auspices of a glamorous but somewhat seedy procurer named The Contessa (Anne Bancroft), Mrs. Stone is paired off with the studdish Paolo (Olivier Martinez), who is several years Karen's junior. What begins as merely a passionate physical attraction quickly deepens into true love -- but Mrs. Stone may be far more enamored of the mercenary Paolo than he is of her.

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The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The original English-language soundtrack appears in two audio formats, Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1, while a dubbed Spanish-language track is in Dolby Digital Mono; the feature is also closed captioned in English. As a bonus, this edition also features interviews with actors Helen Mirren and Olivier Martinez, as well as filmographies for the leading cast members.

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SHO1114 Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone DVD (2003/Helen Mirren) $14.99