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Springtime in Italy – Come September

Come September (1961)


Come September is one of my very favorite movies set in Italy. It’s also one of the best of the spate of racy yet innocent “bedroom comedies” that came out in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, following in the wake of the super successful Pillow Talk in 1959.

In fact, for my money it’s the best one, with the exception of the three Doris Day and Rock Hudson did together.  It’s so much fun.  Rather than give a detailed recap of the plot, I’ll just mention some of the things I love most about Come September.

Rock Hudson


With his entrée into comedy in Pillow Talk, Hudson proved he could carry a movie not just as a handsome leading man, but as a very funny one, too. Here he plays a wealthy American industrialist who visits his Italian villa once a year, in September. That’s also when he visits his Italian girlfriend, to whom he won’t commit. When he decides to visit earlier in the year than usual, little does he know that his girl’s on the verge of marrying someone else and his major domo is running his home as a hotel – and pocketing the profits.

His response to all the craziness he encounters is fantastic. He’s especially good in his scenes with Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee and the other youngsters in the cast, amusingly illustrating the “generation gap” that was beginning to appear in the early ‘60s and would grow so wide by the end of the decade. Hudson was a great, subtle reactor and comedy straight man. Plus, he was soooo good looking!

Gina Lollobrigida


No wonder she was one of the stars most associated with 1950s va-va-voom! What a gorgeous lady. She was also a very funny one in this movie, driving Rock Hudson crazy with her fiery temper, incredible curves, and sympathy for the teenagers suddenly overrunning his home. Call me crazy, but if forced to choose which Italian bombshell I like the most, I’d pick Gina over Sophia, based entirely on my love for her in Come September.

Sandra Dee


Oh, how I love sweet, spunky Sandra! I have such a soft spot for her movies, especially the romantic comedies. She’s cute as a button, with great comic timing. I hate that she’s mostly associated with the song from Grease, because there was a lot more to her than the virginal teenager she sometimes played. (See her as an adorably mischievous French-American minx in If a Man Answers, for instance.) I love the scene in which she uses her Psych 101 knowledge to play therapist to Rock Hudson, thinking he’s a shell-shocked former soldier. Hilarious!

Bobby Darin


What a multi-talented guy. In addition to starring in Come September, Darin also wrote the movie’s catchy theme song, which plays over the opening credits, and sings another song he wrote, “Multiplication.” Darin and Dee met and fell in love while filming in Italy and were married soon thereafter. They have great onscreen chemistry, which you can see more of in their other movies – the aforementioned If a Man Answers, as well as That Funny Feeling, both of which have a certain Junior-Rock-and-Doris feel to them.

A great supporting cast

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The supporting cast includes Walter Slezak as Hudson’s sneaky major domo, Brenda De Banzie (best known to me as one of the kidnappers in Hitchcock’s 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much) as the chaperone of Sandra Dee’s tour group, and a young Joel Grey as one of Bobby Darin’s troublemaking pals.

Pretty, pretty dresses



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Everyone in Come September looks lovely! Sandra Dee and the other girls wear sweet sundresses, pretty formals, and kicky Capri pants. Gina Lollobrigida wears a series of gorgeous dresses and negligees that emphasize her every curve. The men look pretty nice too! I love that clean-cut, early-‘60s look so much. The clothes in classic films are a huge part of their appeal for me, and this is one of my favorite movies when it comes to fashion.

Pretty, pretty scenery


More than pretty, in fact. Shot on location in Rome, Milan and Portofino, Come September is a joy to look at. I swear, there must’ve been some special magic in Italy in the 1950s and ‘60s, because it looks absolutely enchanting in movies of that time. Maybe it’s the combination of gorgeous scenery with the (to me) more aesthetically pleasing clothes, hairdos and cars of the era. Maybe it’s the Technicolor.  Whatever the case, it’s delightful to see!

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Come September is the perfect lighthearted comedy to get you in the mood for Spring.  It’s available on DVD and of course you should check it out.  After all, any  movie that features a scene like this one just has to be good!


26 thoughts on “Springtime in Italy – Come September

  1. Wow, this movie does have a lot of great things going for it. I agree that it is a super fun, light-hearted 60s film. And as the screencaps show, a real feast for the eyes.

    P.S. That first pic of Rock is hilarious!

  2. What beautiful photos! This is one of my younger daughter’s favorites. She’s a huge Sandra Dee fan! Your post makes me want to watch it again. 🙂

    So many movies, so little time…!

    Best wishes,

    • It’s so nice that your kids are into classic movies, too! And that they share those movies with their friends, like you mentioned about “Support Your Local Sheriff.” What a great family tradition. 🙂


    • Aww!!! That just warms my heart that Come September has a young fan! I hope she shows it to all her friends when she gets older 😉

      This is my favorite movie of all time – that dance scene is to die for. Great review!! Thanks for posting!

  3. I looove this movie! Beautiful scenery and a wonderful cast. Rock Hudson is really hilarious in this movie. I’ve never been a huge fan of Gina Lolabridgda’s (sp) but she does very well in comedy.

    Love the photos you posted!

  4. I’ve seen this flick so many times and I’ve never noticed Joel Grey! Thanks for pointing that out. I suppose there are a lot of other things here to grab your attention though eh?

    • Don’t you love catching little things like that? Joel Grey’s part wasn’t very big, but it’s still neat to see him. 🙂


  5. Come September has always been one of my very favorite movies…and for all the reasons you mention. I had the good fortune to experience Italy in 1964 and it was just as you’ve imagined it…”some special magic”. Thank you for such a lovely discussion of this wonderful gem. Great screen shots also!

  6. So happy to see all the wonderful responses about sandy. love her and miss her but she will live forever in these fun,good movies! I will always be her biggest fan,only 4 yrs younger. lets keep her memory alive! love.Diana, 5/4/13

  7. Pingback: The Definitive List of the Loveliest Old Hollywood Actors - Who's YOUR Dream Valentine's Date?

  8. Definitely I’m 47 now and love oldies, but “Come September” is really what you describe at the beginning, a lovely, beautiful movie. Is one of my favorites. Rock and Gina were so beautiful and handsome. Places ane escenarios were awesome! Is the villa an hotel? What’s the name?

    • Hi Maribel,
      The Villa was an hotel in the movie (Hotel Dolce Vista) but is not one at all. Wouldn’t be a bad idea should I win the lottery. You can spot it in Santa Margherita Ligure between Rapallo and Portofino on the Italian Riviera. It’s very hard to spot as very high, on a tricky hilly road corner and private. It has been transformed into 4 (huge I would guess) flats. Was there in June in preparation of a film location blogs about movies shot around there, idea came from Come September. The Villa, and above all the view from it, was used a lot in promotional material. Still in preparation but if of interest:
      Best, Xavier

  9. One of my favourite films. I have always loved Rock Hudson, have most of Doris and Rock. Saw Gina in Trapeze when I was about 8 or 9. In the 50,s we went to the movies all the time. I thought Gina Lollbrigida was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Come September was on TV in the 80,s. The scenery was the first thing I noticed. Bought the DVD recently. Just absolutely love it. Boy was Rock a Good looking Man. He had it all.

  10. I watch this movie several times each year along with the other classics. I grew up as a young man in Chicago and has parents who adored the classics so I have great memories of that. I am 44 as of 2015 so not many my age watching these wonderful movies. Thanks for putting this wonder page together. You can reach me anytime at slatsy@gmail.com Love to talk about Come September. 😉

  11. This is a cute & funny movie I appreciate now more than when I originally saw it at the theatre — esp. since Dee & Darin first met on the set. It also contains one of the funniest lines, I think, because half my family is Italian. Gina & Rock are arguing & he says to her, “But, Lisa, you’re not making any sense!” and she replies, “I don’t HAVE to make sense — I’m Italian!”

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