Beth is a young, ambitious New Yorker who is completely unlucky in love. However, on a whirlwind trip to Rome, she impulsively steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love, and is then aggressively pursued by a band of suitors.
Mark Steven Johnson
June Allyson plays a band singer working in New York City; Van Johnson is the manager of a fancy apartment house where a murder is committed. The victim is Allyson's wealthy uncle, and ... See full summary »
Eric Wainwright (Van Johnson), a busy impresario, is besieged by hordes of wannabe concert stars, eager for their big break. One of them is Cynthia Potter (June Allyson), a talented pianist... See full summary »
McGrath publishes books for children and Uncle Bump is one of the best sellers. Unfortunately, Greg, who is Uncle Bump, tends to drink too much and has not started his next book. Martha won... See full summary »
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins
The transatlantic ship depicted in the film taking Joe and Father John to Genoa is the S.S. Ionia - per the name seen on the lifeboat. It was built in 1912 in the UK and named the S.S. Digby. After four subsequent owners it was acquired by the Hellenic Mediterranian Lines of Greece in 1947. Sold to a Panamanian line in 1965 and renamed the S.S. Ionian, it capsized and sank that same year off Jakarta, Indonesia. See more »
A large moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the wall behind Father John when he is in Bodulli's office asking for his help in getting a pardon for Joe. See more »
Opening card: "1950 was a holy year. Three million pilgrims from every part of the world thronged to Rome, the Eternal City. Our story is about two men who journeyed to Rome that year. One was Father John X. Halligan, a young priest from Coaltown, Pennsylvania, whose mission was a holy one; the other was Joe Brewster, late of Sing Sing, San Quentin, Joliet, and Atlanta, whose mission was not so holy...
If our story has a moral, it's a simple one: God may move in mysterious ways, but He gets there just the same. " See more »
In order to celebrate the "Holy Year" of 1950, Pennsylvania priest Van Johnson (as John X. Halligan) decides to sail on a sabbatical to Italy. Aboard ship, Mr. Johnson befriends likable, gruff bunkmate Paul Douglas (as Joe Brewster). Johnson doesn't know it (yet), but Mr. Douglas is a swindler who just escaped from San Quentin. Douglas correctly realizes authorities will be looking to arrest him after the ship docks. He dons Johnson's priestly clothing and makes a quick getaway. Johnson is left to wear Douglas checkered green jacket and hat. Johnson is falsely arrested. Douglas is accepted by other priests in Rome. After the polizia sort things out, they want Johnson to assist in Douglas' capture...
However, Johnson becomes more interested in Douglas' soul...
One of MGM's most winning teams, director Clarence Brown and cinematographer William Daniels, make "When in Rome" very attractive. After arriving on location, the picture approaches art. A highlight in storytelling occurs when Douglas looks at cold, stark church-like walls and realizes they look very much like his former prison. The picture morphs into a prison, then fades back to a monastery look. This calls later events into question, but Douglas ends in a more tranquil setting; possibly, it shows the character "questioning" a transformation. Although he is billed second, the story is clearly about Douglas's character. The bigger "box office" name, Johnson is commendable and supportive in the less stellar role.
******* When in Rome (1952-05-11) Clarence Brown ~ Paul Douglas, Van Johnson, Joseph Calleia, Carlo Rizzo
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