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I was fourteen years old. My home was in New Orleans, Louisiana, actually Gretna and Algiers. I looked at the movie section of the New Orleans Times Picayune and tried to figure out a good movie to see. There were many theaters in “The Crescent City,” so it took a while to decide on which one would have the best movie. I decided on the Abalon Theater, which was located in the downtown area of what is now known as “Algiers Point.” I road a city bus from the Mc Donoughville community of Gretna, where I lived, all the way to the theater. That is a time in my life that I will never forget, and would not want to forget.
The movie that was being shown was “Rome Adventure.” At my “tender age,” I was in love with the idea of being in love. The movie was about a young woman whose name was Prudence. She worked as a librarian somewhere in America. She wanted to go “to where they really know what love is all about – Italy.” So, she went! The role of Prudence was played by Suzanne Pleshette.
Almost magically upon her arrival in Italy, Prudence met a young man who had recently broken up with his girl friend. That man was Don, and was played by Troy Donahue. Love was truly in the air as Prudence and Don toured Italy together. As the movie began to show the love grow between Don and Prudence, you can not imagine how much I would love to have been Don as he was gaining the favor of the beautiful Suzanne Pleshette.
The Rome Adventure theme song, Al Di La, has been in my mind throughout the years. While Don and Prudence were on a date, and listening to Emilio Pericolli sing the song, Prudence asked Don to explain the meaning of “Al Di La.” He explained it like this. “It’s hard to explain. It’s “far far away, beyond the beyond, beyond this world; that’s how much he loves her in this song.”
Rome Adventure was truly a love story, because it was just that – a story about love, young love. There was nothing out of taste or character for either Suzanne Pleshette or Troy Donahue; oh how we need movies like that today. To help you to understand some of my thoughts about this movie, I have added two links. The first one will take you to the scene where Al Di La is being sung. The second one will show various film clips of the movie. I trust that you will get a feeling deep inside of you that will help you to remember, or appreciate, such a time in life.
Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette later married, although I am not certain of how long their marriage lasted; they are both dead now, as well as Emilio Pericolli. All were great losses for our world.