Three Coins in the Fountain

Date: 1954
Director: Jean Negulesco
Production Company: Twentieth Century Fox

Stars: Maggie McNamara, Jean Peters, Dorothy McGuire, Clifton Webb, Louis Jourdan, Rossano Brazzi
Location(s): Rome, Alto Adige, Venice (Italy)



Three American women find luck and love in romantic Rome. SJ

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The film opens with a montage of fountains.

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This is the Piazza della Repubblica looking south-west down Via Nazionale. SJ

And Frank Sinatra, famously uncredited, croons the title song.

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Still the Piazza della Repubblica, this time looking north-west towards Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando. SJ

The montage continues with a different location

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Fontana del Nettuno, the northern end of Piazza Navona. SJ

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Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in the middle of Piazza Navona. SJ

There are quite a number of films with such-like montages ...

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Piazza del Popolo, looking south, with the near-twin churches, Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto, on either side of Via del Corso. SJ

... all without featured actors ...

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... but this perhaps is the most popular and, once covered, spares us repetition for other Roman architectural montages. (I thought this was in the Piazza del Popolo but I was wrong)

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Now the water action switches to the Villa d'Este, Tivoli, with here, the walk of a hundred fountains, actually three hundred spouts, also seen in many other films. imdb lists a few but misses many, for example If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.

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The Villa D'Este is about 16 miles east of Rome.

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Fontana dell'Ovato

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The Neptune Fountain and Water Organ.

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We're now back at the Fountain of the Naiads in the Piazza della Repubblica, seen in captures 1 & 2. I forgot to take this shot so can you beat me before October when I shall return, even though I never threw a coin into the fountain?

And now the pièce de résistance.

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The Trevi Fountain where, by throwing a coin right-handed over one's left shoulder into the water, one is assured of returning to Rome. But this film drew on a second coin meaning romance and a third, marriage. SJ

And now Frank's finished, and post-credits, the action starts with Maggie McNamara arriving in Rome.

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Roma Termini railway station, named after the thermae of Diocletian, the remains of which lie opposite. SJ

Met by Jean Peters, she is driven to "villa Eden" which Peters shares with Clifton Webb and Dorothy McGuire.

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SJ in person rather pleased for finding it on the Passegiata del Gianicolo, taken by Andrew Downey.

The trio drive to the Trevi fountain.

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This viewpoint is so similar to Roman Holiday, shot the previous year in 1953, that I recycled my shot from Aug 2009. SJ

McNamara and McGuire throw in coins.

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Rather crowded to see the exact and elevated spot the ladies are standing. One needs to get closer and lower for coin tossing now. SJ

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The "US distribution agency" where McNamara is taking over Peters' job. Unidentified.

Next stop is a familiar location.

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Yes, 35 Via Garibaldi also seen in Come September and Assassination Rome, now the Spanish Embassy. SJ

McNamara and Peters leave a party.

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This is the Piazza Pietro d'Illiria and behind the wall lies the Giardino degli Aranci, west of the Circo Massimo. Also seen in The Great Beauty. SJ

A quick visit to the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, de rigueur for any film set in Rome.

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Now with the Fontana della Barcaccia just caught in the foreground. SJ

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Unknown location.

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McNamara is pestered by a bottom-pincher.

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Rossano Brazzi comes to the rescue and finally asks long-admired Peters to go on a day out.

Brazzi picks up Peters the next day.

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As seen before in capture 15, this is Villa Lante, Passegiata del Gianicolo and the two gentlemen on the left are my long-suffering Classics colleagues Messrs Downey and Daly enjoying the cinematic nostalgia, as well as the fact that Martial may have lived on this site. SJ

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Brazzi and Peters are spotted by their employer. They are not supposed to be fraternising, which leads to Brazzi's dismissal from the agency.

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Tempio di Portuno, taken from Via di Ponte Rotto. SJ

Into the countryside. And Manuel has found the exact spot

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The Jeep runs along the Via Appia Antica towards Castel Gandolfo. South-east of Rome. Manuel/Google

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A picnic - in the Dolomites possibly.

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And now we're in Venice where Jourdan has invited McNamara but not McGuire who has tagged along as chaperone.

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A wider shot in Venice. Captures are limited as most of the action look like second unit shots.

Back to Via Garibaldi.

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Even the column still stands. SJ

McNamara and Jourdan visit a museum.

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Piazza del Campidoglio. SJ

McNamara enters, determined to share Jourdan's interests.

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The Museo Nazionale sign is absent and this is now known as the Museo Capitolini. SJ

And they leave.

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Looking north-west. SJ

Jourdan drops off McNamara.

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Back at the Villa Lante, which now belongs to the Embassy of Finland. SJ

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Unidentified. Jourdan takes McNamara to meet the mama, the only woman he ever trusted until now.

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McNamara admits in front of the Colosseum and Constantine's Arch that her interest and knowledge of art was feigned.

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In July 2018, I wondered whether there was once a road accessible for cars on the Piazza di Santa Francesca Romana to the west of the Colosseo. By October I had decided so as this matches so much better than my July snap. SJ

The view south over central Rome from the Borghese Gardens.

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Taken from the well-named Via della Belvedere, but I reckon the original was shot from the top of Casina Valadier behind my right shoulder. SJ

A popular spot from which to admire the Forum.

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Not quite far enough back, but an improvement on my July effort. Taken from the Via Monte Tarpeo overlooking the remains of the Tempio di Saturno and Foro Romano. Also seen, among others, in The Way of the Dragon and The Talented Mr Ripley and at different angles Roman Holiday, To Rome with Love and If This Is Tuesday This Must Be Belgium. SJ

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These look like the lions of the Protico dei Leoni in the Borghese Gardens but the background doesn't match. Did they roam?

This however has not moved for 400 years.

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The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. SJ

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Back to the area of those nomadic lions.

Peters and McNamara are met by McGuire as she has arranged.

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Fontana di Trevi, slightly busier. SJ

The pool was dry but the waters suddenly start up again.

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Now. SJ

Jourdan arrives from the west

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Looking towards the Via delle Muratte. SJ

Webb arrives from the north.

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Via della Stamperia. SJ

Brazzi arrives from the east.

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The corner of Via del Lavatore and out of shot to the right Via di San Vincenzo. SJ

And a happy ending is assured for the three couples.

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The Fontana di Trevi, started by Salvi, was finished in 1762. It has enjoyed many cinematic appearances, including La Dolce Vita, Roman Holiday and To Rome with Love. SJ