A Little Romance
Films in BOLD will Air on TCM * | VIEW TCMDb ENTRY
A Little Romance (1979) tells the story of two 13-year-olds who fall in love. American Lauren King (Diane Lane) meets Daniel (Thelonious Bernard) while living in Paris with her mother and step-father. The teens share above average IQs, but Lauren prefers books while Daniel loves movies and horse racing. The young couple meets Julius (Laurence Olivier), an aging pickpocket, who tells an enchanting tale: if two lovers kiss under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice at sunset, their love will last forever. When Lauren learns her father is being transferred back to the United States, she decides to run away to Venice with Daniel. Since they will need an adult to cross the border, they convince Julius to go with them by telling him Lauren's sick mother is in Venice. Lauren and Daniel's journey is put in jeopardy, however, when the police suspect Julius of kidnapping the teens.
At the time of filming, Laurence Olivier was 71 years old and recovering from pneumonia and thrombosis. In spite of his health problems, he still insisted on doing his own stunts. In an attempt to make things easier for Olivier, director George Roy Hill ordered a specially designed bicycle. The device had a motor that would make it look like Olivier was pedaling, but the actor refused to get on it. To prove his point, Olivier climbed on a regular bicycle when Hill was not around and took off down a hill on his own, earning the right to perform the act for the cameras.
A Little Romance makes several references to other films, particularly those by director George Roy Hill. The film opens with Daniel watching Hill's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Then later, Daniel and Lauren hide out in a theater showing The Sting (1973). Additionally, look for actor Broderick Crawford appearing as himself.
Composer Georges Delerue received an Academy Award for Best Score. A Little Romance was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Allan Burns script was based on the novel E=MC2, mon amour by Patrick Cauvin.
Director/Producer: George Roy Hill
Producer: Robert L. Crawford, Yves Rousset-Rouard
Screenwriter: Allan Burns
Cinematographer: Pierre-Wiliam Glenn
Composer: Georges Delerue
Editor: William H. Reynolds
Production Designer: Henry Bumstead
Costume Designer: Rosine Delamare
Executive Producer: Daniel Patrick Kelley
Cast: Laurence Olivier (Julius), Arthur Hill (Richard King), Sally Kellerman (Kay King), Diane Lane (Lauren), Thelonious Bernard (Daniel), Broderick Crawford (Brod).
by Deborah Looney