Al Di La
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Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her. (Genesis 29:20)
Who should say that the “love of the valentine” should be confined to only one time a year? Surely, Cupid’s arrow has its resting place in view. Please! Don’t hold up the “warrior shield” that may block “the love of your life” from becoming the most important person “in your life.” Listen very carefully as Troy Donahue explains the meaning of “Al Di La” to Suzanne Pleshette. Maybe that message should be told to someone who is special to you?
The year was 1962. I was fourteen years old. My home was in Gretna, Louisiana which is a suburb of New Orleans. One afternoon, 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 a theater that was located in the downtown area of what is now known as “Algiers Point.” I rode 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 early teen 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, but wanted to go “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 is shown in the movie, the love grows between Don and Prudence – love that is tender and innocent. You can not imagine how much I would have loved 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 an intimate date, and listening to Emilio Pericolli singing “Al Di La,” Prudence asked Don to explain its meaning. 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 provided two videos. The first, and opening, 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 and appreciate such a time in life.
Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette later married, although I am not certain how long their marriage lasted. Troy Donahue, Suzanne Pleshette and Emilio Pericolli are dead now; such great losses.
Film Clips – Rome Adventure
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