Review: Three Coins in the Fountain

I had a feeling I would enjoy this film when it opened with scenes of Rome’s most famous fountains accompanied by the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra; and I wasn’t disappointed.

Three Coins in the Fountain

Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

A good old-fashioned tale of romance in a foreign clime, Three Coins in the Fountain follows three American Embassy secretaries living in Rome, each in search of love.  One falls for her American novelist employer; another breaks the rules and runs off with her Italian colleague; and one sets about capturing the heart of a dashing Italian prince.  Given that the poster tells you who ends up with whom, I’m not going to consider my brief synopsis any more of a spoiler!

Made in 1954, its archaic attitude towards women may well outrage a staunch feminist, but I for one was able to overlook this aspect of it and enjoy it for what it is:  a light-hearted fairy tale set in my favourite city, with a splendidly shot cameo from another great Italian gem, Venice.

The film was released only a year after the more famous Rome-based Hollywood offering, Roman Holiday, but unlike the film which made Audrey Hepburn famous, Three Coins has the huge advantage of being shot in colour:  particularly important for capturing the beautiful blue waters of the Trevi, the fountain which gives the film its name.  The streets and monuments of Rome – for some reason, improbably deserted – are portrayed in all their glory, though were not as central to the plot as I had expected and hoped based on the title.

Yes it’s twee, yes it’s predictable, and yes it’s unrealistic:  but notwithstanding its shortfallings, this gentle romantic comedy was an enjoyable diversion on a gloomy Saturday afternoon and had me longing to be back in Rome and throwing yet another coin into the Trevi Fountain myself.

About Rachel Ingram

I graduated from Oxford University in 2009 with an MA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History from St John's College. After graduating I worked as a Geographic Researcher at, spending lots of time researching and writing travel guides to worldwide destinations, developing my copywriting skills. After working as a copywriter and content consultant at (formerly SEOptimise), where I most enjoyed working with travel clients, I went self-employed. I now divide my time between freelance copywriting and running the business I set up with my boyfriend - - selling aviation gift experiences. In my spare time I'm training for a Private Pilot's Licence, and I also enjoy travelling, wine and baking. My favourite authors are Charles Dickens, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Bill Bryson.
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2 Responses to Review: Three Coins in the Fountain

  1. Jason says:

    Hey Rachel,
    I just stumbled upon your great site. You should see our film The Eternal City. Next time you come to Rome I can give you a copy. Let me know.

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