The Picasso Summer

The Picasso Summer is a 1969 drama directed by Serge Bourguignon and Robert Sallin, starring Albert Finney and Yvette Mimieux. The screenplay was written by Ray Bradbury (using the pseudonym of Douglas Spaulding) based upon his 1957 short story, "In a Season of Calm Weather."[1][2]

The Picasso Summer
Directed bySerge Bourguignon
Robert Sallin
Produced byBruce Campbell
Wes Herschensohn
Written byRay Bradbury (alt Douglas Spaulding)
Edwin Boyd
StarringAlbert Finney
Yvette Mimieux
Luis Miguel Dominguín
Music byMichel Legrand
CinematographyVilmos Zsigmond
Edited byWilliam Paul Dornisch
Distributed byWarner Bros.-Seven Arts
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • 1969 (1969)
Running time
90 min.
CountryUnited States

Future Academy Award winner Vilmos Zsigmond was the cinematographer. There were two directors. Serge Bourguignon was the original director whose rough cut was rejected by Warner Brothers. Another director, Robert Sallin, was hired to reshoot some scenes and to do the changed ending. Even with the reworked scenes, the movie was never released to theaters in the United States. It was sold for distribution to TV networks and stations with Sallin receiving the director's credit.[3]

Plot summaryEdit

George Smith (Albert Finney) is a bored, young San Francisco architect, at loose ends and feeling a bit depressed after finishing a project in which he felt his contribution was of little consequence. After he and his wife Alice (Yvette Mimieux) attend a vacuous party, they go home and George reassesses his life. George thinks about how much he admires Pablo Picasso, the great artist, who pursues his dreams with abandon. He suddenly feels an overwhelming urge to meet the artist and proposes to his wife that they fly to France that very evening in search of him. They arrive in the south of France and after a day or two of searching, arrive at the gate of his villa, only to be told that he sees no one. After a dismal dinner at a local restaurant, George goes off to a bar, while Alice returns to the hotel. The next morning, she is awakened by a drunken George, who returns with an equally drunken Frenchman whom he has befriended. By this time, George's obsessive quest has begun to wear thin. She refuses to accompany him to Spain in pursuit of a famous matador who, he has been told, is a friend of Picasso's and may be persuaded to furnish an introduction to Picasso. George goes off by himself and has an adventure in Spain with the matador, while Alice wanders about the French town alone. She meets a blind painter and his wife, who invite her home for supper and give her one of his paintings. George returns, thoroughly disappointed and disgusted that his great quest has come to nothing. He apologizes to Alice for taking her on such a miserable vacation. They go for one last swim at the beach before walking off into the sunset, failing to notice Picasso, at the same beach with his family, standing a few hundred yards away, drawing fantastic figures in the sand.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Douglas Spaulding is a protagonist in several of Bradbury's works, most notably Dandelion Wine.
  2. ^ First published in Playboy (January 1957) and later anthologized in the book A Medicine for Melancholy.
  3. ^ Lindbergs, Kimberly. "A Tale of Two Films: THE PICASSO SUMMER (1969)". Streamline : The Filmstruck Blog. Retrieved 15 April 2012.

External linksEdit