Francis, now 17, is still in love with Moondoggy. She can persuade her parents to allow them a journey to Rome, together with two of her and two of his friends. However they have to take an adult with them, so they choose Peter's eccentric aunt. In Rome they get the beautiful guide Daniela, who's fascinating the guys and making especially Gidget jealous. She starts looking elsewhere herself.
Cindy Carol is the best of the three Gidgets, plus several Rome attractions RELEASED IN 1963 and directed by Paul Wendkos, “Gidget goes to Rome” chronicles events when Gidget (Cindy Carol) visits Rome with two girlfriends along with Moondoggie (James Darren) and two of his buds, but the group has to enlist the services of Judge’s eccentric aunt as a chaperone (Jessie Royce Landis). While Moondoggie becomes infatuated with a beautiful guide (Danielle De Metz) Gidget finds herself drawn to a suave writer, who’s much older (Cesare Danova). Gidget is 18 years-old and freshly graduated from high school in this film, which means the events take place about two years after the events in the original 1959 movie. Cindy Carol was 18 during filming and makes for a superior substitute for Sandra Dee than Deborah Walley did in 1961’s “Gidget goes Hawaiian.” Deborah was charming enough, but her hair & eyes didn’t fit, plus she tended to have weak & whiney facial expressions, which detracted from what Gidget was all about as established in the first film, i.e. a precocious, tomboyish teen who was more interested in surfing and insightful exchange than kissy-kissy, although she was interested in that too; it just wasn’t her first & only priority. Honestly, Carol is my favorite of the three actresses to play Gidget in the three theatrical movies, followed by Dee. Unlike Dee, Carol has womanly curves, which are on display from the get-go at the Malibu beach, as well as in a later scene at a Rome fashion show. Like Dee, she’s also all-around kinetic and winsome. The head-turning De Metz also scores well on the feminine front, not to mention the amusing Trudi Ames (Libby) and redhead Noreen Corcoran (Lucy). Another plus is how the story naturally takes advantage of numerous tourist attractions in Rome. As such, the viewer gets his/her own tour of “the eternal city.” While the theme lacks the potent subtexts of the original movie, it’s still worthy: Get out and see the world when you have the opportunity and get cultured from every angle. THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour, 44 minutes and was shot in Southern Cal and Rome. WRITERS: Ruth Brooks Flippen, Katherine Albert & Dale Eunson. GRADE: B