Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Joe Bradley is a reporter for the American News Service in Rome, a job he doesn't much like as he would rather work for what he considers a real news agency back in the States. He is on the verge of getting fired when he, sleeping in and getting caught in a lie by his boss Hennessy, misses an interview with HRH Princess Ann, who is on a goodwill tour of Europe, Rome only her latest stop. However, he thinks he may have stumbled upon a huge scoop. Princess Ann has officially called off all her Rome engagements due to illness. In reality, he recognizes the photograph of her as being the young well but simply dressed drunk woman he rescued off the street last night (as he didn't want to turn her into the police for being a vagrant), and who is still in his small studio apartment sleeping off her hangover. What Joe doesn't know is that she is really sleeping off the effects of a sedative given to her by her doctor to calm her down after an anxiety attack, that anxiety because she hates her... Written by
At the beginning of the movie, the elder gentleman dancing with princess Ann says to her, in Italian: "I want absolutely to die on the ship!" See more »
When Ann is first in Joe's apartment, he removes the "tie" from under her shirt collar and the collar stands up. In the next shot, it's again lying flat. See more »
Paramount News brings you a special coverage of Princess Ann's visit to London, the first stop on her much-publicized goodwill tour of European capitals. She gets a royal welcome from the British, as thousands cheer the gracious young member of one of Europe's oldest ruling families. After three days of continuous activity and a visit to Buckingham Palace, Ann flew to Amsterdam, where Her Royal Highness dedicated the new international aid building and christened an ocean liner, ...
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When Roman Holiday was in the planning stages William Wyler envisioned either Elizabeth Taylor or Jean Simmons in the role of the princess. When neither proved available, he and Paramount studios decided to do a Scarlett O'Hara type search for an unknown for the part. The film then would only have Gregory Peck as the star to draw the people in.
But when Peck saw the screen test and also realized the film would rise and fall on the performance of the princess part, he insisted on top billing for Audrey Hepburn. Audrey had only done a few small bit parts in some English films up till then, however Peck insisted on the billing of her right after him with 'introducing Audrey Hepburn' as her title credit.
In the same way that William Holden credited Barbara Stanwyck with helping him get through Golden Boy, Audrey Hepburn credited Gregory Peck with her performance in Roman Holiday. As well as William Wyler who still has a record of more people getting to the Oscar sweepstakes for his films than any other director.
Roman Holiday is simple and delightful film about a young princess of some unnamed European country who gets tired of her programmed routine and wants a break from it. In Rome while on a European tour, princess Audrey fakes an illness and runs off for a day of fun.
An American wire service reporter Gregory Peck finds her and realizes he's got an exclusive. So he chaperones her around without letting her know she's on to him. He even gets photographer Eddie Albert to help him out.
Eddie Albert got the first of two nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Roman Holiday, the second one being The Goodbye Girl. He lost to Frank Sinatra for From Here to Eternity. Though Albert is funny in this film, for dramatic work I never understood why he was not nominated for Attack or for Captain Newman, MD.
If you're thinking that the film is starting to bear a resemblance to a continental It Happened One Night you would be right. And if that's your thinking it will come as no surprise to learn that Frank Capra originally had the idea to film this. The property reverted to Paramount as part of his settlement to leave that studio after doing two Bing Crosby films.
I wish Paramount had done Roman Holiday in color though. Darryl F. Zanuck over at 20th Century did Three Coins in the Fountain in gorgeous color and later on MGM did The Seven Hills of Rome also in color. Still the Roman locations really add a lot to Audrey's adventure.
When Oscar time Audrey Hepburn in her first starring role and really first role of any consequence won an Oscar for Best Actress. Until the day she died Audrey Hepburn had charm enough for ten, you can't help but love her in anything she ever did. Even if the film she did was not that great, Audrey sparkles through.
Even in black and white, the Eternal City with Audrey and Greg make anyone young at heart.
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