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
The story was originally optioned by Frank Capra in 1949, who had hoped to cast Cary Grant and Elizabeth Taylor in what would essentially amount to being a variation on his Oscar-winning classic, It Happened One Night (1934). However, Capra's Liberty Films production company was beset with financial problems and he was forced to sell the property to Paramount where a combination of political timidity (Capra discovered the involvement of blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo) and a tight budget prompted him to withdraw from the project. William Wyler, however, had no compunctions whatsoever about working with Trumbo. See more »
As Ann surreptitiously speeds away from the embassy, stowed away in the back of a delivery truck, the crates that she hides behind change. 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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Audrey Hepburn doesn't have a vulgar bone in her body: she breezes through this comedic romp with the spirit of a saint on holiday. When a princess escapes the castle while touring Italy, a down-on-his-luck American reporter chances to meet her and smells a good story. A joyful fairy tale, but with the heartbreak of reality at the finale, and what sweet sadness there is in those final shots! Hepburn won an Oscar for Best Actress, and deserved it. Gregory Peck is almost playful in his scenes with her, and Eddie Albert is a perfect buddy-match. Director William Wyler sets up the story very gingerly, but he cuts loose as well, and the whole picture plays like a delectable dessert. ***1/2 from ****
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