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Roman Holiday (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  2 September 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 89,645 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 213 user | 101 critic | 7 from

A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Top 250 Movies #234 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Hartley Power ...
Margaret Rawlings ...
Tullio Carminati ...
Paolo Carlini ...
Claudio Ermelli ...
Paola Borboni ...
Alfredo Rizzo ...
Taxicab Driver
Laura Solari ...
Hennessy's Secretary
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Shoe Seller


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Audrey Hepburn at her Oscar-winning best in an immortal comedy-romance! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

2 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La princesa que quería vivir  »

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A lot of the film's success was attributed to the public's then fascination with Britain's Princess Margaret who was creating a stir over her much publicized relationship with commoner Peter Townsend. (The Princess was forced to renounce her true love because he was divorced and marry more "suitably".) See more »


The photo Irving takes during the fight at the dance, of Ann smashing the secret service agent over the head with the guitar, is not the one taken at the moment indicated in the film and shown later as the photograph. Supposedly, when Ann first hits the agent, Irving has missed it and calls out for "Smitty" (Ann) to hit him again - and Ann obliges, striking the agent on the head a second time as Irving shoots the picture. But a look at the subsequent photo clearly shows that it was in fact taken at the moment of the first blow, not the second. In the action, when Ann hits the agent the second time, the guitar appears already broken, and the agent is turned almost 180 degrees away from Ann's face and is already sinking down from the first blow, his face barely visible. But the photo - supposedly the only one Irving got - clearly is of the first, not second, blow. There, in both the live action and the photo, the agent is facing to his left and has not sunk so far down, his face is mostly visible, and the guitar is not as damaged as in the second blow. That the photo was actually taken of the first blow is further indicated by a close viewing of the live action of Ann hitting the agent the first time. At the moment of impact the film has a brief jump-cut, indicating that a frame has been deleted from the film, and in addition the tail-end of a flash from a camera's flashbulb can be seen very briefly immediately after the cut frame. The missing film frame coincides exactly with the instant Ann hits the agent with the guitar, and is the identical shot that was used as Irving's "photograph", which he later presents to Ann in the packet of pictures he'd taken. But it's a photo of the supposedly un-photographed first blow with the guitar, not of the second blow, the only photo Irving was actually seen taking. See more »


[first lines]
News announcer: 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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User Reviews

Viva Audrey!
12 July 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I recently caught this little gem of a film on a retro program and it was a trip well worth it. William Wyler was a genius directing throughout his film career. Here he's in top form.

The only way this film could have been conceived was with the charming presence of Audrey Hepburn in her first appearance on a Hollywood film. She is without a doubt, an angel who was sent to this earth to delight the movie audiences in whatever movie she happened to dignify with her appearance in.

Some people have compared Audrey Tatou with the incomparable Audrey Hepburn. Seeing Ms Hepburn in Roman Holiday will certainly change the minds of those comparing fans. Audrey Hepburn was a star's star! She exudes charm, intelligence, elegance, and beauty. Just one look from her could disarm Gregory Peck forever.

The only wrong note of this production was the way the writer, Dalton Trumbo, was treated since he had been blacklisted by the anti-communist faction lead by Sen. McCarthy and company. In the end, Mr. Trumbo was vindicated in having his name recognized as the writer of Roman Holiday.

This film is a feast to the eyes in that glorious cinematography and Rome as a background. This was Hollywood at its best. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn will be forever young any time we take a look at this classic that I'm sure will live and charm its viewers whenever they take a chance to see it for the first time, or like some of us, for another loving look.

87 of 117 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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