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Audrey Hepburn simply dazzles in this gem of a movie.
Artless_Dodger28 February 2016
Audrey Hepburn simply dazzles in this gem of a movie. Princess Ann (Hepburn) escapes the confines of her rarefied royal existence for a day, to be rescued by a reporter, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck).

Bradley senses a scoop and seeks to inveigle the Princess into a story. However, this is a fairy tale, of the Princess and the commoner. Love blossoms, the beautiful Princess experiencing everyday things we might take for granted with a delight we cannot know. Sitting at a roadside café, getting a haircut, enjoying an ice cream, dancing on a riverboat. She soaks in these experiences in the company of her handsome saviour, not realising his intentions.

It's beautifully done. Hepburn is radiant, refined, beautiful, enchanting - things she went on to display in many movies. However, she was at her most perfect here, as the beautiful Princess needing love and wanting happiness. Peck is an ideal foil. Tall, dark, and handsome, his only thought being the scoop placed before him, his ambition wilting in the face of his developing love for a Princess he can't hope to attain. Both are ably supported by Eddie Albert as Irving Radovich, Bradley's photographer colleague. Indeed, Albert is involved in many of the funniest scenes.

It's a fairy tale, beautifully told. William Wyler makes the most of his location, showing us Rome in all it's splendour. The perfect backdrop to the perfect fairy tale.

However, this film belongs to Audrey Hepburn. She shines and dazzles, brightening nearly two hours of every viewers life. How could you hope for more than that.
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Emma Thompson and Audrey Hepburn
duffjerroldorg6 April 2017
A comment made by Emma Thompson made me want to see "Roman Holiday" again. Miss Thompson said about Audrey Hepburn "she has no bite" Implying that Miss Hepburn wasn't much of an actress. Well, I don't know what she was talking about or perhaps she doesn't either. To see "Roman Holiday" again in 2017 was a moving and wonderful experience. Audrey Hepburn's performance is as fresh and enchanting as I remembered. Perhaps even more. So I arrived to the conclusion that Miss Thompson is talking about a different kind of acting. When a performance travels in time with the same power, decade after decade, for me that's great film acting. In "Roman Holiday" she took me with her and convinced me, heart and mind, that she was that princess and I loved her. William Wyler, the wonderful director, knew what he was doing - he always did. By introducing us to Audrey Hepburn he reinforced and reinvigorated his own prodigious legacy. I love Emma Thompson as an actress but she's totally wrong about Audrey Hepburn.
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An amazing date movie with oodles of intelligence
ctowyi24 March 2016
After Trumbo we decided to watch one of the films of which Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay for. Roman Holiday is a 1953 American romantic comedy directed and produced by William Wyler. It stars Gregory Peck as a reporter and Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess out to see Rome on her own. Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance; the screenplay and costume design also won. It was written by John Dighton and Dalton Trumbo, though with Trumbo on the Hollywood blacklist, he did not receive a credit; instead, Ian McLellan Hunter fronted for him. Trumbo's credit was reinstated when the film was released on DVD in 2003. On December 19, 2011, full credit for Trumbo's work was restored.

The DVD sat on my shelf for the longest time and I am so glad I took it out to watch. The screenplay is subtle, filled with nuances that Hepburn and Peck teased them out beautifully. I can hardly detect an air of pretension and emotional manipulation. This is as romantic as it gets between a princess and an everyday man. The ending in the big hall really hits the spot. So much is left unsaid but yet what is said speaks volumes. It never betrays the tone of what the film sets out to be but yet my heart was beating with the full desire of wanting to see the relationship go a certain more familiar way. This is an amazing date movie with oodles of intelligence.
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Audrey Sparkles Through
bkoganbing20 April 2007
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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Magical romantic comedy
gbill-7487711 March 2017
Audrey Hepburn burst onto the movie scene with this film, her first role. She plays an English Princess traveling in Rome who is bored with her official duties and the tight schedule she's on. One night after getting a tranquilizer to calm her from the stress of it all, she sneaks away into the streets of Rome. She's found by a newspaperman played by Gregory Peck, who takes her to his place to sleep it off. When he finds out who she really is, he realizes he's on top of a gold mine of a story, and enlists his photographer friend (Eddie Albert) to get candid shots of the two while they sightsee.

Hepburn and Peck are such an attractive couple, and director William Wyler gets lots of beautiful shots of Rome, including the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and of course the classic scene they have at the Bocca della Verità. It all makes for a very romantic film. Hepburn played her part perfectly, expressing frustration and joy with such economy, as well as the restraint that comes from being a royal. Among several others, the scene with her getting her hair cut short is captivating, and it's no wonder that she won an Oscar for her performance. Peck's performance is also excellent, and Eddie Albert pulls off the part of a young rogue quite well despite being 47 at the time. I won't spoil the ending, except to say it's touching and poignant, and so perfectly shot in the Palazzo Colonna. At the end of the day this is 'just a romantic comedy', with its share of silliness, but it's so mature and magical, and with these stars in this setting, it stands head and shoulders above so many others.
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A romantic movie only a cynic could not appreciate
stkrule22 July 2006
As a college aged guy with several younger sisters, I'd seen far too many chick flicks as they were being watched and couldn't get over how bad they were. Even ones they claimed to be good were extremely lackluster and I was beginning to wonder what, if any, good romantic movies existed. Then one afternoon I randomly happened to catch Roman Holiday on TV just as it was starting. For some reason I cant really remember, I sat through and watched it and now am quite glad that I did.

Aside from the romance element, it's essentially the polar opposite of what I despised. Great acting, excellent script, and most importantly, an effective and beautiful story. I won't spoil a thing about the plot here, but it works. While the movie can be called a romantic comedy, the humorous elements aren't the cheesy kind of thing you might expect from recent entries in the genre. I All I can say to you is: coming from a guy, this is the first and so far the only romantic movie I have thoroughly enjoyed watching.
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Lyrical relic of a vanished civilization
jayson-49 February 1999
This charming comedy is justly famous as the film that made the whole world fall in love with Audrey Hepburn and half the world want to run out and buy a Vespa scooter. Hepburn was always beguiling, but in some of her later roles she tended to overplay the winsomeness. Here every note she hits is just about perfect.

And speaking of notes, pay special attention to the score by the great Georges Auric. If the film had been produced in the manner of modern romantic comedies, the sound track would have been larded with pop hits by Perry Como, Dinah Shore, and Frankie Laine, which would have done an awful lot to destroy the magic. Instead Auric's complex, vibrant, evocative music complements the story's inherent lyricism without upstaging it. In an era of bombastic film scoring, this seems a miracle.

Someone once said that Audrey Hepburn's was the beauty of possibility and transformation -- she was always in motion, always becoming something else. "Roman Holiday" is very much of a piece with that notion. On the surface, the film is about a princess who disguises herself as a "commoner". But in truth she's actually pretending to be a princess, at least at first. She finally becomes authentic -- is transformed and prepared to deal with her destiny -- only through the ennobling power of love and sacrifice. That's one heck of a mythic subtext and does a lot to explain "Roman Holiday's" enduring power.
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An enchanting light comedy
Nazi_Fighter_David10 May 2008
Constantly advised, overprotected, and bored with her royal duties, Princess Anne, on holiday in Rome, evades her protectors and sneaks out at night to discover how the ordinary Italians live...

Exhausted from a claustrophobic schedule, she collapses in a public place…

Passing by is Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), a newspaper reporter who was planning to interview the Princess the following day…

Not realizing who she is, he eventually takes her to his apartment where she spends the night on his couch…

After discovering her identity, Bradley charms the runaway princess for the exclusive story he visualizes writing… He calls his carefree photographer friend Eddie Albert and proposes to spend the day with her and experience everything she has always desired to…

Audrey Hepburn—the exquisite incognito princess who finds romance in the capital city of Italy— not only lets down her long tresses, but also gets a more fashionable cut, as she blossoms to embrace a life she knows she cannot keep…

Hepburn received an Oscar for Best Actress in recognition of her gamine charms and for her great acting ability…

If you like to remember Princess Anne at the café ordering champagne for lunch; smoking her "very first" cigarette; dancing on a barge on the Tiber River; hitting the royal agents with beer bottles; and testing the legend of 'The Mouth of Truth;' don't miss this delightful movie with three legendary stars
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Viva Audrey!
jotix10012 July 2002
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.
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An utter gem
trpdean21 September 2002
A plot as slender as Audrey Hepburn but oh what magic! If you've never seen this jewel, you're to have one of the best evenings of your week, your month.

Perhaps the key to this movie's success is restraint - in the dialogue, in the music, in the cynicism of Peck and cronies at the movie's beginning. No one gushes - all is understated - but how one feels its power.

I hope everyone has experienced a day such as they - with someone they come to care for - as much as they. It's my wish for the world.
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A Very Nice Blend of Fantasy & Reality
Snow Leopard5 November 2002
With a very nice blend of fantasy and reality, and two very likable stars, "Roman Holiday" is both entertaining and thoughtful. Sometimes it is very funny, and at other times it makes you feel a great sympathy and warmth towards the characters. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are ideal in the leading roles, and the story is very clever in getting a lot of mileage out of a simple idea without pushing things too far, which makes it quite effective.

The idea of Princess Ann (Audrey) slipping away unnoticed and unrecognized for a day of fun and freedom from responsibility is of course fanciful, but it works for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is Peck's role as a pragmatic newsman. He is a good balance for Hepburn's charm and energy, remaining calm and logical without ever becoming cold or distant. You feel as if you could spend a lot more than a couple of hours in their company. And how could you improve on Eddie Albert's performance as Peck's photographer friend? The movie also adds in the atmosphere of Rome itself, with some creative scenes that make good use of the setting.

There are many fine moments in a story that at times seems almost like a daydream, and then it brings the characters back to reality in a moving way. It's not an easy combination to pull off, but here it all fits together very well, to make the kind of classic worth remembering, and one which you can watch and enjoy more than once.
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What a movie
jasjit_us18 September 2005
Roman holiday is the most incredible movie I have ever seen. I came across this movie quite by chance. I like suspense movies and I watched Charade starring Audrey and Cary Grant. Audrey's acting in that movie impressed me so I decided to watch Roman holiday too. Too be very frank I was not really looking forward to watching this movie. Like most people of this generation I dislike black and white movies.

Man was I wrong. I have never seen a movie, which had so much romance, comedy and emotional drama. It would be fair to say that magic was created in this movie. The plot I guess everyone knows, a young princes tired of her regulated life runs away and hooks up with a reporter (Gregory Peck) for a day of fun in Rome. The reporter lies to her that he is a businessman and she lies to him about her true identity. They both have fun visiting Rome's historic places. But the reporter has a hidden agenda. He wants to write a story on the princess's escapades in Rome and enlists the help of his photographer friend (Albert). Things work according to plan for the reporter until he finds that he is really starting to fall in love with the princess.

The story line may appear to be simple but take my word for it that Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn create magic and the movie will take a hold over you like nothing else you have ever seen. This is Audrey's best movie and the only movie she got an Oscar for and she was never so charming, innocent and beautiful as she is in this movie.

One of the reviewers has suggested that Cary Grant would have been ideal for the role that Gregory Peck plays. I only have to say this to the devotees of Cary Grant that he would never have worked as a romantic lead in this movie. He was 50 years old at the time this movie was made and the sight of him cavorting around with a girl half his age would have removed from the movie it's romantic element. It would have become perhaps a slightly funnier movie but without the heart wrenching almost magical hold it now has. Also it is my humble opinion after seeing Charade that Cary Grant is too suave to play the role of a struggling reporter convincingly.

History has already spoken; this movie is regarded as one of the all time greats, why would we want to change something, which is already perfect. Gregory Peck is ideal for the role of the reporter, he is incredibly handsome in the movie, a kind of man a young girl could fall in love with even after being with him only for a few hours. In this movie, Gregory Peck acts his heart out, especially at the end and he has a wonderfully chemistry with Audrey, which is the reason this movie still seems so fresh and charming even after 50 years.

This is one of those rare movies that works across cultural and national borders. I was surprised to learn that according to a poll in Japan even after so many years Roman Holiday still is the number one foreign movie of all time.

This movie is simply the best.
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Unabashed innocence
moonspinner5526 May 2002
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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Romanitic comedy with the beautiful Audrey Hepburn
saw19977 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I absolutely love this movie. The chemistry between Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck is magnetic. You can tell they truly enjoyed each other. Audrey was quoted as saying for her first major motion picture Gregory Peck was the perfect choice due to his genuine warmth of character. In fact, Peck insisted that Audrey name be placed next to his because to do otherwise would be "silly" (this was her first major role). My favorite scene, though a sad one, is the ending where the love they have for one another is seen in their faces as they both know they can never be together. Just a fantastic movie both light hearted, funny and a unique love story all in one film. Any fan of Audery can't miss her Oscar winning performance in this film. She truly was one of the most beautiful actresses of all time and a remarkable human being.
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Deeply moving
eugene-6825 June 2006
The emotional pull in this movie is achieved in the final scene: it is a testament to the brilliance of the screenplay and the art of the two leads that no words are spoken. There is no need for them. I have seen this film many times and never failed to be deeply moved by the looks that they exchange. There are probably only one or two other films that achieve anything near the same effect: one of them is Shadowlands, the other the Remains of the Day: Hopkins is lead in both, but they also share an era, the 40s and the 50s, a time when one buried emotion and placed duty above personal desire. In this film, the lovers are truly ennobled by their personal sacrifice, and the effect is profound and, as I have said, deeply moving.
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lake_walker4 October 2005
A Holiday worth celebrating every day of the year. The Princess awakens from her slumbers in this classic fall-from-innocence, coming-of-age tale with a royal twist. Audrey Hepburn stakes her claim as the most perfect woman who ever lived. Gregory Peck at his best as the ne'er-do-well American reporter who guides her chastely from girlhood to womanhood. What can I add? One of the finest movies ever made. Now will you please stop reading this review and rent the movie, for heaven's sake? ...Now, according to the rules, this review has to go for at least 10 lines. And yet I've said everything I have to say about Roman Holiday. It is perfect. Rent it. Or better yet, buy it. You won't regret it. There, now that's 11 lines, that ought to do it.
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catch the beautifully restored print of this
didi-513 October 2003
Audrey Hepburn's first big film role cast her as a Princess of country unknown, making a state visit to Rome. Bored of the endless run of openings, dedications and so on, she decides to see something of the city, and runs into American newsman Gregory Peck. He recognises her as the missing Princess and plans to scoop a major interview for his syndicate, with the help of pal Eddie Albert and his hidden camera.

Hepburn is an absolute joy, particularly when her hair is shorn down to the classic urchin cut and she takes a motorcycle ride. Peck, too, is served well by this kind of role, and the romance of the city of Rome helps their relationship to develop during their 24 hours of freedom. Roman Holiday is one of those rarities which are truly perfect and memorable, a real girly flick with beautiful photography and a sparkling script. Highly recommended, and especially so in the wonderful recent restoration.
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Delightful Romantic Fantasy
l_rawjalaurence2 August 2016
What can be said about William Wyler's evergreen comedy that has not been said before? Suffice to state that it never loses its luster, even though it is over sixty years since its original release.

Every element of the film seems perfectly shaped, from the memorable Hollywood debut of Audrey Hepburn, to the nuanced support offered by Gregory Peck; a witty script by John Dighton and Ian McLellan Hunter, based on a story by the then-blacklisted Dalton Trumbo; beautiful black-and-white photography of a Rome that no longer exists by Henri Alakan and Frank F. Planer; and taut direction by Wyler that gives plenty of opportunities for the actors to flourish while retaining the mystique of the Eternal City as a place where romance can occur, however briefly.

The film has memorable nuanced moments, from the opening sequence where the Princess (Hepburn) undergoes an apparently endless series of presentations, while trying to stretch her feet under her voluminous dress; the sequence where she wears pajamas for the first time and falls asleep in Peck's bed during a chaste night away from the palace; the sequence taking place in the sidewalk café where Peck keeps telling his witless sidekick Nathan (Eddie Albert) to shut up about the Princess's true identity; and the memorable moment at the Bocca della Verita (aka the Mouth of Truth), where Peck puts his hand in and brings it out abruptly, scaring the living daylights out of the Princess as he does so.

Nothing actually happens during the Princess's night away from her royal duties; her virtue remains intact, and she has a merry time dodging the Carabinieri and her Secret Service officers, in a comic fight sequence taking place near the Castel Saint'Angelo, which culminates in Peck and herself diving into the river and swimming to safety.

ROMAN HOLIDAY conjures up a world that simply does not exist today of comic Italians waving their arms about expressively, of obliging cab-drivers and locals selling everything on the street from water- melons, flowers, and other junk. In these days of mass tourism commercial interests have taken over, and Rome's innocence - as well as a lot of its allure - has been lost in the process. Nonetheless we can enjoy a nostalgic wallow in the past through this film.
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Funny and enjoyable romantic comedy with an unforgettable Audrey Hepburn
ma-cortes27 April 2012
Enchanting romantic comedy about a bored and sheltered princess (Audrey Hepburn , whose role won an Oscar) who escapes her guardians and falls in love for a reporter (Gregory Peck) who is aware of his true identity and spending one day incognito in Rome . The princess tired with her official visit to Rome and subsequently getaway walking throughout the streets . A journalist discovers his little charade and helped by his photographer (Eddie Albert) decides to catch in a scoop , but then love calls .

This moving film contains a marvelous story love along with comedy , humor , entertaining situations and results to be pretty amusing . Wonderful romantic comedy with a charming Audrey Hepburn who brings a special blend of refinement , elegance and beauty that justly made her Hollywood newest star . Hepburn is top-notch and gorgeous with his sweet countenance , naive charm and agreeable interpretation . Audrey Hepburn won the role of Ann thanks to a legendary screen test. In it, she performed one of the scenes from the film, but the cameraman was instructed to keep the cameras rolling after the director said, "Cut." Several minutes of unrehearsed, spontaneous Hepburn was thus captured on film and this, combined with some candid interview footage, won her the role . Gregory Peck offers a splendid performance , he is ideally suited to the character of the attractive and upright journalist . Richly humorous acting from Eddie Albert as a sympathetic and botcher photographer . Truly stirring and moving final highlight with moments really sensible . Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was fronted by Ian Hunter as writer who accepted screen credit and the best Academy Award in Trumbo's stead . Many years later , in 1992 the Hollywood Academy voted to posthumously award Trumbo his own Oscar . Shot in black and white by Franz Planer and Henry Alekan , so that the characters wouldn't be upstaged by the romantic setting of Rome . This is the first American film to be made in its entirety in Italy and was produced by Paramount Pictures that had assets frozen in the country and was delighted to take advantage of the opportunity to film in Rome.

The motion picture is compellingly directed by the maestro William Wyler . Wyler was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema and the winner of three Best Director Academy Awards . Wyler was a great professional who had a career full of successes in all kind of genres as Film Noir : ¨Detective story¨ , ¨The desperate hours¨ , ¨Dead End¨ ; Western : ¨The Westener¨, ¨Friendly persuasion¨ , ¨Big Country¨ , but his speciality were dramas as : ¨Jezebel¨ , ¨The letter¨ , ¨Wuthering Heights¨ , ¨The best years of our lives¨, ¨Mrs Miniver¨, ¨The heiress¨ , ¨the little Foxes¨ , ¨The collector¨ and Comedy as two films starred by Audrey Hepburn : ¨How to steal a million¨ and of course ¨Roman's holiday¨ with Audrey at her Oscar-winning best and immortal comedy-romance.
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"I've never been alone with a man before, even with my dress on."
classicsoncall30 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Enchanting is the word that comes to mind to describe "Roman Holiday". It's got that escape from reality wonder about it that might be envied even by royalty. Audrey Hepburn is luminous in her first American film appearance, allowing the viewer to believe that she really could pull off the disappearing act for twenty fours hours for the purpose of living life on a 'fun schedule'.

I was impressed by how much mileage Princess Ann got out of that five thousand lira note; could one really buy sandals, a haircut and a cone of gelato all for less than a dollar and a half in 1953? That would have made Joe Bradley's (Gregory Peck) five thousand dollar payday close to a king's ransom, or at least a princess's. Bradley's put into a predicament when Ann comments on his sacrifice to spend the day showing her around Rome; she describes it as 'completely unselfish'. By that time, one gets the idea that just maybe he'll wind up doing the right thing.

Slow to pick up on Bradley's non verbals, photographer Irving Radovich (Eddie Albert) bears the brunt of Joe's spilled drinks and takes a pratfall or two. Sadly, one of his remarks to Joe brought to mind the unending scrutiny suffered in real life by Princess Diana - "She's fair game Joe, it's always open season on princesses." Odd how art imitating life, in this case predicting it, could end in such tragedy.

It was heartwarming then to see how Joe and Irving turned their back on a story, and instead opted to reaffirm humanity. The finale is both uplifting and bittersweet, echoing one of Gregory Peck's lines to Hepburn earlier in the story - "Life isn't always what one likes, is it?"
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Sparkles like Audrey's tiara
celebes29 September 2007
One of Hollywoods great romantic comedies- a confection that is utterly delightful. With Sabrina, part of Audrey's one-two punch when she arrived to take Hollywood by storm, fresh from her stage triumph in Gigi. She is paired here with Gregory Peck, in creating possibly the most beautiful couple in Hollywood history.

Peck's restrained performance is a perfect foil for Audreys's exuberant one and we see her through his eyes. Her sublime innocence and sense of wonder, not to mention that smile, the sweetest smile that ever graced a movie screen, win him over and inspire him to be better than he would have been without her. She is truly the embodiment of beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside.

With a wonderful supporting performance by Eddie Albert and those mouth-watering Roman locations, this film is a delirious respite from the every day cares of life.
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The Film That Made Audrey Hepburn A Star
FloatingOpera724 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Roman Holiday (1953): Starring Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Hancourt Williams, Margaret Rawlings, Paolo Carlini, Tullio Carminati, Claudio Ermelli, Paola Borboni, John Horne, Henz Hindrich, Alfredo Rizzo, Laura Solari...Director William Wyler, Screenplay Ian McLellan Hunter.

Director William Wyler's 1953 "Roman Holiday" was yet another triumph for him as director, it was the film that launched the career of Audrey Hepburn, and a thoroughly well-made and touching romance straight out of the early 50's so beloved by the public it won the Oscar for Best Picture. William Wyler had previously directed great stars before this film. In 1938, he directed "Jezebel" which starred Bette Davis in a role that she credited as her first great performance and gained her notoriety as a star, earning her an Oscar. In 1949, Wyler directed Olivia De Havilland in "The Heiress" for which she also won an Oscar. For a star to work with William Wyler meant success one way or another. Audrey Hepburn walked away with the Oscar for Best Actress (quite an accomplishment when you consider she had'nt made any American films) and William Wyler for Director. In Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn plays the beautiful and sensitive European princess Anne, who, tired of living a repressive public life and seeking to escape from its dull and stifling facade, runs away during a European tour, becoming familiar with the city of Rome on her own. The public press is totally unaware she has decided to quit the last leg of the tour and instead the press deceive the public by stating she's suffered a mysterious illness. She meets Joe Bradley, a photographer for a paper that specializes in celebrity news (like the Hollywood Reporter or People Magazine today). Together, they roam the city of Rome and fall in love with the city and with themselves. Ann looks at the world with new eyes and finds herself doing things she had never been allowed to do before - getting a bold new short haircut, eating ice cream and she is genuinely enthralled by the Eternal City. Joe has an ulterior motive. He is photographing her adventure in Rome and hopes to make good money off it but as they spend time together, they fall in love and he has a change of heart, opting not to expose the Princess. In its own way, this film, much like Sunset Boulevard criticized the movie industry, this film criticized the paparazzi and Hollywood press industry. It's not long before her royal connections catch up with Ann and she is forced to return to the public life. Joe returns the photos to her during a Farewell Speech at an Embassy, the last time they see each other. That long, final overhead shot of Gregory Peck leaving the Baroque interior of the building is priceless and one of the few great endings that year. It was also the first of its kind for a romantic comedy, which usually ended in happiness for the lovers. Gregory Peck was by this time an established star but the film was never about him, because this is the first great film Audrey Hepburn made in the US and she would only move on to bigger and better things. The cinematography is absolutely exquisite, expressing the new innovations in camera work as the decade of the 50's began. 1953 would see other great and modern films, including director Zinnerman's "From Here To Eternity". "Roman Holiday" also packed a powerful punch because that year ('53) was the year that Princess Margaret, sister to England's Queen Elizabeth II, went public about her relationship with the "commoner" Peter Townsend. Many people believed Princess Anne is either consciously or unconsciously based on the real life Princess Margaret. And the ending, which does not result in the lovers' happiness, mirrored Margaret's real life tragic romance. Filmed on location in Rome, we get nothing but gorgeous shots of the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Castel San Angelo and other monuments, but never in a such a hurried or showy way. Instead each scene flows to the next as Ann and Joe journey from one tourist spot to the other. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck have strong chemistry and carry the film themselves. For me, this is Hepburn's best work with a leading actor, despite all the critical acclaim she received for later films with Humphrey Bogart/William Holden (Sabrina) and with Cary Grant (Charade). There is something truly moving about the unhappy princess who finds one fleeting slice of happiness in her life, a moment in her life when she learned to live freely and to experience the world on her own without owing anything to the future. Being the early 50's, we don't see Peck and Hepburn making love and we see them only kiss once but their feelings for each other are quite evident in subtle ways. This is an American movie classic and should be in every good classic film lover's collection.
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*sigh* Audrey Hepburn *sigh*!!!
llltdesq21 April 2001
I could just write my one line summary over and over again, but that would make for a rather dull comment, so I won't (stop cheering in the balcony!). In addition to the wonderful Ms. Hepburn, Gregory Peck does his typically superb job and Eddie Albert turns in a delightful (but no doubt painful, for him) performance in this incredibly charming jewel of a film. This film made me an incurable romantic for life! *sigh* I'd better quit before my apartment becomes a wind-tunnel! Joyously, happily recommended!
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'Always Open Season on Princesses'...
Xstal2 October 2020
A 1950s fairy tale set in Rome, indeed it could quite easily be created or recreated through animation such is its essence. Performed by two of the brightest stars ever to grace the silver screen with two of their best performances, it's difficult to criticise if your heart's in the right place and you know how to use it. In more recent times, we continue to witness the abuse levelled at those in similar positions to the Principessa, occasionally we lose one as a result. They are, at the end of the day, only flesh and blood like the rest of us and, as we bear witness at the end of Ana's day, they make us feel grateful for not being cursed by birth into out dated and irrelevant ways, kept afloat in the name of tradition, but above all tourism.
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It's the holiday season. Give your partner, one of the best romantic movie, ever made. They will love it for Valentine Day.
ironhorse_iv15 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
What a delightful captivating classic, this movie is! Without spoiling the movie directed by William Wyler, too much, based on what's seen; it really did seem like screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo really did hate the tradition fairy tale. Why? It's because, he felt that stories like that, were preventing women from experiencing & understanding the real world. So, he wrote real-world, Cinderella-like story in reverse with powerful people wanting the more simple-common life. Shot entirely on location in Rome, Italy, the film follows the story of a loyal duty regimented, sheltered, princess, Ann (Audrey Hepburn), abandoning her duties for 24/7 for a chance to check out the city, with a not-so-mild-mannered reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), while hiding under a student-like alias from those, looking for her. While, on the surface level, it seems that this concept is unique & ground-breaking; but if you peel back, the nostalgia goggles & see the movie's script as it is. The story from Trumbo isn't anything new. Theater productions have been using the concept of royal incognito as a source of comedy, since the days of Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, and even Ancient Greek. Don't get me wrong, Trumbo is a fine screenwriter; and seeing him, deny work, due to the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s, was a shame, but I don't find, this story to be one of his greatest work. Even the original script set in America with the English princess didn't stand out. It was mediocre enough to sit on the shelf for years, until Paramount Pictures greenlight the project, in order to capitalize on recent real-life event where, Princess Margaret of United Kingdom had a belief relationship with commoner, Peter Townsend. The preproduction was horrible for Trumbo, as it came with lot of rewrites, as the original director, Frank Capra back out, with Wyler coming in, with a demand to set the film, overseas, with Paramount choosing Italy, as the location, due to assets being frozen, there. Added to that pressure, is the fact that the British Government didn't want any mention of their government in the film. Because of the rewrites, Trumbo had to use his friend, Ian McLellan Hunter, as a straw man, in order to meet the demand, while also keeping himself out of the radar from the House Un-American Activities Committee. Due to the pressures, the new script seem delivered in a rushed, yet messy matter. It had a lot of setbacks: mostly when it comes to Ann's true motives for her want for individual freedom. It doesn't make sense for her character to want to trade in, her demanding job as a royal ambassador for a life as a domestic wife. It comes across as very jarring & awkward. Look, I know, it's the standards of 1950s, to pressure young women to get marry, ASAP; but wouldn't the movie work, better, if she wanted to live life without any sense of limitative and boundaries!? You know, to be single, for a while! This movie could had really spark women's interest, more, if it took a more liberation approach. Another thing, wrong about this movie is the climax. Don't get me wrong, I like the bittersweet subliminal nature of it, but I never got how class difference would have prevented either from carrying their relationship further. It's not like she was the highest position in her country's government, nor did it seem, like her country was in the middle of a crisis. Even so, she could had abdicated, if she wanted to. It's not uncommon. So why the unhappy ending!? It seem a little forced. Films like 1927's silent film 'Student Prince of Heidelberg' & 1996's 'The Lion King' did the coming to age-royal concept return, better. In short, it should had, the 1934's screwball comedy, "It Happen One Night' style of an ending. Regardless of that, the film does beautifully hints at the power of memory (symbolized by the photographs Irving gives to the princess), of past experiences to continually affect one's life. I just wish, the movie could had been in color; rather than black & white to make that message, even more powerful. Nevertheless, the film made great use of the locations, even with budget cuts. Sites like the Mouth of Truth & Trevi Fountain are little more iconic now, because of this film. Even, products like the Vespa scooter got a surge in popularity after the film was released. It's all thanks to the skillful, distinguished, professional and eminent work from Wyler & his location crew. Not only that, but studio works, like the music by composers, Georges Auric & Victor Young were also great. Very memorable; but what takes the cake, is the acting performances. While, Peck sounds an overbearing depress father with thundering voice at times; due to his recent separation from his first wife. He was fine for the film, but a part of me, really wanted, Wyler's original choice, Cary Grant in the role. He was a bit questionable as the romantic lead. Nevertheless, it's Aubrey Hepburn who really shines. Thank goodness, Wyler pick her over Elizabeth Taylor for this role. I would hate to see the Princess portray as a spoiled heiress. The fact that Hepburn was basically an unknown actress, whom done small films, before this, heightened the story's plot. Her child-like naiveté and unvarnished innocent-like appearance, really match well with Peck, despite the huge age different. Peck was so satisfy with Hepburn's performance that he suggested Wyler that she get equal billing; which was almost unheard-of gesture for women in Hollywood, at the time. As for Hepburn's Oscar win for Best Actress. It's up in the air, as personally I found the other performances from the other ladies, a little more captivating. Nevertheless, I was really surprise, how many Academy Award nominations, this film got. 3 wins out of ten nominations is pretty damn good. Overall: 'Roman Holiday' remains an unabashed classic for good reasons. It's a must watch. So check it out!
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