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Roman Holiday movie from 1953
Roman Holiday movie from 1953
Watched this movie again on cable! I am in love with Audrey Hepburn and I admire Gregory Peck for his essential decency which always shines through.
Audrey won an oscar for leading actress in this role her movie debut. She is luminous and so adept given what little experience she had at the start of her career. I also loved her in My Fair Lady, Sabrina, Robin and Marian, pretty much every movie she ever made. And I honor her services to UNICEF! So I am in love with Audrey. Contrast her acting with the debut of Grace Kelly in High Noon. Pretty Grace was a blank slate as she said herself after viewing the movie and vowed to do better! Her role was not desired to be deep, but she could have done much more. Audrey shone because of the depth of her soul.
As an American I do not relish royalty or aristocrats, but if there is such a thing as the elite of the persona, Audrey is my favorite princess! A further review:
I've always loved the classic American movie "Roman Holiday" (1953), which stars Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The film is a delightful romantic comedy that offers a rare combination of charismatic actors, elegant direction (by the distinguished William Wyler), and charming locations (in Rome). Now Paramount has released "Roman Holiday" on DVD, and when I watched it at home recently, I enjoyed it immensely.
"Roman Holiday" centers around Princess Ann (Hepburn), heir to the throne of an unnamed country. As the movie opens, Ann is on a tedious official tour of European capitals and ends up at a stuffy formal reception in Rome. Suffocated by her unrelenting duties, the young woman falls into despair and becomes hysterical. Although injected with a sedative, she manages to sneak away from her country's embassy.
After an evening of poker, American newspaperman Joe Bradley (Peck) is walking home when he happens upon the princess. The sedative has kicked in, and she is snoozing on a low wall near some ancient ruins. Joe doesn't recognize her, and he mistakes the effects of the sedative for drunkenness. Unable to come up with any other humane course of action, Joe takes her to his apartment.
Next morning Joe learns the young woman's identity when he sees a news story about Princess Ann. He immediately embarks on a scheme to make big bucks by writing an exclusive article on her. Since his article will sell for more money if it has pictures, Joe enlists the aid of his photographer friend Irving Radovich (Eddie Albert).
Ann sets out on her own and has her long hair cut short by a barbiere near the Fountain of Trevi before pausing to enjoy gelato on the Spanish Steps. Soon she meets up with Joe and Irving, and the three of them have fun on an impromptu, unstructured sightseeing tour. In the evening, Joe takes Ann dancing on a barge on the Tiber River near Sant'Angelo, and she has the time of her life.
On the banks of the Tiber, Ann and Joe realize they have fallen in love. But the three main characters face important decisions: Ann must determine what she wants to do about her royal obligations; Joe has to decide what he wants to do about the story he set out to write; and Irving must figure out what he wants to do with the photos he's taken. One of the things I like best about "Roman Holiday" is the satisfying way it resolves all these issues, although the ending is bittersweet and always brings me close to tears.
Audrey Hepburn is luminous in "Roman Holiday," and there's something about the image of decency that Gregory Peck brings that is perfect for his character in the movie. Also, I love visiting Rome, and watching this movie made me want to get on a plane and go there again. I especially like the scene where Joe takes Ann to a large, grotesque visage sculpted in stone. Joe gazes at the hole for the visage's mouth and tells Ann, "The Mouth of Truth. Legend is that if you're given to lying and put your hand in there, it'll be bitten off." He then sticks his hand deep inside the mouth and gives Ann a scare by pretending he can't pull it out.
The "Roman Holiday" DVD comes with a few bonus materials, and I've listed them below. I found the 25-minute documentary "Remembering 'Roman Holiday'" well worth watching, and I also liked the featurette on legendary costumer Edith Head (although the same featurette is on the "Sunset Boulevard" DVD). Alas, the "Roman Holiday" DVD provides no commentary track.
I found it very interesting to see the words "Story by Dalton Trumbo" in the opening credits to "Roman Holiday" on the DVD. In past versions of the movie, this has read "Story by Ian McLellan Hunter." Trumbo did the work, but he was blacklisted by the film community because of his refusal to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was investigating Communism. Because of the blacklisting, Trumbo's name wasn't allowed to appear in the credits, and Hunter fronted for him.
Trumbo's wife got a posthumous oscar for Trumbo in 1992!
9/23/2005 10:55 am
Yes roman holiday is one of my favorite movies. Yes I am a young male, but still as red stated audrey is incredible. She is also the reason I prefer the original sabrina to the remake.|