Roman Holiday (1953)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Romance


Roman Holiday (1953) Poster

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


8/10
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  • Franz Planer in Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Eddie Albert in Roman Holiday (1953)
  • 9202-4 "Roman Holiday" Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
  • 9202-11 "Roman Holiday" Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
  • Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953)
  • 9202-2 "Roman Holiday" Audrey Hepburn

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20 April 2007 | bkoganbing
9
| Audrey Sparkles Through
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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Comedy | Romance

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