Roman Holiday (1953)


Comedy | Romance


William Wyler




Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams, Margaret Rawlings, Tullio Carminati, Paolo Carlini, Claudio Ermelli, Paola Borboni, Laura Solari


In Rome, the last stop of a highly publicized tour of European capitals, Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) begins to rebel against her restricted schedule, and escapes her confinement. However, a sedative she was forced to take starts to take effect, and the Princess soon falls asleep on a public bench. She is found by Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), an American newspaper report, who realising who she is, promises his editor an exclusive interview. 


Nowadays, when someone says "romantic comedy", one thinks about the kind of films Hollywood has been feeding us within recent years. For this reason, even though it's this film's genre, I will try to avoid those two words.

Charming, sweet and funny, Roman Holiday is a masterpiece of indescribable beauty, that allowed the whole world to know one of the brightest stars of cinema, the stunning Audrey Hepburn.

The wonderful story written by Dalton Trumbo never loses a beat, and is a romantic love story, but what stands out the most is the attention given to freedom. This message is delivered to perfection by Audrey Hepburn, who not only runs away to take a break from dissimulation and forced smiles, but to escape from her daily obligations. While that may be common to normal people as well, when it comes to those who always are in the spotlight, the desire for freedom can become an obsession.

William Wyler's direction is flawless, the script is the perfect mix of humour and grace, the settings are absolutely stunning, the cinematography is wonderful, and the musical score by Georges Auric and Victor Young is sublime.

Besides from being charming, elegant, intelligent, and beautiful, Audrey Hepburn delivers a flawless performance as Princess Ann - unarguably her best performance -, and has made the character so touching, and realistic not only she 100% deserved the Academy Award, but she is also the reason why the film had - and still has - a tremendous success. Gregory Peck is wonderful as the reporter Ann falls in love with. Eddie Albert gives a delightful performance - maybe a little painful for himself - as photographer Irving Radovich. 


Princess Ann: Your Excellency, I trust you will not find it necessary to use that word again. Were I not completely aware of my duty to my family and to my country, I would not have come back tonight or indeed ever again!

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