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Roman Holiday - The Centennial Collection
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Gregory Peck plays an American newspaper reporter living in the Eternal City. We first see him playing poker with his cronies, and losing. His relative "poverty" and Princess Ann's fabulous wealth and station present a formidable barrier to their ever finding true love and marital happiness. Part of the fun of the script is in seeing how this will play out and how their differences are resolved in the end. I will give you a small hint: very carefully!
The script comes from a story by Dalton Trumbo who is perhaps best known as the author of the anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun. Trumbo was one of the "Hollywood Ten" who were blacklisted from working in the industry during the excesses of the McCarthy era. He went to Mexico and continued working on film scripts but under assumed names or had his scripts presented by "fronts." In this case Ian McLellan Hunter fronted for Trumbo and won an Academy Award for the story. Later the Academy awarded Trumbo a posthumous Oscar for his work.
Long time Hollywood studio director William Wyler directed the film entirely on location in Rome. He has a formidable list of credits going well back into the silent film era including such outstanding films as Wuthering Heights (1939), The Letter (1940), The Little Foxes (1941), etc. His clear directorial style and his attention to detail work well here. The sets in Rome are charming, especially Peck's bachelor apartment.Read more ›
It is one of my all-time favorites, one of the films I could watch several times, without getting bored.
I don't think that the plot is important here, but the way the actors performed and the place where the story is set.
In Rome, a European princess manages to escape the rigid and boring life and have and unforgettable experience, living for one day as a normal person. She does all the things that she was not allowed to do before, such as cutting her hair, eating ice-cream, strolling down the streets and why not, falling in love with an ordinary man.
This is the role that brought Audrey Hepburn an Oscar and made her a well-known star.
It is the natural and ingenuous performance that makes her such a charming and unforgettable character, a graceful presence on the screen.
Her companion is Gregory Peck who has also a great performance and makes the film even more delightful. He plays the part of a young and charming journalist, looking for news that might increase sales of his newspaper and bring some money in his pocket.
The DVD includes also a section with a kind of "making of": interviews of the people who participated at the shooting, memories, etc. This is even more interesting, as you will have the chance to listen to the people who were involved in this project, and the stories behind the scene. You will also see that time did not alter too many of Audrey Hepburn's features and even at an older age she still looks refined and elegant.
I have one complain about this movie: 118 minutes seemed to be not enough for such a romantic story. I believe that everyone of us would like to dream about what is like to be lost in the "eternal city" for one day and enjoy the simple things of life.
The plot? Princess Ann (we're never quite sure which country she's princess of) is enduring a grueling tour of European nations. Weary to death of the royal treatment, one night Ann escapes into the Roman night. Unfortunately for her she had a while earlier been given an injection to help her sleep. The drug takes effect while she's out and about, and reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) discovers her asleep on a street bench. Believing she's inebriated, and being a gentleman, he tries to deliver her safely to her home. That plan fails and, being a gentleman, Bradley arranges for the young stranger (he doesn't learn she's the missing princess until the next scene) to sleep on the sofa in his small, one-room apartment.
Cary Grant was originally offered the part of Joe Bradley and he turned it down. One of the dvd's specials tells us he refused the role because he didn't want to play second fiddle to an ingenue. Maybe so. It's tempting to decide, on the basis of this scene, that Peck was woefully miscast. Ann, nearly asleep on her feet, asks Bradley "Will you help me undress?" A natural enough request coming from royalty, I guess. Bradley fumbles around with her neck scarf, unties it, hands it to her and says "You can handle the rest."
Peck plays the scene for a smile. Grant would have made it one of the highlights of the movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No question it was tough being royalty in say the 16th, 17th,18th, 19th centuries especially in places like England, France and Russia where you very likely might lose your head,... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Alfred Johnson
One of my all time favourites. Hepburn and Peck are very young and their chemistry just crackles!Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
My children all love it too! It is a timeless classic with great humor as well as a profound message.Published 7 days ago by Srarh
Very diverting and proper. It ended as it should have with decorum and respect.Published 10 days ago by Lisa Reed
Really great story -- watching it 63 years after it was made. I would really have liked to see it in color. Read morePublished 23 days ago by GulliverLouie
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