Roman Holiday is a fantasy where people hiding their true identities from each other say things like charmed as a greeting and drink champagne and cold coffee at sidewalk cafes in Rome.
The question is when Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) and Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) will have to reveal what they know, or suspect, about each other after a day on holiday (and falling in love) in the city.
Bradley is an American journalist in Rome assigned to interview the princess on her schedule, only to encounter her at night after she escapes from her palace in a sleeping-medicine induced stupor.
Despite her confused state, Ann really did want to escape her life of meet-and-greets and fancy gowns for a day to do things she’s always wanted without following orders.
At first, Bradley has a different motive for spending time with Ann — a news article that could take his career to the next level — but that is soon lost when he starts to fall for her.
Peck and Hepburn shine together on screen as they see the sights in Rome.
As happy as they seem, however, the sense that their relationship building in one day is too good to be true is not that far away.
Overall, the music and scenery in this film will take you away as well as the dialogue between Ann and Joe Bradley throughout their day together.
A couple of my favorite lines:
Joe: “You’re not what I’d call trouble.”
Ann: “Would you be so kind as to tell me where I am?
Joe: “Sorry honey, but I haven’t worn a nightgown in years.”
Ann: “I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.”
Roman Holiday, the first film in 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die I watched, put Hepburn on the Hollywood map and she earned an Academy Award for her performance.
Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted screenwriter using Ian McLellan Hunter as a cover, (and the subject of Trumbo in theaters now) was eventually recognized for his work with an Academy Award as well.
1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die contributor Joshua Klein writes that Peck and Hepburn (originally supposed to be Elizabeth Taylor and Cary Grant under director Frank Capra) made the film as strong as it remains today and Trumbo’s work on the story is just as influential.
Director William Wyler ensured the film was made in Rome for it to live up to its name and keep the fantasy going, if only for a moment in time.
4 out of 4 stars.
“Nerdism is an expression of enthusiasm for the thing that you love …I appreciate that definition, of course it is so broad to be meaningless. Whatever nerdism is, it is defined by enthusiasm and wanting to share that enthusiasm with other people.” – John Hodgman on the Nerdist podcast in December 2012.