“Rome! By all means, Rome…”

Roman_Holiday_poster“I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live”. These the words of Princess Anne (Audrey Hepburn) after her 24 hour (give or take) adventure in Rome. With a man, I might add. Unchaperoned. Tsk tsk. This is Roman Holiday (1953).

Princess Anne is on a tight schedule of appearances and events during an official visit to Rome. Having had enough of this one evening, and being lured by the wonderful music and dancing outside the residence walls, she sneaks out to do exactly what she feels like doing for a change. However, the effects of the new drug she’s been given to help her sleep and be happy only kick in once she’s well on her way in this big city. Sleeping on a bench, reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck, ahhhh….swoon, as always) comes across her, mistaking her as being drunk. Sleeping off her “hangover” in his apartment (due to circumstances) as he rushes off to work to discover the identity of this woman. And, being a reporter, also sees this as an opportunity for his big story. Hoping for exclusive, personal insight into the princess he takes her out for the day with the pretense of doing something nice for someone. And of course, they fall in love…supposedly.

RomanHolidayI say “supposedly” because I’m not really convinced with this one. They have wonderful chemistry but for me, they part more with respect and possibly friendship rather than love. Maybe you might think differently. Even the ending, to me, feels less like lovers parting. More like her having grown from the experience. Anyway, doesn’t really matter as the focus is the wonderful Audrey Hepburn. She takes on this role so wonderfully… balances that naive girl with the groomed royal so well. And we sympathise with her…she just wants to live, to be left alone, to do what she wants. To experience the everyday like the residents of Rome do (actually, the city is irrelevant). I absolutely love watching her start to relax and have some fun. Especially at the dance down by the boats…ah, that guitar part is something to behold. Ms Hepburn is definitely deserving of her Oscar (Best Actress in a Leading Role) and Golden Globe (Best Actress – Drama) wins for this role. I can’t believe that Audrey Hepburn was supposedly a newcomer…wow, now that is an actress…or should I say artist?

RomanHolidayDirected by William Wyler, it also stars one of my favourite leading men…Gregory Peck. Oh, sorry…I got distracted there…Eddie Albert also stars. Oscars were also won for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story and Best Costume Design (I absolutely love the outfits). Oscar nominations also included Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Writing – Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Black-and-White) and Best Film Editing.

For some more posts on the wonderful Audrey Hepburn, head over to Sister Celluloid for her Audrey at 90: The Salute to Audrey Hepburn Blogathon

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38 comments

  1. Oh I loved this film! I agree with your take on the relationship I always thought it was just me though because I don’t tend to buy into the classic romances a lot. Now you’ve made me want to go and rewatch this one 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much for joining the blogathon! And you’re not alone in your thoughts about Audrey and Greg’s relationship; I felt the same way. It’s as if he meant the world — literally — to her. He opened her eyes and her heart to all the possibilities out there. I really enjoyed reading your take on it!

    Take care,

    Janet

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I LOVE this film so much. I also love that it brought Audrey and Gregory together and allowed them to become lifelong friends. I do think that Anne and Joe part both in love and as friends. They definitely love one another. I also feel that he has helped her find the courage and the strength to do her duty and be herself, and he loves her so much that he is willing to let her go.

    Audrey gives one of the most natural and effortless performances in film history here. It’s impossible not to love her or the film itself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts – I’d never thought of him having such an impact but now that you mention it…of course. Hmmm…I’m going to mull over this a bit more. Great points. And…maybe, this wasn’t the end…because of this pivot point they may have met up again sometime. When the timing was right. Sorry…I’m the hopeless romantic 🙂
      Have a wonderful week ahead.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great review! I think you share very interesting thoughts about the film (especially the friendship vs love thing). I love this film so much and Audrey surely deserves an Oscar as she was able to prove both her sense of drama AND comedy in a single picture.

    Liked by 2 people

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