Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Roman Holiday (1953)

Last Thursday I had my first day completely off from work with nothing to do but relax so I enjoyed watching some Audrey Hepburn movies on Netflix while blogging.

Believe it or not I'd never seen Roman Holiday before or even knew about the plot! But I enjoyed it immensely and since I don't often review black & white films I decided to review this one.

How can you go wrong with a super sweet story and the ever lovely Audrey Hepburn?

Story: Princess Anne embarks on a highly publicized tour of European capitals. When she and her royal entourage arrive in Rome, she begins to rebel against her restricted, regimented schedule. One night Anne sneaks out of her room, hops into the back of a delivery truck and escapes her luxurious confinement. However, a sedative she was forced to take earlier starts to take effect, and the Princess is soon fast asleep on a public bench. She is found by Joe Bradley, an American newspaper reporter stationed in Rome. He takes her back to his apartment. The next morning Joe dashes off to cover the Princess Anne press conference, unaware that she is sleeping on his couch. Once he realizes his good fortune, Joe promises his editor an exclusive interview with the Princess.

Costumes: Audrey Hepburn's style is always classic and this film has some of the prettiest outfits! I loved her long hair, probably more than her short hair, but her new haircut is very cute.

Scenery: This film was shot on location in Rome and there's some pretty amazing sites and places that they visit. The last scene in the grand place is quite stunning!

Music: The music didn't really stand out to me but I know that it was good and fit the film. The scene with the wild ride through Rome was such fun and I'm sure had some fun music.

Actors & Characters:
  • Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann - Although she is prim and proper she longs for adventure, she longs to live! A very sweet but interesting character and she grows into a truly beautiful character. Audrey Hepburn was a gorgeous actress and always makes me smile and feel deeply for her characters. She is brilliant as always in this film!
  • Gregory Peck as Joe Bradley - Joe is not your typical ruthless American newspaper journalist, he is very caring and kind. He helps Ann find humor and fun in life and falls in love with her but doesn't demand anything of her. He is so honorable and gentlemanly, I liked him right away! I'm not sure I'd ever seen Gregory Peck in anything (I must have at some point in my life) but he was so charming and quite handsome. 
  • Eddie Albert as Irving Radovich - Joe's photographer friend who follows Ann around taking fun photos of her. His scenes are rather hilarious! Eddie Albert stared in Green Acres and in several other TV shows and movies and has one of those faces I always recognize but a name I can never remember! I don't always like the characters he plays but it was fun to see him so young, with a beard and wearing sandals.
  • Margaret Rawlings as Countess Vereberg - Princess Ann's personal secretary type, she organizes all of her events. She looks familiar but I still can't place the actress. 
  • The Barber - I can't remember the name of the barber in the film but he was such a fun character, I loved the scene where they are dancing and he stops to rearrange her hair! What a neat guy!

My Thoughts: It was actually kind of nice not knowing anything about the plot because I really got to enjoy the story as it unfolds. Audrey Hepburn's character is very easy to like and her story is fun. It's also neat to see an old-fashioned story where even though the guy and girl are left alone together there's no inappropriate scenes even implied! Joe Bradley is such a gentleman and doesn't take advantage of Princess Ann's youth and inexperience, indeed he protects her on every available occasion. The ending was a real surprise to me, not at all how I expected but it made a lot more sense than the more sappy romances we see today (like The Princes and Me). It was a fun film, not my favorite Audrey Hepburn film (Charade is my favorite, followed closely by How To Steal A Million) but a lovely fun story and I'll definitely watch it again sometime soon!

Recommendations: This film has no inappropriate scenes, language or themes so it is completely appropriate to show to children. They don't make movies with sweet stories like these anymore so films like this deserve to be watched over and over again. I highly recommend Roman Holiday, it's a wonderful film!

Have you seen Roman Holiday?

Which Audrey Hepburn movie is your favorite?


Charity U said...

This one's on my to-see list -- it looks like such a cute film! Glad you enjoyed it.

Hamlette said...

I love this movie! You really need to see more Gregory Peck movies, as he is wonderful and handsome and... yeah. I recommend To Kill a Mockingbird and The Yearling and Captain Horatio Hornblower and Captain Newman, MD. They're all pretty family-friendly, and he's marvelous in them.

Jessica said...

I watched this a few months ago. I enjoyed most of it, but the end disappointed me, I must say. I was hoping for and expecting a different outcome.

Marian said...

I'd heard of this before but knew nothing about it - great review and photos! Gregory Peck's one of my favorite actors, so I'd like to see this sometime. :)

Laura said...

Hi Miss Laurie!

Thanks for reviewing this film - I saw it for the first time not long ago and quite enjoyed it! The ending surprised me, but once you've seen it it makes sense. I loved Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird and Roman Holiday - he always seems to play such gentlemanly characters!

Thanks again for the review and lovely pictures!


beastsbelle said...

I really enjoy this movie. It's one I've shared with my daughters, and they often ask me if they can watch "the Princess Ann movie". ;) My middle daughter was NOT happy with the ending, though. While I wish they could have worked out a way to change the ending, I do appreciate its realism and poignancy.

I've also seen Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird", and I've seen Audrey in "My Fair Lady", "Sabrina", and "Charade". I love the acting styles of both and would love to see them in other things. :)

One of my favorite fun facts about this movie is the scene where they put their hands into the "Mouth of Truth" statue. Gregory apparently didn't tell Audrey that he was going to pretend to lose his hand. The reaction they caught on camera was completely genuine. ;)

Anonymous said...

This movie.... SO MUCH ADORBS. That's really all I can say. :)

Robert said...

I watched this one a while ago but it was one I really couldn't get into.But I should give it another try.

I liked Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina-which is another movie I'm do to watch again.A good one with Gregory Peck is The Gunfighter a 1950 western.

Ivy said...

I've seen this movie and truly enjoyed it. I have only watched a few Audrey Hepburn movies and this one is my favorite of hers so far.

I too liked how Joe and Irving remained real gentlemen throughout the film.

Great review :)

Carol Joy said...

This and Charade are definitely my favorite Audrey movies!! I grew up watching it, & I love love it!! I know the ending's a little disappointing, but I love it, it often makes me cry, it is so well done. She just got her one day--a Roman Holiday. It would be nice if it could have worked out differently, but realistically, nope. So I adore it, and love it for all the reasons everyone's been saying. I'm SOO glad you got to see it!

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