ROMAN HOLIDAY: The Essentials
On a visit to Rome during a goodwill tour of European capital cities, Princess Ann momentarily plays hooky from her royal duties. Running away from her regimented schedule, the princess wants nothing more than to blend in and experience the Eternal City like an ordinary citizen. When she falls asleep on a park bench, she is rescued by Joe Bradley, an American reporter assigned to do a story on her - only, he doesn't know that the beautiful young girl asleep in his apartment is the princess herself! Once he realizes his good fortune, Bradley decides to get his story by taking the unsuspecting princess on a Roman adventure that she will never forget. What he doesn't plan on is falling in love with her.
Director: William Wyler
Producer: William Wyler
Screenplay: Ian McLellan Hunter, John Dighton, (From a story by Dalton Trumbo)
Cinematography: Franz Planer, Henri Alekan
Editing: Robert Swink
Art Direction: Hal Pereira, Walter Tyler
Music: Georges Auric
Cast: Gregory Peck (Joe Bradley), Audrey Hepburn (Princess Ann), Eddie Albert (Irving Radovich), Hartley Power (Mr. Hennessy), Harcourt Williams (Ambassador), Margaret Rawlings (Countess Vereberg), Tullio Carminati (General Provno), Paolo Carlini (Mario Delani), Claudio Ermelli (Giovanni), Paola Borboni (Charwoman), Alfredo Rizzo (Taxicab Driver), Laura Solari (Hennessey's Secretary), Gorella Gori (Shoe Seller), Heinz Hindrich (Dr. Bonnachoven), John Horne (Master of Ceremonies).
Why ROMAN HOLIDAY is Essential
Roman Holiday is the film that introduced Audrey Hepburn to the world and made her an instant star. The Belgian-born actress was a total unknown before Roman Holiday, having acted in only a few bit parts in European films and some minor roles on stage. Audiences everywhere fell in love with her, and she won an Academy Award for her performance.
Roman Holiday marked the beginning of Audrey Hepburn as a bona fide style icon. Her brunette hair and slim figure gave her a unique gamine look that set her apart from other actresses of her time. Her haircut and clothes in Roman Holiday influenced fashion, and women everywhere began to copy her look.
Roman Holiday is often hailed as the perfect film romance. A modern twist on the Cinderella story, the movie is a simple tale of a young princess incognito, experiencing the world on her own.
Director William Wyler insisted on shooting Roman Holiday on location in Italy, something that was quite rare to do at the time. Though Paramount offered to build sets, Wyler was adamant that no set could ever capture the ancient beauty of the Eternal City. Roman Holiday gave American filmgoers a chance to get an insider's glimpse of Rome at a time when it wasn't that common to travel internationally. According to a July 1952 New York Times article, Roman Holiday was the first Hollywood film to be shot and processed entirely in Italy.
Roman Holiday marked the first comedy that William Wyler had made since The Gay Deception in 1935, and it marked a triumphant return to the genre for him.
Roman Holiday was nominated for ten Academy Awards, and won three, including Best Actress (Audrey Hepburn), Best Costume Design (Edith Head), and Best Original Screenplay (Ian McLellan Hunter/Dalton Trumbo).
by Andrea Passafiume