Movie Review: Roman Holiday
On my list of best classical romance movies for V-day is a popular, although relatively unknown to younger viewers, film featuring two classic stars, Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. The film is actually Hepburn’s first Hollywood movie–who actually had a poor audition but got the part due in to her unique looks. However, Peck is a well established mid-30s Hollywood star who was already featured in other classics such as Twelve o’Clock High.
Possible spoilers but not really.
The Princess is tired of having no fun, so she goes out on the town but has taken sleeping medicine. She passes out on the sidewalk where a reporter picks her up and tries to convince a taxi driver to let her sleep in the back until she wakes up, but he doesn’t want to. Peck takes her home to his place and lets her sleep on his couch while he sleeps in the bed. When he returns to work the next morning he finds out the girl is in fact the princess. He makes a $500 bet he will get an interview with the princess and an additional $5000 if it is an exclusive. The princess acts like she is just a schoolgirl away for a couple days, so Peck tells her he sells chemicals. The two then have a day out on the town along with Peck’s friend, who just so happens to be a photographer.
Like many films during this time period (1950s), Roman Holiday‘s direction, music, and acting stood the test of time. Actually, if this film was able to use today’s camera most audiences wouldn’t tell the difference. Instead, the film features the classic black and white reel (which in my opinion was a great choice compared to the alternative at the time–full disclosure, I love black and white films).
Peck displays his Hollywood genius, but the real star was Hepburn who ended up taking the Oscar for Best Actress. We also can’t forget the great job Eddie Albert (Green Acres) did as the photographer. Albert was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. The film was also nominated for several other categories like Best Director, Best Art direction, Best Cinematogrphy, Best Editing, Best Picture, and Best writing. Generally I don’t put too much stock in the winners or nominees, but this film really does deserve the nominations and wins.
An overall great performance by both the actors and techies. Four stars!