Classic of the Week: Roman Holiday (1953)

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Roman Holiday is a 1953 English and Italian romantic comedy film directed by William Wyler and stars Gregory Peck as a reporter and Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess out to visit Rome on her own.

Prin ess Ann (Hepburn) on a state visit to Rome, becomes angry with her life crammed with schedules, she leaves her country’s embassy. Her sleeping medication kicks in and she falls asleep on a bench, where Joe Bradley (Peck), an American news reporter finds her without recognizing who she is. Thinking she is inebriated, he lets her spend the night in his apartment.

The next morning, Joe hurries off late to work and gives his editor, Mr. Hennessy wrong information about a press conference with the princess. When Hennessey tells him the job has been canceled and shows him a newspaper article about her sudden illness, he realizes who is really in his apartment. Joe says he wants to get an exclusive interview with the princess and Hennessey agrees.  Joe runs home and hides the fact that he is a reporter and suggests that he show his visitor who changes her name secretly to Anya, around Rome.

Although this story has much secrecy, it is still a fun film. It is also funny and sweet, but not over the top hilarious or lovey-dovey. It has the right amount of humor and romance. Peck and Hepburn are a wonderful pairing, that come together again wonderfully in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey’s character in Roman Holiday wasn’t your typical curvy Italian sexpot, she was very thin, with no butt, no breasts and no curves, but she was she was still beautiful and classy, the perfect princess. Gregory was equally perfect for his character.

You start out hating Joe Bradley, but as the film progresses, you end up really liking him. Princess Ann is a lovable character, who just wants to experience “normal” life, even if just for a little while. Both Joe and Ann do fall in love, but do they stay together, even after she returns to princess life? You must watch the film to find out.

This is a lovely movie in many ways. It warms your heart, as well as makes you angry and sad. This is a film you must see in your lifetime, that is how truly fantastic it is, one that can be watched over and over again without getting old. 11+ 5/5

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