Hollywood Classics. Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. Movie Review by Dewey Edward Chester.
Hollywood Classics. ROMAN HOLIDAY. Movie Review.
This Romantic Comedy stars Gregory Peck as an expatriate newspaper reporter in Rome. He’s on his way home to prepare for a press conference the next day with the Royal Crown’s, Princess Anne.
Audrey Hepburn, Peck’s co-star, is Princess Anne, traveling on a publicized tour of Rome. She’s frustrated with her schedule and secretly slips away to experience the city alone.
Peck discovers her asleep on a park bench, and not recognizing her as Princess Anne, offers money so she can take a taxi home.
But “Anya Smith,” as she calls herself, refuses to cooperate, so Peck decides, for safety’s sake, to let her spend the night with him. He’s amused by her regal manner, but less so when she climbs in his bed.
The next morning he discovers he has slept through his scheduled interview with Princess Anne, and hurries off to work, leaving Anya Smith asleep.
Peck lies to his newspaper Editor of the Rome ‘Daily American,’ Mr. Hennessy—-claiming to have attended the press conference for Princess Anne that morning.
Peck continues with his lie, making up details, until his Editor informs him the event had been cancelled because the Princess was ill.
Peck sees her picture and realizes who is in his apartment, and quickly seizes an opportunity. He proposes an exclusive interview for $5,000. His Editor, not knowing the circumstances, agrees to the deal.
Peck hurries home to offer “Anya” a trip around Rome. He also invites his photographer friend, Irving, to tag along and secretly take pictures. However, Anya cannot be controlled, declining his offer and leaving him.
Enjoying her freedom, on a whim, she gets her hair cut short in a barbershop, and then accidently meets Peck on the famous Spanish Steps of Rome. This time he convinces her to spend the day with him.
Riding on a scooter, they experience the wonderful sights together, including the “Mouth of Truth,” a face carved in marble which is said to bite off the hand of liars.
When Peck pulls his hand out of the mouth, it appears to be missing, causing the Princess to scream out. Peck then pops his hand from his sleeve, and the pair roar in laughter at the trick.
During the course of the day, Peck’s Editor learns the Royal Crown Princess has not been ill at all, but “missing,” and he suspects Peck knows where she is. He tries to get him to admit it, but Peck has decided not to write the story and asks his photographer friend, Irving, to cooperate.
The next morning, the Princess appears at the press conference to answer questions about her sudden disappearance, and is alarmed to find Peck and Irving there who might expose the truth.
Discreetly, Peck presents her with the photographs as a memory of their adventure together. He lets her know by allusion her secret Roman holiday is safe with him.
In turn, she works into her press speech a coded message of love for him.
The Royal Princess departs, leaving him to linger, wondering what might have been.
Gregory Peck’s contract gave him sole star-billing, with newcomer Hepburn listed much less prominently in the credits. Halfway through the filming, however, he suggested to Director William Wyler that he elevate her to equal
billing—-an unheard-of gesture in Hollywood.
Filmed on location, Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress; the screenplay and costume design also won.