"Roman Holiday" (1953) - one of the best movies ever made

I’ve watched this movie with Gregory Peck and the exquisite Audrey Hepburn (in her first Hollywood film) about a zillion times. Maybe there are some people who don’t know that it’s the story of an overworked, burned-out princess who escapes from the palace for a day and has a wonderful adventure in Rome.

The first few scenes are a montage of “Princess Anne” from an unnamed country attending one official function after another, shaking hands with people, greeting them in their native languages, dancing at a ball (the scene foreshadows the ballroom scene in My Fair Lady, a mere 11 years later), losing her shoe under her voluminous gown, and smiling-smiling-smiling.

Then we see her later in her bedroom in a long nightgown (also reminiscent of the “I could have danced all night” scene in My Fair Lady), exhausted and cranky, and when she speaks, it’s impossible not to fall instantly head over heels in love with her:

Due to the fact that she was given a sedative to “calm her down,” once she slips away from the palace in the back of a laundry truck, she falls asleep on a garden wall, only to be discovered by reporter Gregory Peck.

I love the part where she gets her hair cut in a barber shop, rolls up her sleeves, undoes the top few buttons of her blouse, ties a cute scarf around her neck, and discards her court shoes for a pair of espadrilles from a street vendor. Suddenly, she’s a chic, gorgeous girl, loose on the streets of Rome.

Oh lord, it only gets better and better after that.

I was surprised when movie was rated MV for mild violence. I thought, what violence?? And then I remembered the brawl at the dance on the barge… Yeah, it’s a great movie.

I love that it didn’t go for the cheap happy ending, although I’m sure that would be satisfying, too. But to know that after her time off, she’s going back to being the hard-working princess, because that’s what her duty and honor require, is respectful to the character.


We like the film.

Eddie Albert looked good in a beard.

Read the trivia notes on IMDB-- full of little tidbits. When Gregory Peck stuck his hand in the mouth of that sculpture, he had told the director he planned on pulling the Red Skelton hand in sleeve gag, but no one told Audrey. Her yelp of dismay was sincere and unrehearsed.

Great movie. When I was in Rome, I just had to track down the Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) and stand in line to get a photo of me sticking my hand in it. Oh, and a fridge magnet!

too bad hallmark has co-opted that type of movie and made it pure schmaltz with has-beens and never was’s


go look up any movie on the Hallmark channel with the word “princess” in the title and plot after you’ve watched a few you’ll understand … if you haven’t od’ed on sap and still have eyes and ears left… bonus points if its one that happens at xmas…

I wasn’t questioning the veracity of your comment, just the gratuitousness.

Pretty good movie, although I’m not as rapturous about it as some. Hepburn is certainly adorable. I read that years later the studio considered doing a sequel with Hepburn and Peck, but they could never quite make it come together.

Good story, well told.

This is one movie I hope *never *gets remade. I shudder when I think of how the current crew in Hollywood would “update” it. Yeccch! :mad:

Whoops! I see on IMDb that there already was a remake, in 1987. Just glad I missed it.

Did Audrey Hepburn ever make a movie that was less than wonderful?

(In spite of the fact that Breakfast at Tiffany’s should have gone to Marilyn Monroe, and My Fair Lady should have gone to Julie Andrews.)

Roman Holiday is one of my favorite movies. The 2 leads were perfect in it. The studio wanted Cary Grant originally but he turned it down.

Gregory Peck insisted they put Audrey’s name up on the posters with equal footing to him despite being a Hollywood newcomer. He may have said, “You have to put her name up there, she’s going to win the Oscar.” She of course won the Oscar.

Throughout the years, here and there, a aqua or teal Vespa scooter shows up for Romantic rides in movies, shows and books.

Audrey wasn’t a complete unknown when she won this part, she was known for great reviews on Broadway as “Gigi”. But that was far different level of fame from Elizabeth Taylor who was the first choice for the role in Holiday. Thankfully Taylor was unavailable.

She made at least 2 movies that were less than wonderful. Green Mansions, where she is seriously miscast and the movie was pretty bad and War and Peace which just isn’t very good in the end. She & Henry Fonda are both fine in it but the very long movie just isn’t really entertaining or compelling.

While Capote might have preferred Monroe, the *Breakfast *was better for changing Holly into Audrey. Now if only they didn’t cast Mickey Rooney it could have been perfect.

As to My Fair Lady, it would have been better with Julie Andrews, no question, even Audrey admitted to that. But on the scale of “fair”-ness the producers chose looks over voice. While Julie was pretty, she was not Audrey.

Two For The Road.

It wasn’t a great movie, but I have a soft spot in my heart for it. Good song.

“Perhaps Your Highness would accept these photographs as a souvenir of your trip to Rome?” (I hope my memory is working on this one.)

Great movie. I think I have both Roman Holiday and Sabrina on the same DVD somewhere. I should pull it out and watch both again.

I never saw it, but I did see the one in 1994.

That scene clearly inspired another classic of the hand-in-the-hole trope:


I recall liking *Roman Holiday* up to the point Audrey gets her hair cut, not so much after that. I prefer *Funny Face* (Hepburn's best movie, imo) and *Love in the Afternoon* (my personal favorite Hepburn film).