Saturday, August 21, 2010

#170 Roman Holiday (1953)


Director: William Wyler

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams

It's hard to imagine anyone not knowing who Audrey Hepburn is, but it just-so happens that was just the case at the time of this film's release in 1953. This is the film that gave her a huge Hollywood break, and rightfully so. I imagine it's the same film that sent so many young women to get their hair chopped in the mid 50s.

It's a story a lot like Aladdin? Ha. Princess Jas.. errr... Princess Anne escapes from the drudgery and pressure of her royal life to play on the streets of Rome with a common boy, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). Little does Anne know that her charming, American host to Italy is actually a reporter who plans on making a good deal of dough from the story of his day with the missing diplomat. When he realizes her charm, he finds the thought of hurting her by publishing the story impossible. Instead, they enjoy their day amongst the sites and thrills of Rome and cherish their few and fleeting moments together. Despite the fact it would be impossible to continue a relationship beyond those precious 24 hours, the two begin to fall in love.

The story is simple and silly, and the film is filled with slapstick comedy. Hepburn plays the part of the doey-eyed beauty so well, and whose arms are better than Peck's for damsel-in-distress rescuing? When you see one of these classic love story black-and-whites, it is easy to fall in love with it. When you see ten of them, you start to notice the predictable swings of the plot-line, but you still can't help but be charmed. Perhaps this film falls into the latter category for me (no, it was admittedly NOT full of surprises), but it was nevertheless an incredibly cute and enjoyable watch. Worthy of its ten Oscar nominations? Mahaps. Worthy of watching 10 more times before I die? Yes.

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