2021 Blind Spot Series: Roman Holiday

 


What I knew going in:
I had seen parts of the film before.

Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is bored on her tour of Europe and sneaks out one night to enjoy herself. She then meets an American expat Joe (Gregory Peck) who at first doesn't recognize her. They spend the following day together.

I've been meaning to "finish" this film for ages. Whenever I watched it before, I always missed the beginning. I had no idea what the circumstances where that Ann ends up sleeping in Joe's apartment, so it was nice to have some context there.

This film is delightful. I can see why Peck was so convinced Hepburn was winning an Oscar after working with her on this. She absolutely shines as Ann. She's innocent, fun, and very endearing. That's pretty remarkable considering early on we meet her having a tantrum. Peck of course is smooth as always. His characters are always so likable.

I really wish this was in color. I know that's a bit sacrilege to say with older films but I would've loved to see Italy in its full glory here.  That would be my only "complaint" so to speak. Otherwise, I enjoyed this breezy watch and this is available to steam currently on Amazon Prime.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I haven't worn a nightgown in years." - Joe (Gregory Peck)

Comments

  1. I love this film and fell into dreamland with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn shines as the young princess. The ending is not a happily Ever After which is perfect for this comedy that turns into something so bittersweet. I love the black and white since many scenes make me think of modern pictures I have seen that are in black and white but I can see this in colour too but never colourized!! That finishes the film.

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    1. I really liked the ending too. That was one of the strongest points. You make a good point about it reminding you of pictures!

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  2. I do love this film. I can see why you would want it in color but I think the black-and-white photography adds a richness to the film. It's what a romantic film should be and I hope there's a great Blu-Ray for that film.

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    1. I suppose, but I just wanted warm colors to go along with it. lol

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  3. I watched it on my own and then made my husband watch it with me the next week. I cried at the ending both times! It's such a lovely film.

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    1. I loved the ending, it felt so different and even though it's bittersweet, I'm glad they went that route. I told my husband to watch it too lol

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  4. It is a lovely charming film and a great introduction for Audrey to the wider world, up to this point she had done a few small parts in British films of little distinction, and she lucked into the role.

    Wyler had wanted Jean Simmons (she would have been somewhat different of course but wonderful) however her studio refused to lend her out, much to her chagrin (the backstory beyond that is very complex but a tale for another time).

    Audrey and Gregory have such an easy companionable camaraderie (shared with the justly also nominated Eddie Albert as Irving) that just pulls you in.

    It's not sacrilegious to wish certain older films be in color, as long as you don't feel that way about all of them. So many classic directors and their cinematographers knew how to use black and white to really punch their films across but there are those that because of setting, mood, opulence or what have you that cry out for the vividness of color.

    Every time I watch Ziegfeld Girl for instance with its massive sets and musical numbers (not to mention Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart, Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr in the cast) I enjoy it but in the back of my mind I'm always thinking "Why didn't MGM film this in color?" This movie doesn't have that pageantry but the elegance of Rome makes you want to see it in all its natural beauty. When the film originally was conceived (with Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in mind!) it was planned to be in color but to be shot on the backlot. Wyler held out for location filming but the only way Paramount would spring for that was if it was shot in the less expensive black and white.

    I chuckled when you mentioned finishing the film, I've had a couple of movies like that and you get such a sense of satisfaction when you're able to finally give them a back to front view. For years I caught pieces of North by Northwest at various points in the narrative but never enough to put it all together. Finally I rented it and when it was over I realized I'd seen all but about two minutes but now it all made sense!! :-)

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    1. I feel a bit better about wanting it in color now after you said that. I don't want every old movie I see to be in color, but sometimes ones like this come along and just feel a bit sad it wasn't shot that way.

      I thought she partied too hard and THAT'S why she was there..nope. lol

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  5. I'm REALLY glad you liked this. I love watching it with my wife. And you're right, that bittersweet ending was the right route to go. Big fan.

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