A multiple Oscar-winner from 1953, “Roman Holiday” is best remembered as the film that launched Audrey Hepburn like a bottle rocket out of an empty Peroni.
This charmer plays like a modern fairy tale. On an official visit to Rome, the lovely Princess Anne (Audrey Hepburn) feels cooped up and bored in her lavish hotel suite. One night, she slips out incognito to sample the “real” Rome.
Reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) happens upon her, and at first thinks she’s an innocent waif lost in the big city. When he finally realizes who he has in his midst, Joe knows he’s got the scoop of his life. But given his growing feelings for Anne, can he really bring himself to exploit the situation? Of course not! This is Gregory Peck – he couldn't exploit a broken ATM spitting out 10,000-Lire notes, much less a pretty young girl.
Nominated for ten Oscars, "Holiday" was a European coming out party for cinematic debutante Audrey. When the film won three, including a shiny Best Actress for newcomer Hepburn, it was a golden confirmation of Audrey's brilliance. Watch for Eddie Albert in a hilarious, Oscar-nominated turn as Joe’s side-kick photographer, willing to put his friendship above certain financial and professional gain.
Speaking of sacrifice, during the shoot, star Peck took director William Wyler aside, and asked that Hepburn’s name be put above the title, next to his. “Willie," Peck said. "I know she's going to be a star and win the Oscar. Her name belongs up there.” An unusually generous move, it also reflected keen judgment, as everything Greg predicted came to pass.
Watch this film, and you’ll understand why.