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‘Roman Holiday’ is a delight

By Francine Brokaw community Columnist - | Sep 30, 2020

The 1953 film “Roman Holiday” is a treasure. From the Paramount Presents line of great films, this Blu-ray edition includes the classic film along with several additional features as well as a digital code.

The story centers around Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn), who becomes frustrated with the tight security around her and secretly leaves her country’s embassy. Reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) finds her resting on a bench and takes her back to his apartment. Later realizing who she is, he concocts a plan with his photographer friend Irving (Eddie Albert) to befriend Ann and get a wonderful story about a princess in disguise.

This is definitely a charming story. In the end, the princess realizes her duty to her family and her country and returns to the embassy where she continues on with her royal life.

The Blu-ray is filled with wonderful bonus features, including a brand new look at the film with historian Leonard Maltin. Maltin fills viewers in on the making of the film with tidbits about the story, Wyler, and the cast. His insights add to the background for viewers who will be enchanted by the facts and history of the production.

Other bonus features include a documentary about Hepburn’s history with Paramount Pictures as well as a biography about her life with those who knew her, including her son. There is another feature about the studio and a feature about Rome, the film’s fourth star. Hepburn took home the Oscar for her performance in the film and Dalton Trumbo won the Academy Award for writing (although he was blacklisted). Edith Head garnered the award for costume design, however, it was Givenchy who was Hepburn’s designer.

“Roman Holiday” was one of the very first movies to be filmed entirely on location. Director William Wyler insisted on making the movie in Rome. The film introduced Hepburn to audiences around the world.

In this year when Prince Harry and Meghan have escaped from their royal duties, they might want to take a lesson from Princess Ann. She knows her place in life, and although she had no say in her future, she exhibited a strong sense of duty to her country.

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