“Roman Holiday” – Love in Old Decorations

Roman Holiday


Title: “Roman Holiday”

Release Date: 1950

Director: William Wyler

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert




It was a film that captivated audiences with an interesting plot, wonderful outdoor settings, and above all, the unparalleled role of the rising star of Hollywood – Audrey Hepburn.

William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” (1953) opened the door to Audrey Hepburn’s career. Undoubtedly, she is the main asset of the film; no wonder then that the actress received an Oscar for her leading role debut. “Roman Holiday” is a romantic comedy about a funny episode in the life of a respectable princess who comes to the eternal city for a courtesy visit. Rome is the last stage of her journey across Europe, but unexpectedly it will take a special place in beautiful Anna’s heart. It turns out that the young aristocrat, tired of her diplomatic duties, decides to take a break and, disguised as an ordinary girl, get to know Rome on her own.

On the princess’ way stands handsome American journalist Joe Bradley (played by Gregory Peck), who not only rescues the girl from trouble, but also shows her all the charms of the ancient seat of the Caesars. The spice of the whole event is added by the fact that Bradley does not act altruistically. Together with his photographer friend Eddie (Irving Radovich), he meticulously documents the whole trip, hoping to gain sensational material that will provide them with a lucrative salary.

Roman Holiday movie review

“Roman Holiday” – Audrey and Rome

Rome is not just a backdrop for the events in “Roman Holiday”, but becomes a character in its own right. Magnificent shots of the cityscape include the most characteristic elements of the topography, such as the Coloseum, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps and the famous Mouth of Truth, according to legend, which dispenses justice to liars. We see a cheerful, sunny city by day and an extremely romantic one by night.

Rome appears on the one hand as an image of the majesty of history, on the other as a space of carefreeness and freedom. Both these facets of the city are perfectly reflected in the heroine herself – Audrey Hepburn is the embodiment of class and good manners, but also the personification of youthful charm and naivety. Princess Anne enjoys things like eating ice cream on the street and changing her majestic hairstyle for a modern twist. Hepburn’s performance as the princess was phenomenal. Her petite figure, noble facial features and genuine girlish charm make Anna a real and delightful character.

“Roman Holiday” – the luxury of love

“Roman Holiday” is a kind of paean to ordinary life. The film is an ironic reversal of perspective – the heroine doesn’t dream of being a princess at all, but on the contrary, she wants to cast off the burden of the crown. Anne’s fate – constant speeches, visitations and stiff balls – seems indeed daunting. The simplest pleasures are completely unavailable to the heroine. The greatest luxury is love, which the heiress to the throne certainly cannot afford.

Roman Holiday 1953 film analysis

A feeling free of diplomatic calculation is part of the order of a holiday trip. It is only a short episode, after which it is necessary to return to reality. “In life you can’t always do what you want” is the key phrase in which Anna and Joe summarize their engagements. However, a brief pre-marital meeting has a powerful impact on the lives of both characters. Joe gives up selling Anna’s privacy, while the princess gains independence and maturity. While in the opening scenes we see her as a spoiled spinster, in the finale the heir to the throne exudes true majesty. She does not allow herself to be led and has her own opinions. She becomes a real woman.

Love is always worth experiencing, even if it lasts only 24 hours, it can change our fate, says William Wyler.