Review by Chastity Campbell
Stars: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert 11, 2008
Director: William Wyler
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 118 Minutes
Release Date: November
ďThis is very unusual, Iíve
never been alone with a man before, even with my clothes onÖwith my dress off,
itís most unusual!Ē
Roman Holiday is a wonderful trip through a day in
the life of an unhappy princess. Whatís
to be unhappy about if youíre a princess, you ask? Well, there are speeches to memorize, places to be, people to
meet, hands to shake, bottles to break, and donít forget, you must drink a
glass of milk and eat a cracker before bedtime every day!
Roman Holiday is the story of a young princess who
is fed up with all of her obligations and duties.
She runs off in the middle of the night and winds up in the arms of a
newspaper reporter who desperately needs a good story idea.
Gregory Peckís character doesnít know it, but the woman who appears
to be drunk and trying to sleep on the sidewalk is really the story heís been
waiting for. He takes the princess
home with him and lets her stay the night at his place.
Now, this is the early 50s people, so no worries; they keep it clean.
She is, however, infatuated with his pajamas, and heís got a woman
asleep on his bed that he doesnít quite know how to handle!
The next day arrives and our happy reporter isnít happy
because he overslept and missed the interview that was set up for him with the
princess. He heads into work
leaving his mysterious guest asleep, and finds out that his guest is none other
than the princess herself. He
calls up his carefree cameraman pal, played by the loveable Eddie Albert, and
they plot to get pictures of her so they can print them in the paper.
Unfortunately for Peck, a day with a beauty like Hepburn
causes him to fall in love with her. He
has lied to her about his true identity much the same as she has lied about her
own. He takes her on a tour
of Rome for the day and they have more fun, and get into more trouble than you
can imagine. This movie really was
an amazing breakout film in terms of the story itself. You can definitely see in some of the more modern films
today the influence that stories like Roman Holiday had.
This film was the beginning for Audrey Hepburn's movie
career. It was nominated for 10
Academy Awards, and Hepburn easily walked away with one for her amazing
portrayal of a fed up princess. This
movie is a wonderful addition for just about anyoneís DVD library, and I know
it will be watched again and again for years to come.
This movie was transferred to DVD in a standard 1.33:1 full
screen format. Each frame of the
film during the restoration process was meticulously gone over to make sure 99%
of the dirt and graininess associated with older nitrate based films was
removed. The movie itself is
in black and white, which was a refreshing change for me. Iím not a big black and white fan but this one due to the
romantic nature of the film allowed for the imagination to work on filling in
the colors from my minds eye.
The audio for this movie was transferred into a digital
format and some of the high end hiss and white noise, was removed.
It was a Dolby Digital Mono transfer and I thought it sounded quite nice.
There were only a few places where the background music overwhelmed the
dialogue, but the music was so beautiful, you wonít really notice it all that
much. The sound effects were
sometimes a bit over the top, but otherwise, it was a good blend for the over
The disc includes "Audrey
Hepburn: The Paramount Years", "Remembering Audrey", "Rome With a Princess",
featurettes on writer Dalton Trumbo and the restoration efforts, and looks at
Paramount's costumes and the studio in the 1950s.