If you are looking for a nice romantic movie to watch that all ages can enjoy, I highly recommend Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
As the title suggests, the story is set in Rome and is filmed on location there. This was unusual for a movie from that decade, as almost all filming was done in studios. The outdoor locations are part of Roman Holiday’s appeal.
One of the reasons why this film works is because of the chemistry between the two actors. This chemistry happened both on screen and off. Hepburn and Peck formed a strong and enduring friendship that lasted long after the movie was released.
Hepburn won an Oscar for this role. The producers took a chance with her, as she was an unknown prior to the movie’s release. It certainly was choice that paid off.
Peck’s career was already well established, although his most acclaimed role would be playing the unforgettable Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. Hepburn, would go on to even greater fame, playing Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys.
Personally, I prefer her in this role. There is something about her innocence, and longing for a normal life, that I find very appealing. She manages to blend into society quickly, and develops a strong attraction to Joe. While some of us may dream of a life of wealth and privilege, she just wanted to be like one of us. Ann doesn’t seem to be very sophisticated, which could be due to her living such a sheltered life.
Gregory Peck was perfectly cast as her suitor. He’s one of the great acting legends, and this is one of my favorite movies of his. Knowing that he and Hepburn are the leads in this movie makes it irresistible to watch. While the story may seen farfetched, it’s a great escape, and fun to watch.
A Brief Review of the Story
Princess Ann is on a tour of Europe. She is tired of her responsibilities and demanding schedule. She wants to experience life on her own, and on an impulse decides to run away. Ann manages to escape. Shortly after she is discovered by an American journalist named Joe. He is unaware of her true identity at first.
He offers her shelter for one night. Then Ann leaves, wanting to be on her own. He manages to find her, and the two of them spend time visiting various places in Rome.
One of the memorable scenes is the one pictured here, where the two of them take a scooter ride in the heart of the city. Ann ends up having more fun exploring the city with Joe than she’s had for a long time She’s very grateful to him for his kindness.
The Princess has to decide which is more important; her growing feelings for Joe, or her royal duties. It’s a very bittersweet story and the ending is touching.
It is interesting to note that although both Hepburn and Peck were perfect in these roles, they were not the first choice of producers. Originally they wanted Elizabeth Taylor to play the Princess and Cary Grant to play Joe. Both actors turned the parts down.
Much as I like Elizabeth Taylor, I think Audrey Hepburn was the right choice to play the naive, charming Princess. This is a very enjoyable move that the entire family can enjoy.