The story "Roman Holiday" was written by Dalton Trumbo and adapted by Ian McLellan Hunter and John Dighton for the screen. William Wyler picked up the project as director and produced a classic film that became one of the biggest hits of the 1950s. With a budget of only $1.5 million, the film raked in nearly $20 million worldwide.
The entire story takes place in the city of Rome, where a princess named Ann is visiting the local royalty. One night, she decides to sneak out of the palace and goes on a bender. She ends up passed out in the middle of town, where she is found by an American reporter named Joe Bradley.
Bradley takes the princess back to his apartment, not realizing who she is at first. Eventually, he discovers her true identity and tries to keep her in his apartment so he can get an exclusive interview. However, she manages to get out and goes on a tour of the town, but Joe follows.
Joe recruits his photographer buddy to take pictures of her day on the town with a hidden camera. They rejoin her and tour the city on a Vespa, showing her all of the attractions. Eventually, however, the secret police hired to find her do so and she realizes that she needs to return to reality.
Joe Bradley is played by Gregory Peck, who takes on the role with vigor. His photographer buddy, Irving, is played by Eddie Albert. Princess Ann is played by Audrey Hepburn, in her first major film role.
The film was made using a slightly wide camera and has great picture quality. The print that I watched on DVD was in excellent shape and looks and sounds brand new. The entire film is in black and white, but it does not detract from the film at all.
Since the setting of the film is in Rome, it gives the movie some additional appeal. Many important areas of the ancient city are shown and integrated into the film. One particular scene at a tourist attraction was ad-libbed by Peck, who pretended that a face carved into a rock bit off his hand. The reaction of Hepburn is priceless and quite amusing.
Overall, I thought this picture was great, albeit not the most in depth film ever made. As a romantic comedy, it will not shed any new meaning into your life, but it will entertain you. This film is worth watching for the radiant Audrey Hepburn's performance alone.