Starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn with direction by William Wyler, this movie has one of the greatest romances ever depicted on screen. Hepburn is a young princess named Ann on a trip to a foreign country. However, she is constantly bored from the rigidness of her life. On a whim she escapes in the night and finds herself sleepily wandering the streets of Rome. An American journalist (Peck) happens upon the disorientated princess and eventually decides to take her in since she seems lost. Soon enough he figures out just who she is and decides to take her through Rome with a friend (Eddie Albert) so they can get a scoop. Together they take her through the city to explore and secretly take candid photos.
However, Peck soon finds himself falling in love and he cannot bring himself to submit the article. With the thanks of the princess, they are left with the simple satisfaction that they were able to spend the day together. Peck and Hepburn are both wonderful in this one and the story is heartwarming and funny.
I tried to figure out why it is always so enjoyable coming back to this film. Was it the romantic chemistry of Peck and Hepburn, the timeless setting of Rome? Or perhaps is it the direction by William Wyler, the screenplay by blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, or the support work of Eddie Albert as Irving? Undoubtedly all of these wonderful occurrences play some part in making this film a classic.
Most of all it struck me that much like Jacques Tati’s Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, this is not just a film. It is quite like a vacation for the audience and we get to enjoy it along with all the main players. We get the privilege of taking part in all the adventure and the laughs. By the end we don’t want it to end but like any holiday we must say goodbye and wait until our next vacation comes around. Thus, it seems that Roman Holiday never gets old because the audience is constantly looking forward to the time away in 1950s Rome with our romantic stars.