Roman Holiday

  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Producers: William Wyler
  • Writers: Dalton Trumbo, Ian McLellan Hunter amp John Dighton
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

Ann (Hepburn) is a royal princess of an unspecified country. She is on a widely publicized tour of several European capitals, including Rome. One night, she rebels against the strenuous demands of her official duties, where her day is tightly scheduled. Her doctor gives her a sedative to calm her down and help her sleep, but she secretly leaves her country’s embassy to experience Rome by herself.

The injection eventually takes effect and she falls asleep on a bench, where Joe Bradley (Peck), an expatriate American reporter, meets her. Not recognizing her, he offers her money so that she can take a taxi home, but a very drowsy “Anya Smith” (as she calls herself) refuses to cooperate. Joe finally decides, for safety’s sake, to let her spend the night in his apartment. He is amused by her regal manner, but less so when she appropriates his bed. He transfers her to a couch without awakening her. The next morning, Joe wakes up late and, leaving the princess still asleep, hurries off to work.

When his editor, Mr. Hennessy (Hartley Power), asks why he is late, Joe lies to him; he claims to have attended a press conference for the princess. Joe makes up details of the alleged interview until Hennessy informs him that the princess had suddenly “fallen ill” and the conference had been canceled. Joe sees a picture of her and recognizes the young woman. Joe and Hennessy end up making a bet that Joe can get an exclusive on the princess.

The next day, Princess Ann appears at the delayed news conference, and is surprised to find Joe and Irving among the members of the press. Irving takes her picture with the same miniature cigarette lighter/camera he had used the previous day. He then presents her with the photographs he had taken that day, as a memento of her adventure. Joe lets her know, by allusion, that her secret is safe with them. She, in turn, works into her bland press conference statements a coded message of love and gratitude to Joe. She then departs, leaving Joe to linger for a while, contemplating what might have been.

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