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  • by David C. Terr

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    roman holiday movie posterTitle: Roman Holiday

    Director: William Wyler

    Starring: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

    Release Date: Aug. 27, 1953

    Running Time: 118 min

    Genres: Drama, Romance, Comedy


    Roman Holiday is a charming romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Audrey is delightful in her role as an unhappy princess who decides to take a trip to Rome and have some fun. Gregory Peck also delivers a great performance as her traveling companion.

    Plot Summary
    Princess Ann (Hepburn) is the princess of an unspecified country. She is on a tour of several European capitols, including Rome. Fed up with her royal duties, after given a sedative from her doctor she sneaks out of her embassy and decides to tour Rome on her own. Eventually the sedative takes effect and she falls asleep on a park bench, where Joe Bradley (Peck), an American reporter finds her. She tells him her name is Anya Smith. She tells him to take her to the Colosseum, but he decides to put her up for the night at his apartment, due to her condition.

    Joe goes to work the next morning. His editor, Mr. Hennessy, asks him if he attended the scheduled press conference with the princess. He lies and tells him that he had, whence Hennessy points out that she couldn't make it because she'd fallen ill. Joe sees her photo and realizes she's the same girl he put up in his apartment. Now Joe makes a bet with Mr. Hennessy that he can get an exclusive on her.

    Joe and Ann spend the next day touring Rome. As they tour, they end up falling in love, though they both know it cannot be. In the end, Joe decides against doing the exclusive on her. Joe meets her at a press conference the next day and gives her the pictures he took of her while they were together, foregoing the fortune he could've made from selling them.

    The Mouth of Truth
    The most famous scene in the movie is when they visit the Mouth of Truth (La Bocca della Verita), an Ancient Roman sculpture of a beast with a large mouth, which according to legend will bite your hand off if you tell a lie with your hand inside. Gregory Peck places his hand in the sculpture and delivers a line, then he pulls it out to reveal that his hand is missing. Audrey Hepburn screams when she sees this, then Gregory shows his hand, which he'd hidden up his sleeve. This scene was not rehearsed - it was a real practical joke played by Peck.

    Movie Clips

    Here's the original movie trailer.


    Here's the scene in which Joe takes the princess to his apartment after she's passed out.

    Here's the scene in which the princess gets a haircut.


    Here's the classic Mouth of Truth scene.


    Here's the parting scene near the end of the film.


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