Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 


A European Princess on tour in Rome secretly escapes from the tedium of royal duties and meets a newspaper reporter who is hoping for an exclusive story. They fall in love, but know there is no future in it.

Review by Louise Keller:
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are just magic together in this delightful romantic comedy, which is perhaps one of the happiest and most enjoyable films ever made. The world fell in love with newcomer Hepburn, in this her first starring role as a modern princess, bored with her royal duties. We quickly see how tedious the beautiful Princess Ann, finds her role. She flips when given her next dayís schedule; the injection given to her by the royal doctor is meant to calm her down and give her a good sleep. But when she looks out the window and sees normal people having fun, she decides to escape the confines of the embassy by climbing into a catering truck. The medication quickly takes effect, and she is reclining on the ledge of a fence ranting and raving when Joe Bradley (Peck), an American newspaper man heading home after a poker game - finds her. He thinks she has had too much to drink, but eventually takes her to his apartment where she spends the night on his couch. This being 1953 and he being Gregory Peck, he sleeps alone, but when she wakes up, she doesnít know that. (Well, she does know itís 1953Ö)

For security reasons, the officials keep Princess Annís disappearance a secret, and issue a statement that she has taken ill. When Joe Bradley sees the Princessí photo in the paper, he realises who she is, and hopes to get an exclusive story. There is an absolutely delightful scene when Joe Bradley introduces the Princess to cameraman Irving, played to great effect by Eddie Albert. Irving is sure that he recognises the Princess, and Joe does everything he possibly can to make sure that Irving doesnít voice his suspicions. (This includes spilling his coffee, and kicking his chair over in a hilarious scene.) The two men give the Princess a tour of Rome she will never forget, with Irving taking photos with his tiny camera, disguised in his cigarette lighter. We watch the transformation as Princess Ann relaxes, has her hair cut, eats ice cream, gets flowers, takes a motor cycle ride and quickly learns the joys of freedom, while seeing the sights of Rome.

Entirely filmed and recorded in Rome, William Wylerís direction makes good use of the sights. There are some memorable cameos such as the non-english speaking Italian taxi driver who wants Gregory Peck to take the sedated Audrey Hepburn from his taxi, so he can go home to his bambinos. And watch out for that lovely moment when Gregory Peck dares Audrey Hepburn to place her hand in the Mouth of Truth. Legend tells that whoever has told a lie will have his/her hand bitten off. Fabulous fun, easily stands up to be enjoyed over and over again.

Email this article


(Black & White)

CAST: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn

DIRECTOR: William Wyler

SCRIPT: Ian McLellan Hunter & John Dighton (from a story by Ian McLellan Hunter)

MUSIC: Georges Auric

STUDIO: Paramount Pictures

YEAR: 1953

RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes



AWARDS: Academy Award Best Actress (1953), Audrey Hepburn

RRP: $24.95

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020