Thursday, February 25, 2010
With the Oscar's being about a week and a half away, I thought I would lighten things up and continue with my classic movie reviews.
Today is an ode to one of my all time favorite actresses, Audrey Hepburn.
If there is indeed somebody out there who doesn't love this lady, get yourself to a doctor. Quick.
What are you waiting for?
I bring you 1953's 'Roman Holiday' for which Ms. Hepburn was awarded the best actress Oscar.
Audrey Hepburn plays Princess Anne (of an unspecified country) in Rome for a press conference.
Enter dreamy Gregory Peck (::le sigh::) playing lowly reporter Joe Bradley, whose mission is to get an exclusive on Princess Anne.
Every moment of Princess Anne's day is scheduled with obligations to her royal duties -- when all she really wants is to have a taste of freedom and what it's like to not live in the scrutiny of the public glare and be attended to every moment of the day.
Rome just may be the ticket to her grand escape.
Feeling quite anxious and exhausted from her first day in Rome, the royal doctor gives her a sedative to help her calm down and sleep.
Before the sedative has a chance to take hold, she sneaks out of the royal embassy and wanders the nightly streets of Rome where Joe then finds her fast asleep on a park bench.
At first, Joe does not recognize her as the very subject he was in Rome to cover and get an exclusive story on.
He offers 'Anya Smith' -- as she introduces herself to him -- money for a taxi home home but she insists that she simply be dropped off at the Coliseum.
However, feeling a sense of responsibility for this seemingly lost girl, he takes her back to his apartment instead where she gets a good nights sleep in his bed leaving him to spend the night on his sofa.
The following morning, while she slumbers, he speaks with his editor by phone in which he makes up his 'exclusive' on Princess Anne in order to bide his time to find out more about this strange girl in his apartment. When the editor then reveals to Joe that the embassy announces that the princess has 'fallen ill' (hence not wanting to alert the media of her M.I.A. status) thus canceling all her public appearances, Joe puts two and two together realizing that Princess Anne is not ill but is in fact in his apartment.
He decides to play along with the 'Anya Smith' identity in order to gain her trust to truly get that exclusive. He has his best friend and photographer, Irving (played by Eddie Albert), follow them to get the pictures needed for his story.
They spend the day wandering Rome (where she changes/modernizes her clothes and hair), dancing on a boat, visiting the Trevi Fountain and, of course, delighting audiences with the famous 'Mouth Of Truth' scene.
Naturally, they fall in love and Joe has a change of heart about exploiting her, never revealing to her -- nor his editor, who suspects Joe knows of her whereabouts -- that he is aware of her true identity.
After a wild chase and an ultimate escape from the Government agents trying to recover her, Anya then, perhaps sensibly, reluctantly and heartbreaking-ly says good-bye to Joe returning as Princess Anne to carry out her royal duties and appears before the press the following day...only to then find Joe and Irving amongst the media.
Irving, understanding Joe's feelings for her, decides not to use the photographs he took of her and Joe and instead gives them to her as a memento, alluding that her secret is safe with them.
Fun facts: The scene at the 'Mouth Of Truth' wasn't originally part of the script, but producer and director William Wyler decided to imitate a scene he created for his daughters while visiting the sites, where he pretended his hand was being eaten to amuse his little girls. It was then added to the movie where it became one of the most recognizable scenes in cinema.
Audrey Hepburn wore a size 11 shoe.
In addition to Audrey Hepburn winning best actress, 'Roman Holiday' also won for best writing and best costume.