Roman Holiday marks its Blu-ray debut through the “Paramount Presents” line and the film looks as good as possible with more than adequate lossless audio along with most of the bonus material being ported over.
— Paramount Presents —
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Paramount | NR – 118 min. – $29.99 | September 15, 2020
Date Published: 09/09/2020 | Author: The Movieman
Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 3.0/5
Note: This portion has been copied from my 2008 DVD review.
Roman Holiday isn’t just a notable film for introducing the world to one of Hollywood’s most glamorous starlets in Audrey Hepburn (a true American sweetheart), but the film itself is one of my personal favorite romantic comedies, partially because it doesn’t follow the rom-com trends of today. It’s also a fantastic film in the same way as a modern film like Lost in Translation. As much as I loved the two leads played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, part of the film’s greatness is the beauty of Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto), the same goes for Roman Holiday, and an excellent travelogue for Rome, Italy. Shot on location in Rome, a first for a major studio (or one of), the movie, and Hepburn, captured the hearts of movie-goers worldwide garnering 11 Academy Award nominations (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor) and winning 3 including Best Actress for Audrey Hepburn).
The story is about Princess Ann (AUDREY HEPBURN) who is on a European tour with a final stop in Rome, Italy. There her duties include meeting with dignitaries and answering questions from the press and other princess obligations. But she wants very much to experience the sights and sounds of Rome and so she sneaks out one night and, under the influence of some sleeping medication, is found by reporter Joe Bradley (GREGORY PECK). Believing she’s just drunk and not knowing where to leave her, he takes her back to his bachelor pad. The next day Ann awakes to discover she did run away and when Joe finds out who she really is, he sees this as his opportunity to make it to the big time. With the help of photographer and friend Irving (EDDIE ALBERT), they set to expose the princess with scandal. Of course, as Joe and Ann take in Rome and all its beauty, they soon fall for one another.
Roman Holiday is probably one of the most charming and in the end, unassuming romantic comedies. You have two leads in Gregory Peck and Hepburn who are absolutely fantastic together on screen, driven primarily by Hepburn’s undeniable beauty and charisma. By most accounts Hepburn was a good person, modest and beautiful, but not in the classic Hollywood standards like Marilyn Monroe. She had this every person quality about her that transcends even today, and probably more so. Even Gregory Peck saw the star quality Hepburn possessed asking producers to put her name above titles alongside his.
What also makes this movie interesting is there is a certain innocence that you rarely see in cinema today or even in real life. The idea of a paparazzi-like reporter who gets the story of his lifetime and he actually considers not running it? In this cynical world, I doubt a movie like this could play to today’s audiences who, while eating up the cookie-cutter romantic comedies, would not buy such a situation, even by the genre standards. So I guess it’s because of the purity of this film and its star for the reason why it’s one of my personal favorites. It’s not a difficult story and the cynic in me still wonders why it was nominated for Best Picture — modern cinema it seems a story has to convey some sort of social message —, but I can watch this every year and it still holds as a fantastic picture.
Roman Holiday is a timeless classic that is truly one of the best romantic comedies with one of the photogenic female leads…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.25/5
This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover with a front fold-out with the movie’s poster artwork. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on Roman Holiday (6:59) has the veteran film critic talking his love for the movie and why it has stood the test of time.
Behind the Gates: Costumes (5:31) — Tour at Paramount in the costume department.
Rome with a Princess (8:57) — A look at the various filming locations around the city.
Audrey Hepburn: The Paramount Years (29:55) is about the actress’s films at the studio.
Dalton Trumbo: From A-List to Blacklist (11:55) — 2008 featurette on the writer’s rise and fall during the “Red Scare” which denied him writing credit (and an Oscar) for Roman Holiday.
Paramount in the ‘50s (9:33) is another look at the history of the studio during the 1950s including Roman Holiday.
Remembering Audrey (12:12) — Tribute the legendary actress including interviews with friends and family.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
|Roman Holiday makes its, surprisingly enough, debut on Blu-ray through the “Paramount Presents” line (#9) and has been given a 1080p high-definition picture, remastered from a 4K film transfer, presumably from the original film negative. As it is, this black and white presentation does look great, detail is sharp with the fine grain and noise being retained, and the black levels are stark with no apparent or obvious signs of film damage.|
AUDIO – 4.0/5
|The movie comes with a Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Mono track which was more than serviceable with dialogue coming through well and clear enough although I did notice some minor hissing or noise so it’s not perfect, but perfectly fine for a movie that is mostly dialogue with some adequate depth for the music and score or the sounds of a busy Roman city streets.|
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Roman Holiday marks its Blu-ray debut through the “Paramount Presents” line and the film looks as good as possible with more than adequate lossless audio along with most of the bonus material being ported over, it’s an added bonus the movie is charmingly excellent…
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.