I’ve always gotten this confused with Charade (starring Audrey Hepburn with Cary Grant) and Holiday (starring a different Hepburn with Cary Grant). This one has no Cary Grant at all, just boring ol’ Gregory Peck. But Audrey is charming, and Greg is better than I’ve ever seen him, and this movie lives up to its lovely reputation.
Audrey is a princess hating her European press tour, so she sneaks off after receiving a sedative and is found, presumed drunk, on the street by noble newspaperman Greg. He shows her around Rome the next day, pretending not to know her identity, while he and cameraman Irving (Eddie Albert, the husband in Green Acres) sneak photos and pre-sell their exclusive story. But after getting to know her better, Greg respects her privacy and withholds the story, giving her the photos as souvenirs.
I’ve seen few Gregory Peck movies (Guns of Navarone, Cape Fear, Spellbound) and none in the last 15 years, so maybe he’s not so bad and I’ve had him confused with Gary Cooper or James Mason. Hepburn won best actress in this, her debut film, and it was nominated for damn near everything else but From Here to Eternity won the rest. We saw the 2002 restoration with then-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo’s names in the opening titles. Coincidentally, a Trumbo bio starring Bryan Cranston as the Roman Holiday writer was playing next door.
Watched for Shadowplay’s Film Club, where you can find an excellent summary and valuable comments by regular readers, plus less-valuable comments by myself.
A step down from Disney’s recent Robin Hood in Roger Miller music contributions and in novelty voice characterizations, but two steps up in every other respect. I think David didn’t want to set expectations too high for this one, so I was prepared for a middling semi-romance with clunky action bits, but the action was clunky on purpose (Robin’s not a young lad anymore), the romance is fully there, and I felt the whole thing came together beautifully.
Sets its tone in the first scene: aging, disillusionment, violence (King Richard has turned murderous tyrant), with a hint of the supernatural (a blind man throws an arrow from far too great a distance straight into Richard’s neck). Prince John (now King, and played by Ian Holm in his only scene) and the Sheriff (played by Robert Shaw and his scary eyes, one of his last films) are still in charge. Marian (Audrey Hepburn’s return from retirement) has become a nun. Friar Tuck (TV star Ronnie Barker), Will Scarlett (Denholm Elliott of Brimstone and Treacle) and Little John (Nicol Williamson, later Merlin in Excalibur) happily follow Robin’s renewed, somewhat obligatory-seeming, fight against the sheriff and eager new deputy Ranulf (Kenneth Haigh in cool leafy armor).
Sean Connery (right between James Bond and Time Bandits) and Richard “Dumbledore” Harris as King Richard are both excellent in scary, unpredictable ways. Whenever I thought the movie might drag, whether the final battle-of-champions evoked The Postman/Gladiator-type cheesefests or the plot seemed headed towards a Prince of Thieves action spectacle, it’d either take a left turn or just cruise through on charm, throwing out hints of humor when necessary. Whole movie is a treat, really, with one of the most moving endings I’ve seen in a while.
I like how the end credits disclaimed that “some of the characters and incidents portrayed and some of the names used herein are fictitious”… not really any kind of disclaimer at all.
I liked this a whole lot, unexpectedly. Starts out in crisp black and white with moonlight shining on Audrey Hepburn’s mooning face, and only gets better. Not as much clever dialogue as Indiscreet, but a higher-quality film overall with just as much starpower, in its way – young beautiful Audrey versus super-suave Humphrey Bogart. Nominated for a pile of oscars, but trounced by On The Waterfront. Remade in the 90’s for some silly reason.
Audrey is the chauffeur’s daughter at the mega-rich Larrabee estate, has always been in love with wild, womanizing William Holden (normal-looking white guy from Sunset Blvd. and Executive Suite). She goes to Paris for two-year culinary training, comes back all fashion and sophistication. Holden falls for her before she even gets home – her dream come true. They go out, and dance at a family party, but he is supposed to marry a hot girl from another rich family as part of a family business merger (Larrabee develops super plastic made of sugarcane and her family owns a cane plantation) so big brother and super business-whiz Bogart incapacitates Holden by tricking him into sitting on wine glasses, then takes Audrey out for a few days to keep her away until the wedding. One place they go: a play of The Seven Year Itch, which is the next film Wilder would make.
But Audrey is awesome, has glowing moonlight cat eyes, and is now a master chef, so Bogie falls for her himself, and at end he cancels all appointments to catch up with the boat aboard which he’s shipped her off to Paris. Romantical!
This is now the latest Bogart movie I’ve seen – he’d be dead in under three years. Normal-looking William Holden is apparently a huge star, but I can’t say he stood out in this… certainly likeable enough. Head chauffeur John Williams had juicy roles in two Hitchcock movies around the same time, later in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter as Tony Randall’s boss who dreams of being a gardener.