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Why is the Movie Roman Holiday Still Relevant?

poster of movie roman holiday
Photo credit: IMDB

This blog post is the fifth in the February #WriteAPageADay campaign.

Who doesn’t like to go to the movies! Ever since I was a kid, I have loved going to the movies. My father was a big fan of movies, so I guess I got the addiction from him. Every weekend we would see at least one movie, if not two! Night shows were common too! 😊 I love all kinds of genres from horror to children’s movies. Of course, like every female, I like romcoms a lot. Of all the romcoms I have seen two are my all-time favourite – Roman Holiday and Serendipity. I really can’t decide between the two. But since I saw Roman Holiday first as a teenager and was impressed by it, let’s talk about it! Read on to know why I think this movie is still relevant today.

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck star in this beautiful 1952 film about a lonely Princess. It’s an American film shot entirely in Italy. Gregory Peck is a journalist looking for the big break. They meet accidentally when the bored and sheltered Princess is in disguise as an ordinary person. She wants to explore the world but her busy schedule doesn’t allow it and neither does her security. Luckily, she meets the right man, Gregory Peck, a gentleman all the way, despite being a journalist.

Spoiler Alert!


Princess Ann is bored with her life of tight schedules and properly orchestrated appearances in her Royal life. She longs for the life she sees beyond her window. After throwing a temper tantrum and getting sedatives from the Royal doctor, she rebels and sneaks out on the back of a truck. She ends up sleepy (the sedatives!) and lies down on a park bench. Joe Bradly wanders through the park after a night of cards with friends and finds a well-dressed and seemingly well-educated woman lying on the park bench. Being the gentleman, he offers to take her home but due to the sedatives, she passes out in the taxi. Joe takes her to his apartment and lets her sleep it off. It’s only the next morning after he meets with his editor that he realizes that the woman sleeping in his apartment is Princess Ann, whose Royal tour he was to cover. Joe Bradley realizes that this could be a big story for him, a life-changing scoop

Photo os audrey hepburn with short gamin hair
why is the movie roman holiday still relevant today?
Photo: (Credit: Far Out / Wikimedia / Christopher Czermak / Mathew Schwartz)

He decides to let her go to explore the city while he along with his photographer friend Irving Radovich, decide to follow her. Intrigued by her ingenue, Joe watches as she goes through activities that are adventures for her, but simple everyday activities. Quite by mistake he meets her again and takes her on a grand tour of the city. As he takes her around the romantic city of Rome they fall in love. By the end of the day, her security detail finds her and after a small mele, Joe and the Princess escape. Sadly, they realize that the adventure is at an end. Neither of them confesses who they are. Joe does not go through with his scoop.

He attends the press conference of the Princess in Rome along with his photographer Irving and makes it clear to her that they will never reveal what happened during the twenty-four hours of her “illness.” They also return all the photos they had secretly taken of her on her unofficial tour of Rome. She in turn guardedly and indirectly, shares that Joe is special to her as part of her press conference but she must answer the call of duty. Poignantly she walks away teary-eyed as Joe sadly watches her disappear forever from his life.

The unsaid feelings and the call to duty of the Princess and the heroism of the journalist Joe are beautifully captured in the movie. The ending is e tear-jerker for sure. Your heart longs for the two of them to be united. The movie is said to be based on the actual adventures of Princess Margret of England.

Awards for this Movie:

Audrey Hepburn played her role so well; she won an Academy Award for it. The movie had ten nominations for Oscars and won three for Best Actor, Best Original Story and Best (B/W) Costume Design. It was Audrey Hepburn’s debut movie in the USA. Before that, she had acted successfully in Europe. Her hairstyle and costumes were raved over and talked about for years. Even today, when you watch this old film, you realize what the fuss was about. Oh, to be as chic as Audrey Hepburn! A star was born and Hepburn went on to do many other starring roles.

poster of movie roman holiday
why is the movie relevant today?
Photo credit: Spotify

Why This Movie is Still Relevant Today:

As a teen in the 70s, somehow the idea of sacrifice and duty above all else stayed with me. I romanticized it for sure. It is not hard to imagine that people in the nineteen-fifties would sacrifice themselves and live up to ideals. After all, World War II proved that people did do that back then. Gregory Peck’s heroism of sacrificing his scoop for love is the symbol of a bygone era. I do wonder whether anyone could or would sacrifice their personal feelings for nation and duty with today’s everyone-for-himself attitude?! Especially during a pandemic, are you prepared and are you doing everything to help mitigate the disease from spreading? This could mean getting vaccinated, wearing a mask or isolating when we are sick. There are so many ways to do your duty to your community and country, this is just one simple example.

Do let me know your thoughts on this – would you just do what’s convenient for you, because there’s always someone else to do what’s needed?

This blog post is part of the #WriteAPageADay campaign by

2 thoughts on “Why is the Movie Roman Holiday Still Relevant?”

  1. I remember watching the film and feeling so terribly bad that they couldn’t be together. I am an absolute sucker for happy endings even now, so this wasn’t what I wanted. And yet the rational part of me siad it couldn’t have been any other way. Like you said, it was an unforgettable film.

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