ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953)

A fairy tale for adults, this romantic comedy was a reverse Cinderella story for its leading character, Princess Ann, and a real one for then-unknown Audrey Hepburn. Her role as a European royal who finds love with a handsome reporter (Gregory Peck) when she sneaks out to taste life among the common people made Hepburn a star and brought her the Best Actress Oscar. Director William Wyler inherited the story from Frank Capra, who had seen the picture as another It Happened One Night (1934) until its writer, Dalton Trumbo, was blacklisted. Wyler had no trouble with Trumbo, although the credit had to go to a front, Ian McLellan-Hunter, who then won a writing Oscar for Trumbo’s work. Wyler fought to film on location, making this the first US film shot entirely in Italy. To keep costs down, however, he had to cast an unknown in the female lead, quashing plans to team Peck with Jean Simmons or Elizabeth Taylor. Fortunately, Hepburn delivered the kind of luminous performance that made her not only a star but a fashion icon. The star, the clothes and the Eternal City are more impressive than ever in this world premiere restoration courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

(d. William Wyler, 118m, Digital)

World Premiere Restoration