William Wyler’s Roman Holiday is a romantic, bittersweet account of 24 hours in the life of a young European princess (Audrey Hepburn).
On a state visit to Rome, she rebels against the constraints of her royal existence and goes AWOL.
Drowsy and disoriented she is found by American newsman Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) who recognises her as the potential scoop of his career and so shows her the sights of the Eternal City.
As the two tour the city, they realise they are falling in love, but the realities of their respective situations may make such a relationship impossible.
So they enjoy the city and all its charms, knowing that this short time they spend together may be the last.
Audrey Hepburn captivated both Wyler and her co-star Gregory Peck during the arduous location filming in the heat of Rome, and she received a rapturous reception from cinema audiences.
The daughter of a Dutch baroness and an Anglo-Irish banker, Miss Hepburn spent the war years in Nazi-occupied Holland, often in near-starvation.
After the war, she pursued her ambition to dance until, believing herself too tall for the world of classical ballet, she joined the chorus of a London musical.
This set her on a path which culminated in her being chosen by the French novelist Colette to play the title role in Gigi on Broadway. Her success gave Paramount executives the confidence to cast her.
That confidence was rewarded when Hepburn won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Roman Holiday.
It’s a pity that Paramount only assigned black & white film stock to the production but, then, most of the budget probably went on the airfares.