According to my page-a-day History Channel calendar, today is the 56th anniversary of the release of Roman Holiday. By this point everyone should know my love of Audrey Hepburn and my belief that she is the epitome of class and grace. (Not to mention also strong, beautiful, a great mother and friend, and a wonderful humanitarian.)
This was the second Audrey movie I ever saw, after My Fair Lady. It's almost odd that I love it so much because for all my romantic cynicism -- and I have a lot -- I generally despise movies that don't have happy endings. (Life is hard enough, when I watch a movie, I want euphoria dammit!) But I think this film, ending and all, is perfect. All you need to know is captured in the look exchanged between Ann/Audrey and Joe/Gregory in the final scene.
When I went to Rome in June 2005 I set out to re-create a few of my favorite scenes from the movie...
Eat gelato on the Spanish Steps a la Princess Ann. (Also one of my official life goals.)
Place my hand in the Bocca della Verita (the Mouth of Truth)
Find a restaurant on the water like the one where they dance, kiss, and escape from her handlers.
Have a run-in with the Polizia. (Ok, so Ann and Joe got arrested, while me and my friend, Ashley, were merely two of about a dozen people soaking our feet in a fountain when we were politely asked to leave by the cops. It's not that different.)
Going through the movie tonite, and then my pictures, I realized just how truly timeless the city is. This isn't so much surprising, seeing as how the Coliseum has been around 2,000 years, just nice in a world I feel changes too much and moves too fast. Between Audrey in 1953 and me in 2005, it's the same.
Bridge of Castel Sant Angelo
Castel Sant Angelo
Ruins at the Forum
I didn't get to do everything I wanted the first go around. I tried to cut all my hair off like Ann, but the few places I tried were too much. I also didn't get to ride a Vespa, smash someone with a guitar, or find my own Joe Bradley. (Or even Joe's apartment, Via Margetta 51.) But that's alright, "Rome, by all means, Rome," will still be there.
All color photos mine.
All black and white photos taken from the Paramount Pictures film Roman Holiday. Dear Paramount: I'm just a fan, please don't sue me.