William Wyler’s Roman Holiday, starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, arrives on 4K Ultra HD to mark its 70th anniversary.
In upgrading to 4K UHD, the film features a Blu-ray with over an hour of previously released bonus features. The release also includes a digital copy of the Oscar-winning classic.
Paramount wanted William Wyler to film this love story on their back lot but Wyler wouldn’t have it. Instead, everyone would head to post-war Rome where the city is as much of a character as Peck and Hepburn themselves. Hepburn’s performance as Princess Ann would win her an Oscar for Best Actress. The Oscar would also pave the way for Hepburn’s future career. In another universe, it’s quite possible that Elizabeth Taylor or Jean Simmons could have starred in the role. Overall, Roman Holiday earned 10 Oscar nominations, winning three.
The American Film Institute would later honor Roman Holiday as the 4th greatest love story in 100 Years…100 Passions. AFI also honored the film as #4 romantic comedy in the 10 Top 10
Roman Holiday was previously remastered from a 4K film transfer for the Paramount Presents Blu-ray in 2020 but it took a lot of work to get there. The digital restoration was also possible thanks to the Dupe Negative and a Fine Grain element. They’ve gone over every single frame in the film to remove the scratches, dirt, and other damage. The original negative, which had been processed at a film lab in Rome, was also in terrible shape to the point in which a Dupe Negative was required. In terms of sound, they also remaster the original mono track for the release since getting a 5.1 mix is impossible. The film is as director William Wyler would want us watching it today.
One of the nice things to enjoy about the 4K UHD release, just like the 2020 Blu-ray release, is that Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo gets credited on both the packaging and in the film. Trumbo was also blacklisted when the film was first released. The Academy would go onto produce a statuette posthumously in 1993. The WGA would also go onto restore his name to the credits in 2011. It’s great that both the Academy and WGA realized the wrongdoing from a dark period in American history. To see him get the credit on both the packaging and film is certainly a wonderful thing.
- Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on Roman Holiday
- Behind the Gates: Costumes
- Rome with a Princess
- Audrey Hepburn: The Paramount Years
- Dalton Trumbo: From A-List to Blacklist
- Paramount in the ’50s: Remembering Audrey
- Theatrical Trailers
- Four Photo Galleries
- The Movie
- The Premiere
DIRECTOR: William Wyler
SCREENWRITERS: Dalton Trumbo and Ian McHellan Hunter and John Dighton
CAST: Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn with Eddie Albert