Roman Holiday

I watched Erica Hill on the CBS Early Show yesterday talking about how everyone flocks to summer movie sequels.  She was wearing black.  She told us that her mom passed along advice that she got from Oprah about yelling “Fire!” when being attacked.  Of course, since everybody knows about that trick after all these years, it’s totally ineffective.  You have to think of something else to yell out.  It seemed that everyone was cozy in the studio while Rebecca Jarvis was busy working on reports from Oklahoma.  I went over to the office and gradually got some grading of papers done.  My brother sent me a message detailing some of the side effects from his medication.  It was very alarming.  As I was walking down the street towards my apartment, I saw one crazy, disturbed person purposely bumping into people walking in the opposite direction.  Some people take their anger at the world on other people in the most idiotic ways.  I’ll have to keep my eyes out for freaks like him from now on.  I bought some groceries.  I thought about the performance of my class.  Not enough of them showed much heart or desire to accomplish anything meaningful.  I checked my mailbox, and it was stuffed with two packages, the Dizzy Gillespie, and the Blu-ray copy of “Reds.”  For a while, I was afraid that they were going to send me a DVD copy of “Reds.”  The reason I ordered the Blu-ray was that it appeared to have gone out of print, and at the rate that I’m aging, who knows if I’ll live to see it reissued?  I cooked a steak, watched the news, and went over to the record store.  After looking at a lot of stuff, I decided on Ron Sexsmith’s “Long Player Late Bloomer” and Black Uhuru’s “Chill Out.”  I walked over to the movie theatre where “Roman Holiday” was playing.  There were no trivia contests or games last night.  Unfortunately, a guy with a big mouth had to take the seat next to me just as the movie was starting.  During one scene where Audrey Hepburn becomes hysterical from all the stress in her life, this guy next to me yells out, “Just punch her,” which caused a couple of people nearby to shush him.  I could not believe that a person who has lived as long as he has could have blurter out such an inappropriate, thoughtless comment.  His girlfriend must have been mortified, unless she’s dumber than he is.  The stars of “Roman Holiday” were Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, and Eddie Albert.  Audrey made me think of Grace Kelly, and a bit of Meg Tilly and Winona Ryder in various shots.  William Wyler was the director.  He had scenes where characters were intoxicated, and the situation was played for humor, and the same thing happened here with Audrey Hepburn shot up with a sedative from her doctor.  She was Princess Ann, from a country that might have been the one in “The Mouse That Roared,” as far as I could tell.  She’s tired of the demands of her life and sneaks out.  I don’t know how she could just happen to run into a newspaper reporter, but she does.  It’s Joe Bradley, the Gregory Peck of the years before “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  Ann says at one point that she’s never been alone with a man in a room before.  We get to see some of the sights of Rome, although it’s not a view that is like Fellini’s.  It’s more like a tourist visit.  Ann gets into increasing mischief as the day goes on, when riding on a moped and when dancing on a barge.  She makes a statement with her hair, the way that women often do.  I didn’t think it was more attractive, but at least she didn’t become like Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby.”  Before the movie started, a couple of people behind me were talking about how Audrey Hepburn was still a fashion icon today.  If I were sitting there with someone, I would have talked about anything but Audrey Hepburn.  I’m tired of listening to people making the obvious comments all the time.  It seemed that everyone’s favorite moment in the movie was when Joe stuck his hand in the mouth of the sculpture La Bocca della Verità, which was supposed to bite the hand off people who were liars.  It did make him laugh, too, along with Ann’s use of a guitar.  Eddie Albert looked so young and energetic, unlike the memory I have of him from the “Green Acres” TV series.  He was the photographer who was supposed to take the pictures to go with Joe’s article on Ann.  He used a secret cigarette lighter camera, like out of a James Bond movie.  I kept thinking that today he would have been able to take photos or video with different devices, instead of carrying a huge camera with a flash bulb that only works once.  He also wouldn’t have to leave to go to the darkroom to develop the photos.  It was hard to imagine that no one in Rome recognized this Princess, whose visit was supposed to be such a big deal.  I also couldn’t see how, by today’s standards, any reporter could be concerned with protecting this young woman’s privacy.  We get more than we ever need to know about Kate and her sister Pippa on the news.  Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for this movie.  I thought she was not entirely convincing in a couple of scenes when she was complaining and was supposed to be drowsy.  The volume of the dialogue was too loud, blaring out in the beginning.  Was it the print of the movie?  Edith Head won an Oscar for the costumes, although I didn’t like I saw anything exceptional.  Dalton Trumbo won the Oscar for the screenplay, although under the name Ian McLellan Hunter, because he was blacklisted.  I guess there is something of himself in the story, with the hidden identities, and a decision not to expose another person.  I kept thinking about how various shots lingered on the people in a way you wouldn’t see in 2011.  Sometimes that was good, and sometimes it wasn’t.  I thought the last scene, with all the members of the press introducing themselves, went on for too long.  Please wrap things up.  Whenever you see the deleted scenes of a DVD, the director always says that a scene was cut for reasons of length, and to pick up the pace .  The ending has a bit of sadness, which I thought was a good change of pace in a comedy.  Of course, this wasn’t a classic screwball comedy.  There were no long end credits.  The reel just ended, like we were watching the movie in a school classroom during the 1970s.  The audience applauded, I took a quick glimpse at the guy with the loud, uncontrolled mouth so that I could avoid him in the future, and an old man sitting to my right looked at me and said, “I’ll see you next week.”

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