Peck with the director William Wyler on the set of Roman Holiday, 1953.
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday.
Audrey and Greg in Roman Holiday.
A master craftsman of cinema they called him,
perfect visual stories Wyler would trim;
he went to Italy and shot in black and white,
even when he had Technicolor on his side.
It was about the day in Rome a princess spent,
(no duties, no speeches, no political events)
with a reporter trying to go back to the States
by getting a juicy scoop (he even made a bet!).
Blacklisted and arrested was the talented man,
who wrote the script about the princess Ann;
an Academy Award was announced,
but his name, Dalton Trumbo, was never pronounced.
Finding the main actors was hard:
Cary Grant didn’t want the part,
Jean Simmons was unavailable,
Wyler thought she wasn’t replaceable!
But a young actress did a screen test;
it shows a smiling girl stylishly dressed,
talking about her background and the war,
this was a presence no one could ignore.
Her name above the title requested Gregory Peck:
and “introducing Audrey Hepburn” it finally said,
her charming interpretation was a success,
it got the golden award and many articles on the press.
And Rome (“by all means, Rome”) was beautifully shown,
the Trevi Fountain, the Mouth of Truth, the Pantheon,
the Colosseum, Ponte Sant’Angelo and much more
were captured forever for the public to adore.
The love of the young couple was impossible,
so the way Trumbo and Wyler ended it was responsible:
Joe voluntarily loses his bet and Ann is irremediably gone,
only memories can make them go on.
(Oh, and Ann, Joe was right:
it was Shelley who wrote the quote you cited that night,
the first time you spent alone with a man,
when you were at Via Margutta 51)
Eddie Albert, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck for Roman Holiday.
In my country, Brazil, the Dia dos Namorados (Valentine’s Day) is celebrated on June 12, probably because it is the day before Saint Anthony’s day, known here as the marriage saint, when traditionally many single women perform popular rituals, called simpatias, in order to find a good husband or boyfriend.