http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/wyler.htm
U.S.A. 1953

"Though Wyler generally liked to stick to the script, the location shooting allowed a great deal of room for spontaneity in order to take advantage of any wonderful new discoveries he happened to come across. “Filming in Rome in those days was marvelous,” said Wyler. “There were practically no automobiles, only Vespas. For every scene I could have had six locations, and each one was better than the other.” When he wasn’t making use of the beautiful Roman outdoors, Wyler used the newly renovated Cinecitta studios to shoot interiors.

A good example of this spontaneity while shooting is the film’s famous scene that takes place at the Boca Della Verita (Mouth of Truth), an ancient stone monument at the entrance of an old church. The legend of it said that if a liar put his hand inside the mouth, he would lose the hand. A truthful person, however, would have nothing to fear. Wyler said that he had gone sightseeing one day with his daughters to the monument and played a joke on them, sticking his hand into the mouth and pulling it out with his hand hidden under his sleeve. The joke terrified and delighted them. “So I thought there must be a place for this in the picture,” said Wyler. “Especially since it’s a story of two people who lie to each other.”

Excerpt from TCM located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: January 1, 1953

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DVD Comparison:

Paramount -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. Paramount (2-disc Centennial Collection) -  Region 1,4 - NTSC

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Paramount Collection - Region 1 - NTSC  Paramount - Centennial Collection - Region 1, 4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:58:00   1:58:00
Video

1.33:1.00 Original Aspect Ratio

Bit-rate: 5.98 bps
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1.00 Original Aspect Ratio

Bit-rate: 6.68 bps
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio English, French (Dolby Digital Mono 2.0 ) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles English, None English, French, Spanish, None
 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bit-rate: Original

Bit-rate: Centennial

Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Featurettes:
• 'Remembering Roman Holiday' (25:29)
• 'Restoring Roman Holiday' (6:53)
• 'Edith Head, The Paramount Years' (13:43)

• Photo Galleries

• Unrestored Teaser Trailer (1:50)

• Unrestored Theatrical Trailer (2:12)

• Unrestored Re-release Trailer (2:20)

 

DVD Release Date:  November 26, 2002
Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Featurettes:
• Audrey Hepburn : The Paramount Years (29:51)

• Remembering Audrey (12:10)

• Rome With a Princess (8:54)

• Dalton Trumbo - From 'A' List to Black-list (11:54)

• 'Remembering Roman Holiday' (25:29)
• 'Restoring Roman Holiday' (6:53)
• 'Behind the Gates (costumes) (5:28)

• Photo Galleries

• Unrestored Teaser Trailer (1:50)

• Unrestored Theatrical Trailer (2:12)

• Unrestored Re-release Trailer (2:20)

 

DVD Release Date:  November 11th, 2002
Keep Case inside cardboard box
Chapters: 18

Comments:

NOTE: The new edition is also coded for region 4 now.

As with Sunset Boulevard, Paramount have decided to re-releases this in a 2-disc 'Centennial Edition'. While the original DVD of Roman Holiday didn't have the extensive chroma of Sunset Boulevard, it did have some - still visible in the captures below (see the sky behind the Vespa ride as one of the more prominent examples of color infiltration.) There was definitely room for improvement for this transfer.  

 

By lowering compression with no large supplements sharing the dual-layered first disc - the feature image quality improves... perhaps not as dramatically as Sunset Boulevard, but similarly the contrast gets more pure (darker blacks and brighter whites.) So, it does look better - some scenes more significantly than other - but DVD-o-philes are still puzzling - why not put Roman Holiday, and the other upcoming Centennial Edition classics, to 1080P? As this site is constantly showcasing that Blu-ray can dramatically improve image quality - far beyond the limitations of SD-DVD.

Audio - we have the same acceptable mono audio but a Spanish DUD has been included and likewise optional French and Spanish subtitles along with the previous versions English.

Extras have been expanded upon but we also lose the 15-minute Edith Head, The Paramount Years'  replacing it with Behind the Gates - a 5 minute short on costuming for the film. We get three new Audrey Hepburn featurettes - Audrey Hepburn : The Paramount Years (29:51), Remembering Audrey (12:10) with her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. and Rome With a Princess (8:54), but what I enjoyed the most (and wished it was longer) was the 12 minute Dalton Trumbo - From 'A' List to Black-list - an excellent surface piece on the writer and blacklisting in general with some keen input.

So, yes this is better in every area and, at present, the definitive home theater representation for Roman Holiday. Those keen on this classic and Audrey Hepburn (for the supplements) should indulge. Others may wish to wait, and hope, for a high-definition release one day.  

Gary W. Tooze


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Disc 2 Centennial Collection

 

 


Screen Captures

 

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)



  (Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


  (Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


  (Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


 

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


More caps from the Centennial Edition

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Paramount Collection - Region 1 - NTSC  Paramount - Centennial Collection - Region 1, 4 - NTSC


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