A heart and a crown

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German title A heart and a crown
Original title Roman Holiday
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1953
length 113 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director William Wyler
script Ian McLellan Hunter
John Dighton
Dalton Trumbo
production William Wyler for Paramount
music Georges Auric
camera Henri Alekan
Frank F. Planner
cut Robert Swink

A heart and a crown (original title "Roman Holiday" ) is a film romance from 1953 with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the lead roles. Directed by William Wyler . The shooting took place in Rome as well as in the Cinecittà studios near Rome. For Audrey Hepburn, the success of the film meant her breakthrough in Hollywood, and her portrayal of a modern princess also earned her the Oscar for Best Actress.


Ann, the young Crown Princess of an undisclosed country, is on a state visit to Rome as part of a European tour . Overwhelmed by the never-ending protocol duties, she tears away from the Palazzo Barberini one night . Since she was given a sedative beforehand, she falls asleep on a wall by the roadside. There the American reporter Joe Bradley reads her up and takes her - without realizing who she is - to sober up his tiny apartment at 51 Via Margutta . The following morning - Ann is still in a daze - Bradley overslept the princess' press reception, which he was supposed to attend. With the head of the press agency, Mr. Hennessy, he still reports "fictitious" details about the press conference that did not take place. Until the astonished Hennessy angrily presented the current newspaper with the headline that the press reception had been canceled due to an acute illness of the princess. Bradley looks in disbelief at the photo of the princess in the newspaper. And it dawns on him who the young woman he met the night before is. He quickly rushes back to his apartment. Ann has already got up and looks out over the sunlit Rome from the roof terrace. Both hide their true roles from each other: Joe Bradley smells a unique story when he accompanies a princess on an incognito vacation in Rome; Princess Ann sees her chance to spend a few carefree hours.

Joe leads Ann for a whole day through Rome in the 1950s , accompanied and secretly photographed by a friend, the photographer Irving Radovich. The route through Rome also leads Ann and Joe to the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin , in the vestibule of which there is the famous stone mask Bocca della Verità , the “mouth of truth”. According to legend, the stone mask will bite off the hand of every liar when he puts it in her mouth. Since both Joe and Ann still have secrets from each other at this point, they take this test with very mixed feelings. When Ann finally doesn't dare to put her hand in the mouth of the truth, she lets Joe go first. He pretends that his hand has really been bitten off, and after pulling it out, he keeps it hidden in the sleeve of his jacket.

The day ends with the two being discovered by security forces from Ann's homeland while dancing on a boat near Castel Sant'Angelo , and after a mass brawl they can only escape access by jumping into the Tiber . On the bank they come closer to each other and kiss. However, Ann then returns to her duties. Joe takes Ann by car to just before the Palazzo that serves as her quarters in Rome, and the two tearfully say goodbye to each other. Ann implores Joe not to follow her and leaves him.

Joe renounces his big story and Ann is back in her golden prison. To the horror of her court officials, however, she is no longer the docile girl, but a self-confident young woman. She shows this, among other things, by insisting at the press reception, disregarding all protocol rules, that she wants to greet some women and men of the press personally after seeing Joe in the front row. His friend Irving discreetly hands her an envelope with “compromising” pictures from her day in Rome. Shortly after, Ann withdraws, not without giving Joe one last loving and sad look. The state room empties and only Joe remains thoughtful and alone, his eyes still fixed on the place where Ann was standing a few minutes ago. Finally he also leaves the room.


The idea for Roman Holiday came from the successful Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo ; In the opening credits, however, Ian McLellan Hunter was mentioned as the source of ideas for the film instead of his . That was because Trumbo, as an alleged communist, was one of the Hollywood Ten during the McCarthy era and was blacklisted. This made official work in Hollywood practically impossible for him and even put him in jail. In today's DVD versions of the film, the name Dalton Trumbo can be read again in the opening credits, it was added later. Originally, star director Frank Capra wanted to film the story and repeat the success of his comedy It Happened on a Night of 1934, which was quite similar in plot . However, he dropped out of the project, partly because he found the involvement of Trumbo, who had been condemned as a communist, too sensitive, but also because he found the film budget to be too low. After Capra's rejection, the project was directed by William Wyler , one of Hollywood's leading dramatic directors, for whom it was his first comedy film in 20 years.

Against the will of the studio, Wyler insisted that Roman Holiday should be shot in Rome instead of Hollywood. In the early 1950s, it was still very unusual for Hollywood films to be shot overseas because producers couldn't keep their remote film crew well under control. Instead, back projections were mostly used in the studio. But Wyler finally got the approval, making Roman Holiday the first US film to be shot entirely in Italy - filming locations were Rome itself and in the Cinecittà studios near Rome. When the game was released in front of the original locations, critics and audience were expressly enthusiastic about it, which paved the way for further Hollywood shoots abroad. Studio Paramount's move to Rome reduced the budget of the film so that it was not shot in color (as originally planned) but in black and white. As extras in the film at the ball at the beginning of the film, Wyler brought in some real Italian aristocrats, who donated their earnings to charity. The reporters at the end of the film (apart from Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert) were actually doing this job.

The scene in which Joe's hand appears to be bitten off is improvised by Peck, and Audrey Hepburn's horror is not played. In the farewell scene, the inexperienced Hepburn was unable to produce tears on command, whereupon Wyler complained about the wasted footage. She promptly burst into tears, and the scene was saved.

For the role of the princess, Elizabeth Taylor or Jean Simmons were initially in discussion, but they both worked on other projects. Wyler then hired the young British-Dutch actress Audrey Hepburn , who had already played a few supporting roles and was successful with the play Gigi on Broadway, but was not yet known to the general public. The film debut immediately made Hepburn a leading Hollywood star and earned her an Oscar . At her side, Gregory Peck was an established film actor who was initially rather averse to the project because he feared that the focus of the script was too much on the princess and that he would only play second fiddle behind it. With the same fear, Cary Grant had previously turned down the role of Joe Bradley. After filming, Peck rightly assumed that Hepburn would win an Oscar for her performance, which is why he insisted that her name - although still quite unknown - be mentioned before the film title, which was otherwise only reserved for top stars at the time.

At the time of the cinema premiere, the failed wedding between the civil aviator Peter Townsend and the British Princess Margaret caused an international sensation. The current topic of a prevented romance between ordinary people and princess is said to have made Roman Holiday even more successful at the box office. The plane with which the incognito agents are flown in is a four-engine Breda-Zappata BZ.308, at that time the pride of Italian aviation; only one copy was built.


The German dubbed version was created on the occasion of the German cinema premiere in 1953 at Berliner Synchron GmbH. The dialogue director took Rolf von Sydow , for the dialog book was Erika Streithorst responsible.

role presentation synchronization
Joe Bradley Gregory Peck Wolfgang Lukschy
Princess Ann Audrey Hepburn Marion Degler
Irving Radovitch Eddie Albert Horst Niendorf
Editor in Chief Mr. Hennessy Hartley Power Paul Klinger
Countess Vereberg Margaret Rawlings Alice Treff
Barber Mario Delani Paolo Carlini Klaus Miedel
taxi driver Alfredo Rizzo Erich Fiedler


The reviews on the release of A Heart and a Crown were excellent, with Audrey Hepburn in particular receiving praise for her portrayal of the princess. To this day, the film has received positive reviews in general. This is the critical consensus at the US film portal Rotten Tomatoes , where the film has a positive rating of 98% according to reviews from professional film critics, that Roman Holiday has set the standards for today's romantic comedies. The American critics judged the film to be as funny as it is beautiful.

In Germany, too, the film has been received positively to this day. 6000 films. Critical notes from the cinema years 1945 to 1958 described Ein Herz und ein Krone as "exemplary, charming and amiable entertainment", which, thanks to its gentle irony and cultivated design, also satisfies higher demands and is therefore worth seeing. The lexicon of international films described the film as “charming entertainment that pleases with its gentle irony and cultivated design”. prisma.de wrote: “A wonderful romantic comedy that has lost none of its charm to this day. With an ideal cast, William Wyler undoubtedly made one of the most magical and beautiful love films of all time. "Frank-Michael Helmke from filmszene.de was also convinced:" Roman Holiday [...] is the grandmother of all modern romantic comedies, which is mainly because that he turned one of the original myths of this genre around in a congenial way - and thus created a new original myth. Here it is not the simple girl who surprisingly turns out to be a noble princess, but the noble princess who longs for life as a simple girl. [...] A romantic comedy in perfect form. "


In 1954, Audrey Hepburn received the Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of Princess Ann . There were also Oscars for the legendary Edith Head in the category Best Black and White Costume Design and for Ian McLellan Hunter in the category Best Original Story . For Dalton Trumbo , who was on the blacklist in Hollywood at the time and therefore unnamed in the original opening credits , a second Oscar was presented to Trumbo's widow in 1993. The film was nominated for seven other Oscars: in the main category Best Picture, William Wyler for Best Director, Eddie Albert for Best Supporting Actor, John Dighton and Ian McLellan Hunter for Best Screenplay, Hal Pereira and Walter Tyler for Best Production Design, Franz Planer and Henri Alekan for Best Cinematography, and Robert Swink for Best Film Editing.

Audrey Hepburn also won the Golden Globe Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award .

The Wiesbaden film evaluation agency awarded the production the rating of particularly valuable .

In 1999 the film was listed as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in the National Film Registry . The American Film Institute presented in 2002 a US Leaderboard of romantic movies and chose Roman Holiday the third best of all time.


  • The Italian feature film Give the Monkey Sugar (original title: " Innamorato pazzo ") and the German feature film Princess makes blue each tell a similar story in which a princess flees from the protocol on a state visit and wants to recover from her obligations incognito.
  • In the youth series Die Pfefferkörner , episode 2 of the 7th season (“The boy without a name”), the story is re-enacted very precisely, right down to verbatim quotations (“Which city did you like best?”).


  • Adolf Heinzlmeier , Berndt Schulz : Lexicon "Films on TV" (extended new edition). Rasch and Röhring, Hamburg 1990, ISBN 3-89136-392-3 , p. 361
  • Anette Kaufmann: A heart and a crown. In: Thomas Koebner , Jürgen Felix (Ed.): Film genres. Melodrama and romantic comedy. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-15-018409-7 , pp. 116-123
  • 6000 films. Critical notes from the cinema years 1945 to 1958 . Handbook V of the Catholic film criticism, 3rd edition, Verlag Haus Altenberg, Düsseldorf 1963, p. 190

Web links

Commons : A heart and a crown  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c A heart and a crown: Trivia. In: IMDB. Retrieved June 22, 2017 .
  2. DVD documentation
  3. DVD documentation
  4. German synchronous index: German synchronous index | Movies | A heart and a crown. Retrieved January 20, 2018 .
  5. Critique of Rotten Tomatoes
  6. 6000 films. Critical notes from the cinema years 1945 to 1958
  7. A heart and a crown. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  8. A heart and a crown at prisma-Verlag
  9. Frank-Michael Helmke: A heart and a crown. In: filmszene.de. Retrieved November 22, 2010 .
  10. Casablanca is the most beautiful Schnulze on Spiegel Online from June 12, 2002; 2nd place: Gone with the wind
  11. ndr.de: Episode 80: The boy without a name