Hepburn in 4K
“Amusing and delightfully engaging, Roman Holiday stands as one of the great screen romances from any era. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck give performances that feed off each other, the sweet but naive princess and the worldly news reporter finding love. Deftly handling the romance with tenderness and affection without beating viewers over the head with it, Roman Holiday set the standard for every romantic comedy that ever followed.”
The first thing notable about Paramount’s UHD debut for Roman Holiday is the warmth. Rather than a pure grayscale, the image takes a notable turn toward sepia, which greatly dilutes the contrast. Dolby Vision adds next to nothing to this presentation, and if anything, the Blu-ray shows better brightness.
A slightly suspicious grain structure appears wonky, but only in places. Likely, this has more to do with the deteriorating nature of the film stock used; that caused problems during the restoration. Roman Holiday inconsistently appears noise reduced, the image smearing when in motion.
Sharpness wavers, but rarely (if ever) achieving something akin to other vintage 4K scans. It’s a softer, less detailed image, and while fine overall, there’s nothing to indicate this is worth upgrading. Between the two however, the UHD offers slightly greater fidelity, but don’t expect that to stay consistent.
Paramount uses the same Dolby TrueHD mix from the Blu-ray. Here’s the excerpt from that review:
The primary soundtrack is the original monaural audio heard in 2.0 Dolby TrueHD, nicely remastered. A few minor anomalies have been properly addressed. The light underscore by composer Georges Auric doesn’t call attention to itself, Roman Holiday is a dialogue-driven romantic comedy. The recording quality is clean with intelligible dialogue.
Minor hiss can be heard on systems with lower noise floors, which in itself is more a sign the restorers didn’t heavily filter the audio with noiseshaping. Dynamics are limited and mildly thin. This is a serviceable mono recording with adequate fidelity.
With the exception of the new Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin featurette (7:00) the special features are all older featurettes pulled from Paramount’s Centennial Collection DVD. A couple of featurettes found on their Collector’s Edition DVD are curiously absent. The longest piece is on Hepburn’s career at Paramount that runs 30-minute. Note these all reside on the Blu-ray. The UHD holds the movie only.
Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.
Hepburn’s charming film debut in Roman Holiday pairs her with a perfectly cast Gregory Peck.
User Review( vote)
The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 49 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: