Roman Holiday 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 269, September/October 2023

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Black & White
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William Wyler
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Dolby TrueHD 2.0
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Audrey Hepburn stars in her first starring role in the romantic comedy "Roman Holliday." It's the story of a modern-day princess who, rebelling against her royal obligations, explores Rome on her own. She soon meets an American newspaperman (Gregory Peck), who pretends ignorance of her true identity in the hopes of obtaining an exclusive story. Naturally, his plan falters as they inevitably fall in love. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin On Roman Holiday (HD 06:59); five featurettes "Behind The Gated-5"31: Costumes" (SD ), "Rome With A Princess" (SD 08:57), "Audrey Hepburn: The Paramount Years" (SD 29:55), "Dalton Trumbo: From A-List To Blacklist" (SD 11:55), "Paramount in The '50's" (SD 09:33) and "Remembering Audrey" (SD 12:12); theatrical trailers; galleries and a digital copy.

The 1.37:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed on 35 mm film stock in black and white and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. The picture exhibits fluctuations in film grain, which at times is strong. The gray scale gradation is well balanced with excellent shadow delineation and natural black levels, resulting is a pleasing filmic experience. HDR contrast is moderately dynamic. Resolution is satisfyingly good and a clear with revealing black and white levels, though generally soft. This is a very satisfying 70-year-old picture that fans of this classic will cherish. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby TrueHD 2.1-channel monaural soundtrack was repurposed from a 2.0 monaural sound element. The film is dialogue focused with nicely integrated spatiality The music is compressed and strident. Atmospheriics and sound effects are distorted. Due to its age the sonics are undistinguished with generally poor fidelity except for dialogue. But then this is likely to be true to the original sound elements. (Gary Reber