Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Poll Results: Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday

The poll results are in! The majority of you say that your favorite 1950s Audrey Hepburn performance is her Oscar-winning role in Roman Holiday. The vote tally:

Roman Holiday- 19
Sabrina- 10
Funny Face- 3
Love in the Afternoon- 3
Nun's Story- 1

It's not surprising, because her turn as Princess Ann is the template that Hepburn (1929-1993) would use in some variation in virtually every role in her career: the sweet, lovely, awkward woman who is uncomfortable and often painfully unhappy with her lot in life, whether it be as a princess, the daughter of a chauffeur (Sabrina), the party girl (Breakfast at Tiffany's), or the unhappily married woman (Two for the Road). It is Hepburn's most frequent onscreen personality. Audrey Hepburn was a solid actress but was really a movie star--and one of the best of her era. She honed that persona in the aforementioned films, which are her most popular. She has an appeal to many women, particularly young women who can no doubt relate to her. She also benefits by being one of the fashion icons of the 20th century. But it is her magnetic charm, radiant beauty and vulnerability about to bubble over as first seen in films like Roman Holiday that earns her new fans some fifty years later.

All Aglow: 1953 Best Actress Audrey Hepburn with her prize.


  1. That is a great film. I know it's my mother's favorite one she did.

  2. Oh, how touching! I happen to be one of those fans that she captured fifty years later! And while Roman Holiday is my absolute number one favorite film, I'm the one person who voted for the Nun's Story, because she gave such a solid, unglossed performance, and one that was radically different from her previous roles. Though truly, I aodore her in anything!

  3. One of my favourite films with miss Hepburn is How To Steal A Million. A feel-good film, sure, but it is wonderful. And I want her wardrobe!

  4. Audrey Hepburn ruled the 50's! C.K., this was the toughest poll you've come up with yet. Every one of these performances is just perfect (and the movies are all excellent too). I voted for "Roman Holiday" because it's her most iconic performance and because it established the screen persona that she pretty much maintained for the next 15 years. Of the others, "The Nun's Story" shows what a subtle dramatic actress she could be. Of the roles in the poll, this was for me the one she most lost herself in, yet somehow she still remained Audrey Hepburn, just in a different mode and circumstances.

    The most undervalued performance in the poll is "Love in the Afternoon." This is a wonderful movie, and it's my second favorite performance by her (well, maybe tied with "Funny Face"). In the first half she's so girlish and innocent; in the second half she's a cunning vixen out to drive Gary Cooper mad with lust. As for Cooper, he's an aging, jaded roue in the first half and a frantic would-be lover in the second half (where his performance really comes into its own.) I've read that Wilder really wanted Cary Grant for this part but Grant thought he was too old. And the sly way Wilder slips hints of sex into the movie. Did audiences of the time really believe that Hepburn and Cooper were just sipping tea at those afternoon rendezvous? If anyone was in doubt about it after seeing the title, the scene where she loses her shoe then finds it UNDER THE BED should have left no doubt. And Maurice Chevalier as Audrey's P.I. father was most amusing too.

    I'm perpetually looking forward to the next poll.

  5. Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress and has been for over 10 years now. She just had the perfect combination of charm, class, and sweetness. Not to mention she seems like she was a lovely person off screen as well.

    I tend to like romantic comedies from the 30's more than the 50's but Audrey Hepburn is one of the reasons I love romantic comedies from the 50's and 60's as well. I know people always talk about the next Audrey Hepburn but I've yet to see any modern actress truly match up to her.

  6. Wow i haven't thought about Love in the Afternoon for a long time... I am probably the only one who voted for it :(

    I am inspired to write a post. Thank you for the inspiration Dex!


  7. I just read R.D comment and I am so glad I am not the only one who loves Love in the Afternoon!


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