Press Release PHE Press Release: Paramount Presents! Roman Holiday (1953) (Blu-ray)

Ronald Epstein

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Newly Restored and Remastered, Beloved Academy Award®-Winning* Film Arrives on Blu-ray™ for the First Time Ever September 15, 2020


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Timeless Classic is Latest Addition to the Paramount Presents Line



HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – The treasured and enduring classic ROMAN HOLIDAY debuts on Blu-ray for the first time ever as part of the Paramount Presents line on September 15, 2020 from Paramount Home Entertainment.



The exquisite Audrey Hepburn lights up the screen in her first starring role opposite the charismatic Gregory Peck in this funny, beautiful, and intoxicating romantic comedy. Ranked as the #4 greatest love story of all time by the American Film Institute, ROMAN HOLIDAY earned 10 Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture, and won Best Actress for Hepburn, Best Costume Design for legendary designer Edith Head, and Best Writing for Dalton Trumbo.



About the Film


Director William Wyler’s 1953 fairy tale was one of Hollywood’s first on-location motion pictures and memorably captures the bustling streets and iconic sites of Rome. ROMAN HOLIDAY expresses the exhilaration of joyously breaking free as the lead character escapes her royal obligations against the backdrop of post-war Europe embracing long-awaited peace.

Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was blacklisted for refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee and his name was not included in the film’s original credits. In 1992 the Board of Governors of the Academy voted to finally credit Trumbo for the “Story Writing” Oscar and his widow received a statuette in 1993. In 2011, the WGA restored Trumbo’s name to the screenwriting credits. This is the first physical home entertainment release to correctly credit Dalton Trumbo with both the screenplay and story by credits both on packaging and the film itself.



About the Restoration


The original negative was processed at a local film lab in Rome and was unfortunately badly scratched and damaged. The film had to be pieced back together, but the splices were so weak due to the damage that extensive amounts of tape had to be used to allow the negative to make it through a printing machine. Because of the fragile state of the negative, a Dupe Negative was made and then blown up a few thousandths of an inch to cover all the splice tape that held the original negative together.



In anticipation of this new Blu-ray release, the film was digitally restored using the Dupe Negative and a Fine Grain element to capture the best possible image. Every frame was reviewed, and the film received extensive clean up to remove thousands of scratches, bits of dirt, and other damage. Because audio elements to properly up-mix to 5.1 do not exist, the original mono track was remastered, and minor anomalies were corrected. The result is a film returned to its original vibrancy and beauty that remains true to director William Wyler’s vision.



About the Release

The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-ray Disc™ is presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical re-release poster, and an interior spread with key movie moments. Newly remastered from a 4K film transfer, the ROMAN HOLIDAY Blu-ray also includes a new Filmmaker Focus with film historian Leonard Maltin, access to a Digital copy of the film, as well as previously released featurettes on Academy Award®-winner Audrey Hepburn, Edith Head’s Oscar®-winning* costumes, the blacklisting of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and much more.



Bonus Features:

  • Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on Roman Holiday
  • Behind the Gates: Costumes
  • Rome with a Princess
  • Audrey Hepburn: The Paramount Years
  • Dalton Trumbo: From A-List to Blacklist
  • Paramount in the '50s: Remembering Audrey
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Four Photo Galleries: Production, The Movie, Publicity, The Premiere

Paramount Presents: ROMAN HOLIDAY

Street Date: September 15, 2020

U.S. Rating: Not Rated



*Winner: Best Actress (Audrey Hepburn); Best Writing (Motion Picture Story, Dalton Trumbo); Best Costume Design (Black & White, Edith Head), 1953. Additional nominations: Best Picture; Best Directing (William Wyler); Actor in a Supporting Role (Eddie Albert); Art Direction (Black & White); Cinematography (Black & White); Film Editing; and Writing (Screenplay).



“ACADEMY AWARD” and “OSCAR” are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.





 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 
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Trancas

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From the above blu ray announcement:
"About the Restoration
The original negative was processed at a local film lab in Rome and was unfortunately badly scratched and damaged. The film had to be pieced back together, but the splices were so weak due to the damage that extensive amounts of tape had to be used to allow the negative to make it through a printing machine. Because of the fragile state of the negative, a Dupe Negative was made and then blown up a few thousandths of an inch to cover all the splice tape that held the original negative together.

In anticipation of this new Blu-ray release, the film was digitally restored using the Dupe Negative and a Fine Grain element to capture the best possible image. Every frame was reviewed, and the film received extensive clean up to remove thousands of scratches, bits of dirt, and other damage. Because audio elements to properly up-mix to 5.1 do not exist, the original mono track was remastered, and minor anomalies were corrected. The result is a film returned to its original vibrancy and beauty that remains true to director William Wyler’s vision."


So every reel of the movie's camera negative was scratched and damaged and pasted back together with lots of tape.......why does that sound like fiction?

__________________________________________________________________________________


This was the story back in 2003 when the DVD was released........

"Roman Holiday was an enormous challenge," relates DVD mastering director Ron Smith. "The film was posted in Rome and the nitrate negative's location is unknown. Originally, we only had elements that had been blown up to hide a scratch on the right side of the frame throughout the entire length of reel one. Unfortunately, this often cropped off the top of Gregory Peck's head. Then we found a correct dupe neg. I've never been so happy to find scratched footage!"

Using Wyler's print as a reference, Lowry performed several procedures. After the film was deflickered and steadied and the scratch had been removed, dirt and grain still remained. "There were hundreds of bits of photographed-in dirt per frame," John Lowry recalls, "and the amplitude of the grain was as much as 25 percent. This means that on anything white, like Peck's shirt, the grain had a gray value of 25 percent. A normal level is about 3 percent." Restored at film resolution, the work took six months to complete. "We removed the grain that had been added by the duping process, then made a new negative. The film now looks like it did when it was released 50 years ago."

So uh.......what? The mafia stole the original camera negative? Paramount wasn't willing to pay ransom?

The dupe negative was blown up to disguise a scratch (a scratch only on the first reel).......or the blow-up occurred because of an abundance of spicing tape all over every reel of the not-missing camera negative?
 
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Robin9

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I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The thread about the new To Catch A Thief disc should make everyone cautious about what Paramount might do, but if Roman Holiday is really improved, I'll buy the disc with enthusiasm.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Have never seen this film and am looking forward to buying it on Blu-ray! Glad Paramount is digging through their archives. I think due to this pandemic and a lack of new films being made, we will perhaps see more great gems from this studio finally released in HD.
 

Robert Harris

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From the above blu ray announcement:
"About the Restoration
The original negative was processed at a local film lab in Rome and was unfortunately badly scratched and damaged. The film had to be pieced back together, but the splices were so weak due to the damage that extensive amounts of tape had to be used to allow the negative to make it through a printing machine. Because of the fragile state of the negative, a Dupe Negative was made and then blown up a few thousandths of an inch to cover all the splice tape that held the original negative together.

In anticipation of this new Blu-ray release, the film was digitally restored using the Dupe Negative and a Fine Grain element to capture the best possible image. Every frame was reviewed, and the film received extensive clean up to remove thousands of scratches, bits of dirt, and other damage. Because audio elements to properly up-mix to 5.1 do not exist, the original mono track was remastered, and minor anomalies were corrected. The result is a film returned to its original vibrancy and beauty that remains true to director William Wyler’s vision."


So every reel of the movie's camera negative was scratched and damaged and pasted back together with lots of tape.......why does that sound like fiction?

__________________________________________________________________________________


This was the story back in 2003 when the DVD was released........

"Roman Holiday was an enormous challenge," relates DVD mastering director Ron Smith. "The film was posted in Rome and the nitrate negative's location is unknown. Originally, we only had elements that had been blown up to hide a scratch on the right side of the frame throughout the entire length of reel one. Unfortunately, this often cropped off the top of Gregory Peck's head. Then we found a correct dupe neg. I've never been so happy to find scratched footage!"

Using Wyler's print as a reference, Lowry performed several procedures. After the film was deflickered and steadied and the scratch had been removed, dirt and grain still remained. "There were hundreds of bits of photographed-in dirt per frame," John Lowry recalls, "and the amplitude of the grain was as much as 25 percent. This means that on anything white, like Peck's shirt, the grain had a gray value of 25 percent. A normal level is about 3 percent." Restored at film resolution, the work took six months to complete. "We removed the grain that had been added by the duping process, then made a new negative. The film now looks like it did when it was released 50 years ago."

So uh.......what? The mafia stole the original camera negative? Paramount wasn't willing to pay ransom?

So the dupe negative was blown up to disguise a scratch (a scratch only on the first reel).......or the blow-up occurred because of an abundance of spicing tape all over every reel of the not-missing camera negative?
Makes one wonder, does it not?

I viewed some test rolls in projection c. 2002-3. Very problematic at that time, along with Sunset, which was worse. My feeling was that Sunset, recorded back to film, looked akin to a very nice kinescope.

I’ll see if I can find sample frames for before/after.

As is the norm with these marketing statements, reality goes to the rear.

There’s a certain law of physics involved here.

One interesting situation, possibly unique, was the ability to expose rolls of film to the negative, and achieve a negative. A rare reversal negative? Potentially possible, one might presume, but well outside the norm.

One would normally produce a duplicate negative from a fine grain positive.

As to Roman, with a bit of Pollyanna in me, I’ll remain hopeful.
 
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Billy Batson

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Well putting tape over cement joins that are falling apart is not unusual (well not with the 16mm stuff I was involved in) - & why were the joins falling apart? As I remember there was two reasons 1/old film cement had been used & as it dried out over the years, the joins just fell apart, but they could be re-cemented & 2/too much of the films cell was scrapped off when making the join & the film snaps at that weak point. Scratches are less of a problem with wet-gate technology (& maybe a re-wash), but do Paramount even have the original cut negatives these days? Ah, the fascinating & frustrating problems of restoration.
 

Mark-P

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The restoration that was done for a TCM/Fathom event is only about 5 years old, and was released on iTunes at the same time. I’m curious if this will be one of the Paramount Presents releases that gets a 4K iTunes bump.
 

Neil Middlemiss

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The restoration that was done for a TCM/Fathom event is only about 5 years old, and was released on iTunes at the same time. I’m curious if this will be one of the Paramount Presents releases that gets a 4K iTunes bump.
The work on Roman Holiday was done around 2015 and the results seen at those Fathom events.
 

Cameron Yee

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Obviously, I am very excited for this release, as I can finally be stranded on that desert island with my number one pick. Hopefully there will be a Blu-ray player and HDTV there, too. :D

Neil, Adam, and I were able to be part of the press event that announced this release. Adding on to what Neil said about the restoration being completed in 2015, my understanding is the restored version became available on iTunes in conjunction with the 2015 Fathom events screening, so those who have seen that have gotten a sort of preview of what's to come in this BD release. Obviously, it's not unreasonable to expect the BD will improve on the iTunes digital copy in a number of ways.
 

Dick

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Hopefully I can remove this from the 50-title Paramount wish list. Major stuff, long neglected. The ones that remain unreleased (and this is just from MY wish wish)?

BLACK SUNDAY
BREAKDOWN
BRIDGES OF TOKO RI
BRINGING OUT THE DEAD
CATCH-22
CIVIL ACTION, A
CONQUEST OF SPACE
COUNTRY GIRL, THE
COURT JESTER, THE
DESPERATE HOURS, THE
DISORDERLY ORDERLY (and other missing Jerry Lewis films)
DRAGONSLAYER
FAIRY TALE: A TRUE STORY
FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY
FEAR STRIKES OUT
FIVE PENNIES, THE
GALLIPOLI
GOODBYE COLUMBUS
GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO
HUD
MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK
LADY SINGS THE BLUES
LAST TRAIN TO GUN HILL
LIL ABNER
LITTLE PRINCE, THE
LONGEST YARD, THE
MURPHEY'S WAR
NAKED JUNGLE, THE
NEVADA SMITH
NOBODY'S FOOL
NORTH DALLAS FORTY
NUN'S STORY, THE
PARALLAX VIEW, THE
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM
POSSE
PRESIDENT'S ANALYST, THE
PRETTY BABY
RACING WITH THE MOON
RED TENT, THE
SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISHER
SIMPLE PLAN, A
SORROWFUL JONES (and other missing Bob Hope titles)
TESTAMENT
TIN STAR, THE
WILL PENNY
WONDER BOYS
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME

I hope that Paramount's new licensing deals, and films like ROMAN HOLIDAY coming out from the studio itself, will continue. So much of its catalog has been in demand for a very long (hopefully not too long) time.
 
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