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BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S - 1961
Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 Academy Award-winning film starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, and featuring Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and Mickey Rooney. It was directed by Blake Edwards. The portrayal of Holly Golightly as the naive, eccentric socialite is generally considered to be Audrey Hepburn's most memorable and identifiable role. She herself regarded it as one of her most challenging roles to play, as she was an introvert who had to play an extravert. Ms Hepburn's singing of "Moon River" helped garner an Oscar for Best Song for composer Henry Mancini and lyricist Johnny Mercer. The film also featured what was arguably George Peppard's greatest acting role and the high point of his career. The film is based on the novella of the same name by Truman Capote.
Breakfast at Tiffany's - starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard
The Oscar-nominated screenplay was written by George Axelrod, loosely based on the novella by Truman Capote.
Truman Capote, who sold the film rights of his novella to Paramount Studios, wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the role of Holly Golightly in the film. Barry Paris references a quote by Capote: "Marilyn was always my first choice to play the girl, Holly Golightly." Screenwriter Axelrod was hired to "tailor the screenplay for Monroe." When Audrey was cast instead of Marilyn, Capote remarked: "Paramount double-crossed me in every way and cast Audrey."
A number of changes were made to the storyline to adapt the story to fit the medium of cinema. Capote's novella included language that was toned down for the film. The character of 2E (Patricia Neal) was invented for the movie. And the film changed the novella's unresolved, open ending to a more conventional "Hollywood" romantic happy ending.
The movie is about Holly Golightly, a young woman always on the run from herself. Lacking a stable childhood, she marries at the age of fourteen, has the marriage annulled, moves to Hollywood to start a film career, leaves Hollywood for New York (where she earns money as a call girl and by unknowingly carrying coded messages for an incarcerated mafia boss), and plans to leave New York for Brazil to marry one of the world's richest men.
The main plot of the movie is Holly's relationship with neighbor Paul Varjak, who has confidence problems of his own. The story explores the relationship between Holly and Paul, Holly and her other paramours, and the resolution that occurs within Holly's own mind and between Holly and Paul. The film includes Audrey Hepburn singing the original performance of "Moon River" and the famous closing sequence that shows Paul's "lecture" to Holly and Holly's self-discovery of who she really is and who makes her truly happy. The film ends with a famous scene in the rain.
Struggling writer Paul Varjak moves into a New York apartment building and becomes intrigued by his pretty, quirky neighbor Holly Golightly. Holly's lifestyle confuses and fascinates Paul; in public she flits through parties with a sexy, sophisticated air, but when they're alone she changes into a sweetly vulnerable bundle of neuroses
No film better utilises Audrey Hepburn's flighty charm and svelte beauty more than this romantic adaptation of Truman Capote's novella. Hepburn's urban sophisticate Holly Golightly, an enchanting neurotic living off the gifts of gentlemen, is a bewitching figure in designer dresses and costume jewellery. George Peppard is her upstairs neighbour, a struggling writer and "kept" man financed by a steely older woman (Patricia Neal). His growing friendship with the lonely Holly soon turns to love and threatens the delicate balance of both of their compromised lives.
Taking liberties with Capote's bittersweet story, director Blake Edwards and screenwriter George Axelrod turn New York into a city of lovers and create a poignant portrait of Holly, a frustrated romantic with a secret past and a hidden vulnerability. Composer Henry Mancini earned Oscars for the hit song "Moon River" and his tastefully romantic score. The only sour note in the whole film is Mickey Rooney's demeaning performance as the apartment's Japanese manager, an offensively overdone stereotype even in 1961. The rest of the film has weathered the decades well. Edwards's elegant yet light touch, Axelrod's generous screenplay and Hepburn's mix of knowing experience and naivety combine to create one of the great screen romances and a refined slice of high-society bohemian chic.
It has been rumored that the film's on-location opening sequence, in which Holly gazes into a Tiffany’s display window, was extremely difficult for director Blake Edwards to film. Although it was simple in concept, crowd control, Hepburn's dislike for pastries, and an accident that nearly resulted in the electrocution of a crew member are all said to have made capturing the scene a challenge. However, Edwards, in an interview given for the 45th anniversary DVD, said that the sequence was captured rather quickly due to the good fortune of an unexpected traffic lull despite the location in the heart of Manhattan.
Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard - kiss
Audrey Hepburn introduced the film's signature song, "Moon River", by Henry Mancini, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Sung by Hepburn herself, it was written to her singing range based on the vocal solos she had performed in 1957's Funny Face. According to Mancini and Edwards, a studio executive hated the song and demanded it be cut from the film; Hepburn, who was present when this proclamation was made, responded to the suggestion by standing up and saying, "over my dead body."
Wisp-thin Audrey Hepburn as Holly, carrying a cigarette holder, is considered one of the iconic images of 20th century American cinema. The film rejuvenated the career of 1930s movie song-and-dance man Buddy Ebsen, who had a small but effective role in this film as Doc Golightly, Holly's ex-husband. His success here led directly to his best-known role as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies.
Some critics consider the film's sole blunder to be caucasian Mickey Rooney's "yellowfaced" performance as Holly's bucktoothed Japanese neighbor. In the 45th anniversary edition DVD release, producer Richard Shepherd repeatedly apologizes for this, stating "If we could just change Mickey Rooney, I'd be thrilled with the movie." Edwards does not apologize for the portrayal. He does, however, indicate that he would not have cast George Peppard in the lead male role of the film if he were to do it over again.
at Tiffany's was one of the first Audrey Hepburn films to be
released to the home video market in the early 1980s, and is also
widely available on DVD. On February
7, 2006, Paramount released a 45th anniversary special edition DVD
set in North America with featurettes not included on the prior
DVD release. These include a widescreen-only restored print of the
film, commentary track by producer Richard Shepherd, a tribute to
Audrey Hepburn, a brief history of Tiffany & Co., and an
accounting of Audrey Hepburn's letter to Tiffany & Co. on the
occasion of the company's 150th anniversary in 1987. A featurette
on the making of the film is also included, featuring interviews
with Blake Edwards, Patricia Neal, the "laughing/crying"
woman from the party scene, and Sean Ferrer (Hepburn's son).
Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's
In 1966, David Merrick produced a Broadway musical of the same name. The troubled production closed after four previews.
In 1995, the Texas band Deep Blue Something had a hit with a song called "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The song was inspired by Audrey Hepburn's performance in the film Roman Holiday, but the author, Todd David Pipes, thought that one of Hepburn's other films would make a better song title. The song reached the top five in the United States and number one in the United Kingdom.
The band Jets to Brazil takes their name from the poster seen in Holly's apartment.
The Japanese toy company Jun Planning produced a doll based on Holly Golightly, for the March 2006 Pullip doll.
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