One of the most classic films of the 1960’s, and still stands the test of time today. Released in 1961 and based on Truman Capote’s novel, while the film is not perfect, and does have some controversy to it, Breakfast at Tiffany’s will probably go down as the most iconic role for Audrey Hepburn. Spoilers ahead as always. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.
Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn nominated for an Oscar for this part) is a bit of a socialite in New York; going on dates, having parties and wearing the most elegant clothes including a little black dress in the opening shot where the audience sees her eating a bun and drinking coffee looking into the windows at Tiffany’s. She tries to make a habit of not letting anyone get close to her, not even her cat whom she just calls cat. One day after evading a man she met on a bad date she meets her neighbor Paul Varjak (George Peppard) a writer. The two develop a bond over time (Holly even calls him Fred due the resemblance of her brother in the army) as Holly observes his relationship with one of their neighbors he calls 2E, Mrs. Emily Eustace Failenson (Patricia Neal) and Paul sees Holly’s relationship with men over money, as well as her agent O.J. Berman (Martin Balsam). However it is obvious Holly and Paul’s bond has become more than friendship. About as far as I can go without giving away the rest of the movie.
As I said before the film is not without controversy. Holly and Paul’s landlord is Mr. Yunioshi, who is supposed to be Japanese, but was played by Mickey Rooney with a prosthetic mouth piece and make-up. Back then and now this was a bad move and Rooney as well as producer Richard Shepherd have apologized repeatedly for it saying if they could have changed it they would, but director Blake Edward wanted to keep Rooney. Still a very bad decision.
Other than that I still enjoyed the movie. Hepburn was already a huge star prior to this film but I think Breakfast at Tiffany’s will forever go down as her best and most iconic role, I know Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for the part based on how Holly was described in the book and felt double crossed when Monroe turned the part down and Hepburn was cast, but I wonder what he thought of the results later. Hepburn and Peppard have great chemistry together and seeing them fall in love is very adorable. There are two things from the movie about Hepburn that stand out besides her performance; of course I am talking about her style and her song. The costumes in this movie are some of the finest I’ve seen; nearly every woman I know has that little black dress in their closet inspired in a way by Hepburn’s dress in the beginning. My final point is Hepburn’s song, and the song that won the Oscar for Best Original Song as well as the Grammy, “Moon River”. Hepburn performs the singing herself and when an executive wanted the song cut from the film she said, among other words “Over my dead body!” Thankfully the song was kept in and it became a humongous hit. There have been many covers of the song including Barbara Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Melissa Benoist on the Flash/Supergirl cross-over among many other great covers. I know there was a short lived Broadway musical as well as play, but neither lasted very long or was critically successful. If you have not watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s I would highly recommend watching this movie as soon as humanly possible.