In honor of her 80th birthday (Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929), Audrey Hepburn returns to the screen in two movies which released on January 13, 2009, for Paramount Home Entertainment’s Centennial Collection:Funny Faceand Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hepburn stars as Holly Golightly, a New York City socialite who is seeking to discover who she is in the big city. As she flits from both one relationship to the next and from one party to the next, her sad story of a life of poverty and marriage at age 14 comes to light. Holly is utterly charming and completely manipulative as she breezily charms men into giving her money. But the viewer discovers that flighty Holly wants the money so she can provide a home for her slow brother, who is in the Army but getting out soon.
Holly’s one friend is Paul Varjak, the new guy next door (gigolo to none other than Patricia Neal), played by a breathtakingly handsome George Peppard. If you remember George Peppard as Col. John “Hannibal” Smith from “The A-Team,” this is him 30 years younger in arguably his greatest acting role and the high point of his career.
This movie is being billed as a “comedic adventure,” but I found little humor in this tale of two lost souls trying desperately to find love and security. The first time I saw this movie about a decade ago, I found it tedious as Holly moved from one mistake to the next. However, this time through, although I still found the plot about two young people who use sex for money disturbing, I also found it touching in places, especially when Paul Varjak finally rips the blinders off Holly’s eyes.
Hepburn and Peppard are both believable as two lonely, unhappy young people who use others to get what they want, who think money will solve their problems, and who ultimately fall somewhat neurotically in love.
My favorite thing about Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the beautiful and timeless theme song, “Moon River.” Hepburn’s singing of “Moon River” (as Holly on her brownstone landing) helped earn an Oscar for Best Song for composer Henry Mancini and lyricist Johnny Mercer. This song has been one of my favorites since I was a child.
Directed by Academy Award®-nominee Blake Edwards, the film also stars Buddy Ebsen and Mickey Rooney. The film not only won an Oscar® for Best Song (“Moon River”), it also won for Best Score, and was nominated for Best Actress, Best Writing and Best Art Direction.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is 114 minutes long and is not rated. I would date it a PG-13 for adult situations.
The Breakfast at Tiffany’s extra features on the Centennial DVD 2-disc set include: Commentary by Producer Richard Shepherd; Henry Mancini: More Than Music; Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective; The Making of a Classic; It’s So Audrey: A Style Icon; Audrey’s Letter to Tiffany & Co. on the occasion of the company’s 150th anniversary in 1987; Original Breakfast at Tiffany’s Theatrical Trailer; and Photo Galleries: Movie, Production and Publicity from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
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