Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – Blake Edwards

Based on the novel by Truman Capote, and featuring music by Henry Mancini, this romantic classic stars Audrey Hepburn, and George Peppard. It is also the next stop on the Romantic and Melodrama chapter of the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film.

The film, as solid as it is, features Mickey Rooney’s racist and stereotypical performance of Mr. Yunioshi and consequently makes the film almost impossible to watch. The casting choice is something Edwards regrets, and is the one thing he would like to change in the film.

Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, a socialite, who seems to have trouble holding her life together, not to mention her brownstone apartment, and her nameless cat, is rather taken by the arrival of a new neighbour, Paul Varjack (Peppard).

He is moving in on the dime of his lover, while she has a past of her own that may prevent their getting together.

Both characters are broken, he’s a kept man, and struggling writer, she is a lost soul, trying to find herself in New York, a gold-digger and living the life of a socialite, wanting glamour and wealth, while not being honest with herself.

breakfast

The two of them seem to find some solace in one another, but will it be enough? And will the pestering O.J. Berman (Martin Balsam) cause problems? And there is a bigger problem arriving in the Big Apple… Buddy Ebsen arrives as Doc Golightly and he brings news of Holly’s brother, the only thing she truly cares about.

As Paul learns about Holly, he discovers the sad story of who she is, her loneliness, and her desire for something more, even if she doesn’t know exactly what it is. And will he fit into what she’s looking for? Not to mention how will things play out with his, uh, benefactor, 2E (Patricia Neal)?

Featuring Mancini’s iconic Moon River, written explicitly for Hepburn, the film is a heartache, it’s a lovely film, marred only by Rooney’s character.

And the poor cat… still, at least by the film’s end he gets a bit of a happy ending, and maybe, just maybe, so do Paul and Holly (or whatever her name is now).

Though, even as the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but wonder what the next day would be like for them.

Both of the leads are wonderful, and I love how Holly tries her best to get by, and look flashy, while always wearing the same black dress (only her accessories change). It’s a gentle, occasionally bittersweet, and heartachy film, but these two broken people come together and discover who they are.

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) starring George Peppard

 

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