Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) Review

Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) Director: Blake Edwards


Audrey Hepburn delivers a delightful and amusing performance in Breakfast At Tiffany’s (based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Truman Capote). Capote initially wanted Marilyn Monroe to be cast as the lead. The film received a number of Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress (Hepburn), and Best Song for “Moon River.”

In later years, Audrey Hepburn (an introvert) often remarked on how difficult it was for her to play Holly Golightly (an extrovert). Holly Golightly is a scattered, vain, socialite who lives in an upper flat in New York with her cat aptly named “cat” -her landlord is a wholly racist stereotype played by Mickey Rooney. Holly meets Paul Varjak, a struggling writer (played by George Peppard -his most celebrated role). The two of them are both scamming older wealthy people for money. They get into all manner of hijinks -Holly accidentally becomes an informant for a major drug kingpin while Paul has an intimate affair with an aging married woman. They part ways and reunite numerous times in the film, and we learn that Holly actually ran away from her family and husband in Texas, but in the end Paul and Holly reunite in the rain -Holly decides against traveling to Brazil to chase her beau. For me, one of the more memorable scenes in the film is Audrey Hepburn singing “Moon River” out her bedroom window. The title of the film is a reference to the character Holly Golightly’s love of Tiffany’s Jewelry store on 5th Avenue.

The film solidified Audrey Hepburn as a cultural, fashion icon. Several other notable Hollywood actors appear in the film: Mickey Rooney, Buddy Ebsen (of The Wizard of Oz and The Beverly Hillbillies fame), Patricia Neal, and Mary Balsam (of 12 Angry Men and Psycho fame).

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