Saturday, November 28, 2015

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

A struggling writer (George Peppard) with a rich, married girlfriend (Patricia Neal) moves into a fashionable New York apartment. There he meets the confounding Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn).

Here is a story of two damaged people getting involved with each other. Neither know where they are going, or really where they are. Holly lives "paycheck" to "paycheck" with strange arrangements dating older men. And visiting mob bosses in jail. Apparently she was a prostitute but the movie makes this unclear. Peppard's Paul is both supported and stifled by his relationship with Neal, was well as his own indirection. Holly is a breath of fresh air, but also a disturbing element of chaos in his life.

Neal's "much older woman" was only three years older than Hepburn. Ten years earlier she shined in The Day The Earth Stood Still. The Golightly character, according to the source material, was supposed to be 19, which would give a real pervy vibe to 33 year old Peppard. Wait, Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to star? That wouldn't have worked!

Hey, Alan Reed (you know, Fred!) is here in the flesh. Buddy Ebsen, in his early fifties, was looking to retire after this movie. Instead he ended up doing nine seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies and eight more of Barnaby Jones. He was north of 90 when he did an episode of King of the Hill. Side fact: he played Barnaby Jones in the terrible Beverly Hillbillies movie.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a wonderfully shot, acted, and scripted film. It's looks and sounds charming,while being biting social commentary of the day. The city is gorgeous, Hepburn is absolutely charming, and it's slow burn pacing is just about perfect. It isn't without faults however. Most notably is Mickey Rooney's destruction of Japanese dignity. Also, I didn't care for the tacked on Hollywood ending, but I suppose most people didn't mind. AMRU 4.5.
"I've got a wonderful idea. We can spend the whole day doing things we've never done before. We'll take turns. Something you've never done, then me. Course I can't really think of anything I've never done."

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