I read just recently that author Truman Capote (film is based on his novella) was disappointed with the choice of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. He had Marilyn Monroe in mind. Now, who am I to argue with the famed author, but I still much say that I cannot picture anyone else in the role. Audrey Hepburn was wonderful. Her charm and beauty brings much to the role of the urban sophisticate. Instead of hating this stunning creature who supports herself by getting “gifts” from men, we love her for her vulnerability and sense of romance.
Though it is fifty years old the film has not suffered over time; it has aged well. Maybe except for the stereotypical/racist portrayal of a Japanese man by actor Mickey Rooney everything else will be relatable for the modern audience.
A woman who wears designer dresses, but accessorizes them with costume jewelry is Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn – My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday). She lives in a brownstone in an exclusive area of Manhattan, but it has hardly any furniture. A woman who does not really have or make any money of her own she lives off the small amounts of money she gets from men looking for an escort to a party or function or from visiting jailed mobster, Sally Tomato (Alan Reed – Lady and the Tramp, voice of Fred Flinstone).
When struggling writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard – How the West Was Won, The Executioner) moves into a New York apartment building he is immediately interested in his quirky neighbour, Holly Golightly. She is a complex young woman. Seemingly shallow she seems just to be content flitting from party to party looking for a wealthy man to marry then when she is alone with Paul she shows her more vulnerable and self-doubting side.
Paul is not position to judge Holly as he maintains his lifestyle due to the generosity of a wealthy woman (Patricia Neal – The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hud). He is a kept man. Though he is dating this wealthy woman, Paul cannot help himself and falls in love with Holly. He proposes to her. Her answer is no as she has it in her head that she is going to marry South American millionaire, Jose (Jose Vila de Vilallonga). Everyone’s plans are thrown for a loop when it is revealed that Holly has been without even realizing transporting drug information from Sally to the outside world.
A true gold-digger with a heart of gold, Holly Golightly is one of film’s iconic characters. The grace and magic of Audrey Hepburn was perfect for the character. She brings a certain naturalness and sophistication to the film.
Everything about the film is very fashionable. The famous scene at the window of Tiffany’s, the area of New York, Holly’s wardrobe (who can forget her little black dress and that wide brimmed hat), and even the soundtrack, which includes the Oscar winning Henry Mancini song “Moon River”. Even today the look and fashions of the film influence filmmakers and the public alike.
Makers of romantic comedies today should watch this film just before they begin their own. It is one of the best. Romantic yet realistic. Funny yet poignant at times. Has a fantastic (for many reasons) party scene. A female lead all women want to be. Good chemistry between leads. A big bump in the road towards true love. You get the picture. All the elements are there.
-Original Theatrical Trailer (HD) – Commentary by Producer Richard Shepherd
– A Golightly Gathering (HD)
– Henry Mancini: More Than Music (HD)
– Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective (HD)
– The Making of a Classic
– It’s So Audrey: A Style Icon
– Behind the Gates: The Tour
– Brilliance in a Blue Box
– Audrey’s Letter to Tiffany