Breakfast At Tiffany's

"Extraordinary"

Breakfast At Tiffany's Review


A near perfect blend of comedy, romance, and minor tragedy, Breakfast at Tiffany's is a must-see classic that, despite diversions from Truman Capote's original novel, remains his clearest statement on what it feels like to be young, ambitious, and on the make in a rapacious city full of hidden agendas.

Set in present-day 1961 (as opposed to during World War II as in the novel), the film introduces us to the gorgeous Holly Golightly (a sparkling Audrey Hepburn) as she staggers home early one morning in her little black dress and sunglasses after yet another all-night bender during which she likely doled out small favors to amorous older gentlemen in exchange for rent money. Pausing in front of Tiffany's, Holly munches a danish and sips coffee as she admires the jewelry in the window. It's an iconic movie moment. Holly sees herself as a free-spirit, a party girl, someone who, as she puts it, won't be caged by love or commitments. It's a lonely life, but it pays the bills. The'60s are on the verge of swinging.

Holly has an apartment in an Upper East Side townhouse as does Japanese photographer Mr. Yunioshi (Mickey Rooney, in an appallingly stereotyped ching-chang-chong performance that should be eliminated from the history of cinema) and dashing aspiring writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard), who is sort of gay in the novel but quite straight here. Paul is fascinated by Holly; she finds him charming enough to invite him to one of the wild parties she throws in her apartment, where various types of out-of-town businessmen, dirty old men, and Eurotrash gather to swill booze and cackle with each other. Holly seems to have a hand in each one of their pockets. Her cat, named Cat, a major character in his own right, watches all this with disdain.

Capote has no interest in telling a typical boy-meets-girl love story. The relationship between Holly and Paul, whom she calls Fred in honor of her brother, evolves in unusual ways, especially as we learn that Fred is guilty of the same kind of shady behavior that he finds so unattractive in Holly. (Patricia Neal is elegantly terrifying as a conniving interior decorator whose pocketbook is never far from Paul's pant leg.)

But who is Holly anyway? Where has she come from? Why, Paul wonders, does she travel to Sing Sing prison on a weekly basis to visit a jailed mobster? She's not the type to dwell on unpleasantries, but the second half of the movie finds Paul unraveling her many mysteries with the help of a surprising out-of-town visitor (Buddy Ebsen) who knows much more about Holly's past than she would like to make public.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is packed with wonderful dialogue and unforgettable moments, including a hilarious shoplifting scene and, of course, the transcendent moment when the beautiful Hepburn sings "Moon River" on her fire escape. (Henry Mancini was commissioned to come up with a song that would fit within Hepburn's very narrow vocal range. Anyone can hit all the notes. Try it.) Whether or not Holly and Paul end up together is ultimately less important than whether they can forgive each other -- and themselves -- for the many errors of their ways. Capote's New York is not a place where redemption comes easily, but maybe these two can find it. Holly deserves a happy ending.

Dinner at Macy's.



Breakfast At Tiffany's

Facts and Figures

Genre: Romance

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 4th November 1961

Box Office Worldwide: $9.5M

Budget: $2.5M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Jurow-Shepherd

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Holly Golightly, as Paul „Fred“ Varjak, as 2-E (Mrs. Failenson), as Doc Golightly, as O. J. Berman, as Mr. Yunioshi, José Luis de Villalonga as José da Silva Pereira, as Tiffany's salesman, as Sally Tomato, Dorothy Whitney as Mag Wildwood, Beverly Powers as Dancer at nightclub, as Rusty Trawler, Claude Stroud as Sid Arbuck, Elvia Allman as Librarian, Orangey as Cat

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.