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

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

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.