Monday, November 30, 2015

Breakfast at Tiffany's at 50: Why does it endure while better movies have faded into obscurity?

"Breakfast at Tiffany's," Truman Capote novel: Love it. "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Audrey Hepburn movie: Don't get it. Do you?

Breakfast at Tiffany's at 50: Why does it endure while better movies have faded into obscurity?

Audrey Hepburn in Hubert de Givenchy´s Little Black Dress.
Audrey Hepburn in Hubert de Givenchy's Little Black Dress.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote novel: Love it. Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn movie: Don't get it. Do you?

It was the first "grownup" movie I ever saw. I was 8 or 9. Adored Hepburn. Yet even then this fairytale about Holly Golightly, the Manhattan geisha who falls for aspiring writer George Peppard, did not have the emotional impact or erotic pull of Splendor in the Grass or West Side Story, to name two Natalie Wood movies released that year. Wood singed with sexual heat; Hepburn was a playful doll.

Blake Edwards' 1961 urban love story turns 50 tomorrow. I'd argue that the extent to which this tale of Manhattan geisha Holly Golightly is timeless is for the most part due to the eternal appeal of the Hubert de Givenchy-designed LBD -- Little Black Dress -- that makes Hepburn resemble a tasty stick of black licorice. To a lesser extent its appeal is due Henry Mancini's "Moon River," the love song about huckleberry friends.

Sam Wasson, who wrote Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., about the making of Breakfast at Tiffany's, would argue that if not for Holly Golightly, the free spirit from the sticks who makes Manhattan her playground, there would be no Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and the City. I say Wasson should look at The Best of Everything.

You say?


Film Critic
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Consider our Movies blog your essential guide to new movies and classics, interviews with filmmakers and stars, news and views on the latest screen trends, reviews and the occasional rant.

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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