Breakfast at Tiffany's: Audrey Hepburn Paramount Collection

Audrey Hepburn, one of Hollywood’s favorite stars returns in two of her most dazzling performances, when “Funny Face” (1957) and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) will be released on DVD January 13, 2009t. 

Audrey Hepburn headlines the latest releases on DVD from the Paramount Centennial Collection timed in conjunction with her 80th birthday anniversary.  Both films will be available in a two-disc set including an eight-page memorabilia booklet and additional all-new bonus features, in numbered series packaging. A selection of the most treasured films from Paramount’s nearly 100-year history, the Paramount Centennial Collection ensures that these digitally remastered classic motion pictures will be enjoyed for generations to come. 

Film Review

Blake Edwards directed this charming if slightly compromised adaptation of Truman's Capote's famous novel about a call girl, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn at her best), an eccentric woman who claims to support herself from tips as a powder room attendant.

She falls in love with her neighbor Paul (George Peppard), an aspiring writer who's actually playboy supported by an older wealthy matron (a terrific Patricia Neal). This presents an obstacle to his growing attraction, as well as his puzzlement by Holly's erratic behavior, which goes from giving all-night parties for her friends to being lonely and neurotic in the company of her cat.

Things get more complicated when Holly's past is revealed through the character of Doc Golightly (Buddy Ebsen), a visitor from rural Texas who reveals some of the truth behind Holly's surface sophistication.

Nonetheless, Edwards makes sure that his movie fantasy, a real Valentine to New York's Greenwich Village, where Holly resides and Fifth Avenue's Tiffany's, which Holly visits whenever her spirits are down, ends in an emotionally satisfying way. Capote purists have always found the film to be too sentimental. Indeed, Holly's visit to an imprisoned ganglord (Alan Reed) and coming out of powder rooms are mysterious but understandable, due to the restriction imposed by the Code of Production on the portraiture of prostitution on screen.

With one notable exception, the supporting cast, which includes Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and John McGiver. As Holly's agent, Balsam is given the film's best line, when he notes: “She's a phony, all right, but a real phony.”

That notable exception is Mickey Rooney, who plays Holly's unpleasant Japanese neighbor. Blatantly racist, even by Hollywood standards of 1961, Rooney is a caricature, all the way with his buckteeth. It's a note that almost, but not quite, spoils the fun of an otherwise charming and touching tale, adapted to the screen by George Axelrod.

Hard to believe that Capote himself was initially against Hepburn, instead favoring Marilyn Monroe, who would have turned the movie into something else, closer in vein to The Seven Year Itch, the Broadway hit and later Hollywood movie that Axelrod wrote.

Among the benefits is Hepburn's wonderful rendition of Henry Mancini's melodic and elegiac song, “Moon River,” which won the Song Oscar and became a popular favorite played in nightclubs and bars for the rest of the decade; Mancini's score also received an Oscar.

Hepburn was nominated for Best Actress, but lost out to Sophia Loren in the Italian movie, “Two Women.” The Academy voters must have been in a somber mood for the Adapted Screenplay Oscar that year went to Abby Mann for Stanley Kramer's anti-Nazi courtroom drama, “Judgment at Nuremberg.”

Entering a creative and crucial phase of his career, which began in the 1950s, Edward followed up this romantic drama with the superlative drama “Days of Wine and Roses,” before plunging into the “Pink Panther” movies that would define the rest of his work.

Oscar Nominations: 5

Actress: Audrey Hepburn
Screenplay (Adapted): George Axelord
Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color): Hal Pereira and Roland Anderson; Sam Comer and Ray Moyer
Scoring (Dramatic or Comedy): Henry Mancini
Song: “Moon River,” music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer

Oscar Awards: 2

Scoring
Song

2008 DVD Edition

The Breakfast at Tiffany’s DVD will be presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround; English, French and Spanish Mono; and English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Bonus material includes:          

Disc One

 

o        Commentary by Producer Richard Shepherd         

 

Disc Two

 

o        A Golightly Gathering  (new)                                                                           

o        Henry Mancini: More Than Music (new)                                       

o        Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective (new)                                                   

o        The Making of a Classic                        

o        It's So Audrey: A Style Icon                             

o        Behind the Gates: The Tour                                                                 

o        Brilliance in a Blue Box                 

o        Audrey's Letter to Tiffany              

o        Original Theatrical Trailer

o        Photo Galleries

·         The Movie

·         Production

·         Publicity