Breakfast at Tiffany's [1961]

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 115 minutes

No film better utilizes Audrey Hepburn's flighty charm and svelte beauty than this romantic adaptation of Truman Capote's novella. Hepburn's urban sophisticate Holly Golightly, an enchanting neurotic living off the gifts of gentlemen, is a bewitching figure in designer dresses and costume jewelry. George Peppard is her upstairs neighbor, a struggling writer and "kept" man financed by a steely older woman (Patricia Neal). His growing friendship with the lonely Holly soon turns to love and threatens the delicate balance of both of their compromised lives. Taking liberties with Capote's bittersweet story, director Blake Edwards and screenwriter George Axelrod turn New York into a city of lovers and create a poignant portrait of Holly, a frustrated romantic with a secret past and a hidden vulnerability. Composer Henry Mancini earned Oscars for the hit song "Moon River" and his tastefully romantic score. The only sour note in the whole film is Mickey Rooney's demeaning performance as the apartment's Japanese manager, an offensively overdone stereotype even in 1961. The rest of the film has weathered the decades well. Edwards's elegant yet light touch, Axelrod's generous screenplay, and Hepburn's mix of knowing experience and naiveté combine to create one of the great screen romances and a refined slice of high society bohemian chic. --Sean Axmaker

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