Sunday, 4 September 2011

Film Review: BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961)

Breakfast at Tiffany's poster Director: Blake Edwards
Based on a book by Truman Capote
Running time: 115 mins (approx)

Certification (UK): PG
Genre: Drama/Comedy/Romance
USA (New York) Release date: 5th October 1961

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 4th September 2011.


I have seen this film many times over the years, usually on a rainy Sunday afternoon when I lived with my parents, with my brother and sister, usually arguing, in the background. It was nice to see it again, but this time with no distractions and I was surprised just how ‘grown up’ a lot of it was. I remember a light romantic comedy with the rather good Johnny Mercer (words)/Henry Mancini (music) song “Moon River” running through it, but I found a much darker side to it this time. More of my thoughts later after this brief summary.

breakfast-at-tiffanys-opening-shot1 When writer Paul Varjak is moved into a new apartment by his rich lover, known as “2-E”, he meets his new neighbour, Holly Golightly. She has an immediate impact on him and they soon become friends. They are very similar in certain ways, Holly lives off the generosity of the men she meets, without compromising herself, I should add. She is paid by a lawyer to visit a gangster, Sally Tomato, in prison and report back the “weather report”. As you can probably guess, this will cause problems for Holly later on. As time goes by Paul and Holly grow closer, but she is always on the lookout for a rich man to marry. Things take a turn when her former husband, Doc Golightly, turns up and this gives Paul pause for thought. But she persuades Doc to go back home without too much bother and, as Paul begins to believe he has a chance; another rich man appears on the scene. Also some bad news affects Holly quite badly… Will they ever get together? What is the bad news? Well, I can’t really tell you here or the Spoiler Police will be sending me to Sing Sing (again).

breakfast at tiffanys dont walk One thing that immediately struck me about this film was just how beautiful Audrey Hepburn was. She really shone and put in a tremendous performance as the free spirited Holly Golightly. I thought George Peppard as Paul Varjak was excellent too in a role that many might find a little surprising given his later, more infamous, TV roles. The supporting cast were also very good; Patricia Neal as “2-E”, Buddy Ebsen as Doc Golightly, Martin Balsam as O.J. Berman, José Luis de Vilallonga as José and the comic relief was supplied by Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi. Oh, and I mustn’t forget Putney as ‘Cat’.

201 As I said at the beginning there is a darker side to this story, it made me wonder a little about how Holly came to be this person, and how Paul ended up in a situation where he is a ‘kept’ man. There are hints to their past lives but it is never fully revealed. I really did enjoy seeing it again, but I did feel it was a little too long and there were a few scenes in there that didn’t really add much to the story. It is all, however, very well done and one I have no problem in deeming… Recommended.

My Score: 8.1/10.

IMDb Score: 7.8/10 (based on 43,462 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88/100 (based on 48 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

audrey-hepburn-rain-mac-breakfast-at-tiffanys FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[Two this time… I’m feeling generous…]
Holly Golightly: He's all right! Aren't you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven't got the right to give him one. We don't belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's.
Paul Varjak: Tiffany's? You mean the jewellery store.
Holly Golightly: That's right. I'm just CRAZY about Tiffany's!

[As an ex-smoker, this one made me laugh…]
Holly Golightly: But I am mad about Jose. I honestly think I'd give up smoking if he asked me.



Tom_Film_Master said...

I gave this film the same kind of rating, it was a great film. Good review!

Rodders said...

I saw this film for the first time this week and, despite Mickey Rooney's quite racist performance, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of Miss Golightly and Fred, I mean Paul. Brilliant review

Nick L. said...

Great review! I love this film, perhaps even more than you. Audrey Hepburn always manages to put a smile on my face. And the film's ending is far too cute. How could one dislike this wonderful film?