A few days back,my eyes fell upon an item about how Breakfast At Tiffanys is readying for a refurbishment of print and re-release,50 years after the original date. And it sent me instantly to a DVD viewing of the film,to which belongs one of the most iconic images of Hollywood: a slender woman in an LBD and pearls,standing outside a famous jewellery store in Manhattan,munching on coffee-and-croissant,dreaming. Of possibilities. Of what can be.
Sure,some parts of the film feel dated. An early morning in downtown New York is never so empty,as when we see Audrey Hepburn in front of that window. What appeared shocking half a century ago (so many cigarettes,so much drinking,was the outraged reaction of a critic) is now something we wouldnt raise an eyebrow over. And I always thought that George Peppards solid,square-jawed leading man was a bit of a drip: he hasnt improved over the years.
What hasnt got old,and never will,is Holly Golightly,whose light feet conceal a heart that is capable of being heavy. She calls everyone darling because shes the kind of girl who wants to remember no names. She calls her cat cat because a name would tie her down to the creature. She throws mad parties where guests come and go,booze keeps arriving by the crate,and the dancing never ends. Having put a wrong marriage behind her,shes on the lookout for a man who will keep her in diamonds,but she is quite happy when the poor writer she likes takes her for an ordinary old walk. Shes determinedly on the make,but hasnt lost the essential girl who wants love. Shes flighty,shes ditsy,and yet theres something about her that makes you immediately want to adopt her,and take her home.
Truman Capotes immortal character in his novella came alive in the film,even though some parts of the book were changed to suit the sentimental tone of the film. And Hepburn nails the character to the point that you cant think of anyone else in it. She goes lightly. That Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly Golightly was well reported,but can you imagine a brassy blonde instead of a soignée,slender-necked,black-haired beauty? No? No.
The DVD also has special features which includes a commentary from the producer,on the making of a classic.