Each month this year Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events have teamed to bring "Big Screen Classics" into movie theaters around the country. The series kicked off with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) in January and will close with From Here To Eternity (1953) in December.
|Audrey Hepburn and Jose Luis de Vilallonga|
The film is based on a 1958 novella of the same name by Truman Capote. Capote had become a literary sensation in 1948 at age 24 with the publication of his first novel, a best-seller, Other Voices, Other Rooms. By the time he completed Breakfast at Tiffany's, the still-young author was well-established in the literary world and a celebrated enfant terrible, and his much-anticipated novella would appear in serialized form in Esquire magazine not long before Random House published it as part of a collection along with three stories. Capote would reflect on his novella a few years later and note that Breakfast at Tiffany's signaled his evolution toward "a more subdued, clearer prose" style. This new approach culminated in his 1965 "non-fiction novel," In Cold Blood. Capote would sell the film rights for Tiffany's to Paramount with the desire that his friend Marilyn Monroe be given the role of free-spirited protagonist Holly Golightly, but this was not to be.
Blake Edwards (Days of Wine and Roses, The Pink Panther, Victor/Victoria) signed on to direct, George Axelrod (The Seven Year Itch) wrote the screenplay, Franz Planer (The Caine Mutiny, The Children's Hour) photographed, Henry Mancini (Days of Wine and Roses, Charade) composed the musical score. And Audrey Hepburn starred.
|Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard|
|Audrey Hepburn and Orangey|
Breakfast at Tiffany's was nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Musical Score and Best Original Song ("Moon River"). Henry Mancini won Oscars for his score and for the song and also won five Grammys that year: Best Soundtrack Album, Best Performance by an Orchestra, as well as Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Instrumental Arrangement for "Moon River." Over the years since Breakfast at Tiffany's was released many apologies for Mickey Rooney's "yellow face" caricature portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi have been extended - from the actor himself and from Blake Edwards, who chose to take the character in that direction. We should remember that when the film was made such a portrayal was not viewed as inappropriate - see also Marlon Brando in Teahouse of the August Moon (1956). Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
|Audrey Hepburn sings "Moon River"|
I'm looking forward to the TCM/Fathom "Big Screen Classics" schedule for 2017...
Counterpoint, Roy Newquist, ed. (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964)
Truman Capote: Conversations, Truman Capote and M. Thomas Inge (Univ.
Press of Mississippi, 1987)
|Audrey Hepburn in the "ultimate little black dress" - by Hubert de Givenchy|
Many thanks to Fathom Events for tickets to this screening