Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam and "Cat"
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Released by: Paramount Pictures
Synopsis: Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is an eccentric woman whose only wish is to find the ideal, rich man. In her journey through New York's social life she meets Paul Varjak (George Peppard), a man who moves into the same apartment building she lives in. Soon she discovers a growing passion between them that will test their beliefs and love towards each other.
Review: This is both the first Audrey Hepburn film that I saw and the first film that started my classic film journey, and it's a film I shall never forget. Breakfast at Tiffany's features a near perfect blend of comedy, drama and romance, complemented by wonderful performances. Audrey Hepburn is able to play Holly with great pride, presenting us a strong but afraid and lonely woman all while being beautiful and glamorous. George Peppard as Paul does a good job, and the chemistry between him and Audrey really pushes the film forward. The story at first appears to be simple: eccentric woman falls in love with a straight man despite their differences. But there are elements of betrayal, ties to the mob, appreciation towards family and the most important one of all: to find one's true self.
The opening scene alone is one of the most thrilling, dazzling scenes in the film thanks to its simple but honest look at the main character. This is largely in part to the great soundtrack by Henry Mancini (who would then go on to create the great Pink Panther theme). He perfectly handles the mix of comedy and drama with tunes that complement the scenes very well. The city of New York also plays a big part in the blossoming romances, making it as much of a character as the rest of the cast.
My only issue with the film is Mickey Rooney's portrayal of an Asian character, Mr. Yunioshi. He plays the role of the obnoxious next door neighbor who always has an issue with Holly's wild parties. The character is highly stereotypical, and the role could have been done without the need to resort to a tired cliché.
But regardless of this one flaw, Breakfast at Tiffany's is bound to move and delight anyone that watches it. Anyone in need of a great romance film, this one shouldn't be missed. It made me a fan of the lovely Hepburn, the great Mancini and the unforgettable Blake Edwards.
Rating: 4 filmstrips out of 5