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Excellent!

A word that can describe the Centennial Collection release of the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's", the classic romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard.

Having reviewed previous versions of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" before on DVD, I'm sure many Audrey Hepburn fans are probably wondering how else can Paramount improve from the 2006 45th Anniversary Edition on DVD? Well, I can tell you right now... plenty! Please read on.

A film that stars quite a bit of talent, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" remains not just one of the most memorable romantic films of all time but a film that exemplifies the beauty of Audrey Hepburn, the chic style of the times and more (which I will discuss more in the special features portion of my review).

VIDEO & AUDIO:

The film is presented in widescreen format, enhanced for 16:9 TV's. A lot of the Centennial Collection releases have been remastered for high definition and having the previous DVD's, I can tell you that the DVD looks great. But I can only imagine how this film would look in 1080P if released in Blu-ray.

Audio is featured in Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround/English, Restored Mono, French Mono and Spanish Mono. The film of course is dialogue-driven but sure enough, the music of Harry Mancini is alive and well when blaring through your speakers.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

As mentioned before, there have been several releases of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" prior to this Centennial Collection, the older DVD's really hardly came with anything but the trailer until the 2006 "Special 45th Anniversary Collector's Edition" which came with a good number of special features and a commentary by producer Richard Shepherd.

Well, what I can tell you is that the Centennial Collection contains all of the special features from the Anniversary DVD release but also adds quite a few new lengthy featurettes as well. On the first disc, the first disc contains the movie and the same commentary from the Anniversary disc by Producer Richard Shepherd. You can tell that Shepherd gets drawn in to the film and doesn't speak in the commentary until he feels necessary.

So, for those wanting a verbose commentary, Shepherd doesn't do that. But it's actually quite fine because when he does speak, you learn a lot of things from him about the filming. For example, the opening shot featuring Audrey Hepburn in front of Tiffany's in Fifth Avenue. Where the place is typically packed with cars and people, for that time... there was hardly any traffic and no people. So, a very lucky time in filmmaking for the crew.

Also, Shepherd is quite apologetic about casting Rooney as Mr. Funiyoshi and he does that quite a bit in the commentary. You realized he didn't want the yellow face routine (Caucasian actor looking like an Asian stereotypical character) but it was kept in. Also, commenting of how certain scenes worked then but would never fly now. But most of all, his continued feeling of Audrey Hepburn as a class act. Overall, a very good commentary that you learn a lot from.

The special features on disc 2 are as follows:

* A Golightly Gathering - A 20-minute featurette that reunites the talents who were in the cocktail party scene from "Breakfast at Tiffany's". One of the coolest parties ever on film, it's great to see the talent from the film reunite and discuss their experiences of filming that part scene 40-years later. I had no idea the party-scene took 8-days to film but it was great to hear everyone talk about their scene, working with Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard and Blake Edwards. But what a great featurette and so happy of it's inclusion.
* Henry Mancini: More Than Music - This nearly 21-minute featurette is a wonderful featurette that features interviews with Henry Mancini's wife, daughter and son. Seeing private photos and even videos of Henry and having their family talk about him and what they remember about him, winning the two Academy Awards for "Moon River" and working on other films is just wonderful.
* Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective - A 17-minute featurette. Despite the popularity of the film, the black cloud that has lingered on this film was the casting of Mickey Rooney as "Mr. Yunioshi". A talented actor, the "yellow face" role was just wrong and acknowledge by the director, producer and a cast member was just terribly wrong in casting Rooney for that role. This feature has interviews with representatives of the Media Action Network of Asian Americans. I'm glad that Paramount did include this featurette on this collection.
* The Making of a Classic - Originally from the Anniversary release, this segment features interviews with Producer Richard Shepherd and Director Blake Edwards. A 16-minute featurette and you definitely learn a lot about the film, especially from Blake Edwards. One could image how his director's commentary would have been if included, especially with what he had to say on this featurette.
* It's So Audrey: A Style Icon - An eight minute featurette with interviews with designers, Hepburn's son and companion. How Audrey Hepburn made simple things quite sexy. How Audrey never thought of her body proportions that sexy but she did have a good eye for style and how she became a fashion and style icon.
* Behind the Gates: The Tour - This 4 minute featurette gives people a look behind the gates of the Paramount lot. A good promotional for those who would like to tour the Paramount lot.
* Brilliance in a Blue Box - A six minute featurette about the history of Tiffany's. Originally featured on the Anniversary DVD.
* Audrey's Letter to Tiffany - A two minute featurette about the letter Audrey wrote for the preface of the 150th Anniversary book for Tiffany's.
* Original Theatrical Trailer - The original two minute trailer with its dust, scratches and all.
* Galleries - Featuring production stills, movie stills and publicity shots for the film.

The Centennial Collection also comes with a booklet that features information of facts of the film, from how Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for this film, information on Orangey the cat and how the "New York Site" that was filmed at the Paramount lot is now forever lost due to the big Paramount fire back in 1983 that destroyed historical sets.

And the DVD is just classy with it's black and gold packaging (which most of the Centennial Collection are packaged) and ditching the pink and white packaging.

I absolutely love this film. From the memorable dialogue, that first scene with Holly standing in front of Tiffany's, the cocktail party, Holly Golightly singing "Moon River" on her guitar, the cat and of course the final scene between Holly and Paul.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" is a classic Audrey Hepburn film that is a must-own. I know that the film has been re-released many times on DVD and the 45th Anniversary was just a pleasure when it first came out and at the time, it was a definitive release. But now, with this "Centennial Collection" featuring a remastered version of the film and the new (and quite lengthy) featurettes that is included on this collection, this is the definitive version on DVD.

Personally, I can only imagine how this would look once it becomes available on Blu-ray but for now, these Centennial Collections from Paramount are just wonderful. Especially "Breakfast at Tiffany's", I'm really amazed how far Paramount went in order to make this release much more special.

The addition of "A Golightly Gathering" featuring the actors who took part in that cocktail party was awesome, the Henry Mancini featurette for those who just love his musical work will love this featurette and of course, for those who have felt the pain of the "yellow face" segment in the film, Paramount going the extra step by including a featurette dedicate to that on this DVD.

But in the end, this DVD is indeed a special tribute to Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn is just an icon of style and elegance and this DVD does a great job of giving special attention to such an incredible film. And after seeing this film so many time times, I still have not grown tired of it. It's one special film that I highly recommend
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The blu-ray 50th anniversary release of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" occurred on September 20, 2011. All reviews posted earlier than that date refer to earlier DVD releases and will confuse those seeking information on this new blu-ray edition. I am happy to report that the blu-ray edition (based on a complete 2011 restoration of the film) is amazing and is the one to have in your film library. The image detail is so clear and clean! The audio is outstanding in its clarity! The special features appear to be the same ones from the Centennial Collection DVD edition.
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on February 14, 2005
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" is flawless blend of a crowd-pleasing star-vehicle for the effortlessly charming Audrey Hepburn and a bittersweet, painfully beautiful look at love, life, and happiness. Director Blake Edwards, the man behind "The Pink Panther" series, "The Party", "Operation Petticoat", "Victor/Victoria", etc., has crafted a truly timeless film based on the novella by Truman Capote. Though numerous elements of Capote's story were altered, the film still has a strong core and message that urges audiences to examine their own lives, loves, and happiness.

Everything about this film is classic. You have the timeless Hepburn and her defining performance as Holly Golightly, a sophisticated, sassy call-girl with a secret past who is ultimately one of the most vulnerable characters Hepburn ever played. Then there's George Peppard, a vastly under-appreciated actor who manages to hold his own next to Hepburn while playing a struggling writer living off an older married woman. Peppard's boyish good looks and surprising depth make him the ideal match for Hepburn's Golightly.

Then of course there's Henry Mancini's wistfully romantic score and the tremendously popular theme-song, "Moon River", a true gem of a song that capture's the film's essence perfectly. In addition, you have Hepburn's fabulous, style-setting wardrobe courtesy of her lifelong friend Hubert de Givenchy. In this one film alone, Hepburn and Givenchy practically invented the "little black dress", popularized ballet flats, and introduced capris as a stylish alternative to regular pants.

My favorite quote:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?

Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?

Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

Paul Varjak: Sure.

Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away.
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on December 6, 2000
This wonderful romantic comedy featuring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard and adapted from a novella by Truman Capote is as complex as it is touching. As we meet Holly Golightly (Hepburn), she appears to be a quirky girl of modest means who yearns to lives the jet set lifestyle. She window shops at Tiffany's and throws wild parties in her apartment. Her chief source of income comes from weekly visits to a Mafia don in prison, relaying "weather reports" to his lawyer on the outside. She seems to be the picture of superficiality, described by O.J. Berman (Martin Balsam) as a "real phony", a person who is not what she appears to be, but is convinced she is.
Paul Varjak is an apathetic writer with one book and no ideas. He moves in upstairs from Holly and they immediately strike up a fire escape friendship. His only source of income comes from being a gigolo to his wealthy interior decorator (Patricia Neal) who pays him handsomely for his services every chance she gets. Paul and Holly seem to be two of a kind, abject losers pretending to be what they are not.
However, as the story unfolds, the layers are peeled away and the motivation for Holly's go-lightly personality is revealed in her difficult past. She is far more complex and deep than we first believe, using her lifestyle as a defense mechanism, a way of running from herself. The friendship and love that grow between Paul and Holly make better people of each and ultimately help them to transcend their personal flaws, but not without great difficulties.
For director Blake Edwards, who became most renowned for a spate of Pink Panther movies, this film was probably among his finest moments. These were complicated characters and he revealed them slowly with nuance. They were also developing as people and his treatment of this effect was both subtle and powerful.
The film was not without controversy. Truman Capote was adamant about having Marilyn Monroe in the lead, but the studio went with Audrey Hepburn, who was far less popular but who was probably better for the complexities of the character. They had selected a very young John Frankenheimer as director, who at that point had only TV credits on his resume. Hepburn refused to work with him and he was dumped in favor of Edwards. Capote wanted the film to remain true to the book's dark and depressing ending, but the studio chose to play to the masses and end it on an upbeat. Personally, I'm glad they did.
The film has been roundly criticized in the present day for the character portrayed by Mickey Rooney. Rooney played a caricature of a bumbling Japanese neighbor that was extremely unflattering to Asians although admittedly it was hilarious. This is considered a shocking portrayal in today's politically correct society, but it stirred little furor at the time, when everyone was far more insensitive and far less oversensitive. When the film was released, the biggest criticism was that Edwards overused the character to the point of making him nauseating, which was an obvious error in judgment. If Rooney only had one or two scenes rather than roughly a dozen, it probably wouldn't have become such a lightening rod.
Hepburn and Peppard were both terrific in the leads. Hepburn, who was nominated for best actress for the role, gave Holly a lovable quirkiness that belied her deeper troubles. When it was time to broaden the character, Hepburn gave her intricacy and depth that I feel Marilyn Monroe never could have accomplished. Peppard was more than just a dashing and handsome foil for Hepburn. He played Paul with sensitivity and refinement and had incredible chemistry with Hepburn, making the romance very natural and believable.
One of the best things about the film was the soundtrack, which brought the film its only two Oscars from five nominations. Henry Mancini's musical score was marvelous and film's theme song, "Moon River" written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer is an enduring classic.
The DVD version brings new life to the original Technicolor photography and brings fullness to Mancini's fabulous soundtrack.
This richly textured film has both depth and range. It has just the right balance of lightness and heaviness, with well-explored characters that change before our eyes. I rated it a 10/10. It is an intelligent and affecting film that is worth seeing.
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on September 30, 2015
UGH. I don't understand how anyone could find this movie charming. Hepburn's character is selfish, shallow, manipulative and opportunistic. For those who love the co-dependent dysfunctional gender roles of yore, this one is for you.
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on September 20, 2011
Just did a little A/B comparison, and there is a noticeable improvement
from the Centennial Collection DVD.

Both Picture and Sound are excellent. Colors are vibrant,
and literally everything jumps off the screen.

So if you were wondering if this older movie would look
good on Blu-ray, wonder no more.

When we get so see Audrey in My Fair Lady on Blu-ray
(which is coming out soon) I hope it looks this nice.
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on July 5, 2004
Because of the fact that I'm only 17 years old, I just got around to watching this movie. I'd always heard about it but I never knew what it was about. And, to be quite honest, I didn't even think about watching it because I thought it was in black and white! (Eh, I didn't know when it was made!)
My dad made me watch it this past weekend and I fell in love with it! Unlike most romantic comedies made today, both main characters are broke. It doesn't follow the mold of: poor/average girl falls for rich guy blah blah blah or the other way around. It was funny (Mickey Rooney's character was HILARIOUS!) and sad (when Holly finds out about Fred) and sappy (the last 20 minutes) all at the same time.
This movie is great for anyone, whether you saw it the first time around or you're a "late viewer" like me.
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on April 28, 2003
"Breakfast At Tiffanys" is the vintage romance classic based on the novel by Truman Capote that pits the elegant Audrey Hepburn (Holly Golightly) against stoic George Peppard (Paul Varjack). He's a would be writer, being kept by a rich, married lady. She's the lost soul runaway who's abandoned her husband and family after her beloved brother dies while serving his country in the military. This is vintage Capote. Even with the glaring omissions to the text and Mickey Rooney's garish, over-the-top performance as a Japanese landlord, this is still one of the all time great date flicks.
Unfortunately, Paramount Home Video hasn't done a very vintage job on this DVD. They've presented the film in its original VistaVision widescreen process (anamorphically enhanced) and remixed the sound to 5.1. That's a start. But the visual characteristic of the transfer on this DVD is digitally harsh, suffering from edge enhancement, aliasing, shimmering fine details, pixelization and digital grain.
Colors are generally well balanced but there are several instances where flesh tones appear a little bit on the yellowish side. Contrast levels are weak with black levels usually registering a dark gray instead of black. There's an excessive amount of chips and scratches in the opening title sequence as well as some general color fading associated with film stock of this period. As for the 5.1 surround, it's strident and not very natural. Dialogue is forward sounding. The Henry Mancini score is nicely presented, particularly Moon River, but over all this is a mono soundtrack with very few scenes that engage any of your other speakers.
NO EXTRAS! What a shame!
BOTTOM LINE: This is vintage Hollywood presented at bargain basement quality. Decide for yourself. I'd wait in the hopes of a complete digital restoration.
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on August 29, 2002
Breakfast at Tiffany's is a movie that seems untouchable in its high-gloss, 60s stylishness. But apart from the charismatic Audrey Hepburn who is mysterious and elegant as Holly Golightly, and the Henry Mancini soundtrack, facts have to be faced. Breakfast at Tiffany's is not a great film. George Peppard, for all his blue-eyed good looks, has the screen presence of a deep freezer and Mickery Rooney's cameo as the irate Japanese upstairs neighbour is terrible. I would say Breakfast at Tiffany's is a good movie for Audrey Hepburn fans and students of 60s style but unsatisfying for the rest of us.
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Breakfast At Tiffany's holds up incredibly well after fifty years. The Blu Ray transfer is amazing. The film looks crisp and beautiful and watching it you're amazed that it was shot so long ago. If you are a fan of the film, it is worth purchasing to see the masterful work done on the restoration. The colors pop and Audrey Hepburn looks absolutely radiant. The chemistry between her and George Peppard is excellent and Ms. Hepburn won a well deserved Best Actress Academy Award nomination. The film is probably most famous for two things, Ms. Hepburn practically inventing the little black dress with the Givenchy number she wears in the open scenes and the song "Moon River". If you can overlook (and it's hard to do) the insipid caricature of a Japanese man by Mickey Rooney, then Breakfast At Tiffany's remains a winner.
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