Includes the films Breakfast At Tiffany's, Roman Holiday and Sabrina.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
No film better utilizes Audrey Hepburn's flighty charm and svelte beauty than this romantic adaptation of Truman Capote's novella. Hepburn's urban sophisticate Holly Golightly, an enchanting neurotic living off the gifts of gentlemen, is a bewitching figure in designer dresses and costume jewelry. George Peppard is her upstairs neighbor, a struggling writer and "kept" man financed by a steely older woman (Patricia Neal). His growing friendship with the lonely Holly soon turns to love and threatens the delicate balance of both of their compromised lives. Taking liberties with Capote's bittersweet story, director Blake Edwards and screenwriter George Axelrod turn New York into a city of lovers and create a poignant portrait of Holly, a frustrated romantic with a secret past and a hidden vulnerability. Composer Henry Mancini earned Oscars for the hit song "Moon River" and his tastefully romantic score. The only sour note in the whole film is Mickey Rooney's demeaning performance as the apartment's Japanese manager, an offensively overdone stereotype even in 1961. The rest of the film has weathered the decades well. Edwards's elegant yet light touch, Axelrod's generous screenplay, and Hepburn's mix of knowing experience and naiveté combine to create one of the great screen romances and a refined slice of high society bohemian chic. --Sean Axmaker
Maybe it doesn't quite live up to its sterling reputation, and maybe the leading man and director were slightly miscast. But who cares? Roman Holiday is the film that brought Audrey Hepburn to prominence, and the world movie audience went weak at the knees. The endlessly charming Hepburn had her first starring role in this sweet romance, playing a European princess on an official tour through Rome. Frustrated by her lack of connection to the real world, she slips away from her protective handlers and goes on a spree, aided by a tough-guy news reporter (Gregory Peck). Director William Wyler, more at home with such heavy-going, Oscar-winning classics as The Best Years of Our Lives and Ben- Hur, doesn't always keep the champagne bubbles afloat, and the Peck role would have fit Cary Grant like a silk glove. But the film is great fun, the location shooting is irresistible, and Hepburn embodies an image of chic style that would rule for the rest of the fifties. No coincidence: she won an Oscar, and so did veteran costume designer Edith Head. --Robert Horton
Audrey Hepburn is the delightful young Sabrina, the daughter of a chauffeur who is hopelessly in love with David Larrabee (William Holden), the playboy younger son in the rich Long Island household her father works for. In order to help her forget her woes, Sabrina is shipped off to cooking school in Paris. While there, she befriends a baron who provides a bit of culture--and the encouragement to snip off her childlike ponytail. Upon her return to New York, Sabrina is transformed into a sophisticated woman, and David is entranced by her. However, his older brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) has arranged David's marriage to Elizabeth Tyson in order to seal a business merger and thus must steer David away from Sabrina. To do this, Linus takes on the task of wooing her for himself. Full of great dialogue ("A woman happy in love, she burns the soufflé; a woman unhappy in love, she forgets to turn on the oven") and wonderful performances, this film is a romantic masterpiece. Also enjoyable is the 1995 remake, starring Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford. --Jenny Brown