Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Truman Capote & Blake Edwards

While Audrey Hepburn may not have been Truman Capote’s ideal choice to play Holly Golightly, audiences embraced her in the role, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s is often the first film that springs to mind when the name Audrey Hepburn is mentioned.

Accepting the role of Holly was a risk for Hepburn, who was associated with virtuous ingnue roles. At 32 years old, Hepburn was ready to take on more adult parts and break out of her established comfort zone. In addition to scoring an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, the role of Holly Golightly helped Hepburn win more challenging adult roles.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is also a film synonymous with fashion and high style. From the first scene when Audrey Hepburn stands in front of Tiffany’s wearing a gorgeous black evening gown draped in pearls with her hair piled high in a frosted beehive, the entire tone and look of the film is set. This is the movie responsible for bringing the «little black dress» into vogue, and Hepburn’s simple yet elegant Givenchy-designed wardrobe helped established the actress as a style icon.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s was also the film that introduced the Oscar-winning song «Moon River» to the world. The song, written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, became a signature hit for Andy Williams, but it was Audrey Hepburn who sang it first. Sitting on her windowsill in the film and strumming a guitar, her simple, unadorned version of the tune is genuinely touching and evokes the melancholy yearning that was always present in Capote’s original novella.

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