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The first time I saw BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S ($30), I immediately fell in love with Audrey Hepburn. She brought so much vulnerability to the supposedly tough Holly Golightly that it was impossible to not fall in love with this incredibly beautiful actress. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S may be based upon Truman Capote’s well known novel, but this romantic concoction from director Blake Edwards and screenwriter George Axelrod is a pure Hollywood. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S tells the story of the afore mentioned Holly Golightly, a New York party girl who lives on the money given to her by wealthy gentlemen for "cab fare" and trips to "the powder room." Holly finds a kindred spirit in her new neighbor Paul Varjak (George Peppard), a down on his luck writer, who just happens to be living off the "sponsorship" of a wealthy married woman (played by Patricia Neal).

Holly and Paul hit it off immediately, however their friendship quickly blossoms into something else. Unfortunately, Holly’s overwhelming desire to snag a wealthy husband proves to be a detour on the road to true love. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is a bittersweet comedy that features memorable performances from a delightful cast. Audrey Hepburn was always a captivating presence on the silver screen, but her performance here is pure cinema magic. While Peppard and Neal are both very good in their roles, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S other standout performance comes from a surprising source. Buddy Ebsen’s simple heartfelt performance, as Doc Golightly, will make one totally forget both Jed Clampett and Barnaby Jones. The cast of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S also includes Martin Balsam, Josť Luis de Villalonga, John McGiver, Alan Reed, Dorothy Whitney, Beverly Hills, Stanley Adams, Claude Stroud, Elvia Allman and Mickey Rooney in a politically incorrect (but still hilarious) portrayal.

Paramount Home has done a really nice job with their DVD release of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S. The film is offered wide screen only, and the 16:9 enhanced presentation is just about everything one could hope for from a 1961 film. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the new transfer is visually pleasing. The film element has minor age related issues, but they can be easily overlooked. Film grain is slightly noticeable, but again, there are genuine differences between the film stocks available today and those in use in 1961. The image is a little soft when compared to the transfer of a brand new movie, however Paramount has gotten all of the detail that can be pulled from the existing film elements under NTSC. Colors are vividly reproduced, with only minor incidents of fuzziness in the hot colors. Flesh tones look very good and for the most part, everyone should enjoy the Technicolor quality of the presentation. Thanks to competent authoring, digital compression artifacts never made their presence known.

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is offered with a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel mix, from which Henry Mancini’s Academy Award winning score greatly benefits. The music has an openness that it never had on any previous video incarnation. Audrey Hepburn’s beautiful rendition of the Oscar winning Moon River also sounds delightful thanks to the new mix. Of course, being a 1961 monaural film, directional effects in the new mix are quite limited. Additionally, the surround channels do little more than add ambiance and musical fill to the soundtrack. English Dolby Surround and French monaural soundtracks are also provided on the DVD. Subtitles are available on the DVD in English. The interactive menus are basic and offer access to the standard scene selection and set up features. A theatrical trailer has been included on the DVD as supplement.

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is a wonderful movie and one of Audrey Hepburn’s finest films. Technically, Paramount has done right by the DVD, making this a worthy addition to the library of any fan. Recommended.


Breakfast at Tiffany's


DVD reviews are Copyright © 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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