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Wanted: Breakfast at Tiffany's review

Old 09-19-99, 03:28 PM
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Anyone recieved Breakfast at Tiffany's yet and can comment on this title ?
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Old 09-19-99, 03:57 PM
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I pre-ordered it, but have yet to receive shipping notification. I'll post my thoughts of it once it arrives.

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Old 09-19-99, 08:41 PM
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Pre-ordered from Reel. They said it shipped on Friday. Hopefully, I'll have it by Monday. Hopefully.

I don't know if you've seen the movie before...

I've seen the movie on VHS and Audrey does a great job in a movie adapted from a Truman Capote story and directed by Blake Edwards! (Can you believe that?) Actually, he does a good job and doesn't schlock it up like his later works. If you like romantic movies, I highly recommend it. Buddy Ebsen is good, George Peppard is good to okay (perhaps, miscast), but Mickey Rooney as an Asian landlord, well...can you say blatant stereotype? Plus, the movie features that great tune "Moon River." Hope they give it a good transfer.

[This message has been edited by Franchot (edited 09-19-1999).]
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Old 09-19-99, 11:18 PM
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I have not seen the dvd yet, But I did have the laserdisc that was released a few years ago, and the transfer was excellent. Being that this is a brand new transfer for the dvd version, It should look even better than the LD

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Old 09-20-99, 09:45 AM
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I've never seen the movie Can anyone comare it to any recent movie so that I know what I'm going into ?
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Old 09-21-99, 01:55 AM
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My copy arrived a day early. Very nice job, Paramount! The picture is enchanced for widescreen TVs and the sound has been remixed to 5.1 Dolby Surround. Now, if you'd only add more extras besides just a trailer...

Flintstone,

Compare it to a recent movie, huh? Hmmm. Well, kinda like "Pretty Woman" but not really, but much better than that film, and kinda "Day Of The Locust", but nowhere near as dark...no can't really think of a recent film I've seen that it's like. It's not in the mold of "You've Got Mail" or "Sleepless In Seattle". It's the story of Holly Golightly (the party girl who doesn't like to feel sad) and the writer who lives next door to her...
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Old 09-21-99, 02:18 AM
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This is really an outstanding movie, one of my all time faves. The story concerns a call girl (Holly, though the fact that she's a call girl is veiled) and a gay writer (well, he's gay in Capote's book and there are some hints that he is in the film as well though they set him up as more of a 'kept man') who fall in love.

The party sequence is a total gas and many other set pieces are imitated in other films (for example the gift shop scene in Good Will Hunting).

The only down point in the picture is the ghastly Moon River scene but I can live with it. It's not a bad scene, just anoying.

I used to watch this on TV when I was younger and the end always made me cry (don't laugh). This is Audrey Hepburn's best film IMHO. Too bad they didn't include more extras on the DVD.
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Old 09-21-99, 06:55 PM
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With all of these great comments I just ordered the movie...

Thank you for all of your thoughts!
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Old 09-24-99, 09:56 AM
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An additional review from thebigpicturedvd.com


Reviewed by Bob Banka
September 22, 1999

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S

PARAMOUNT
Romance
Widescreen 1.85:1, Anamorphic - Enhanced for 16x9 viewing
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Color
114 minutes
Not Rated, 1961

COMMENTS
Blake Edwards’ 1961 romantic comedy, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is based on the novella written by Truman Capote. Capote’s story has more of an edge to it than the film. The most striking difference being the ending. The film has a far more ‘Hollywood’ ending. It’s improbable but happy. Is this a bad thing? No not at all. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Edwards’ flic ending any other way. Who can forget the image of the beautiful Audrey Hepburn standing in the rain cuddling her cat as Henry Mancini’s ‘Moon River’ wells up on the soundtrack? The closing of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is now a classic ending to a charming, very entertaining film.

Audrey Hepburn is the delightful, perky Holly Golightly. A gal from the down south, living in New York and surviving on the ‘tips’ given to her by her ‘dates’ - that’s as far as a film of the early sixties dares to go to describe how she makes a living. Hepburn’s character is one of the earliest, free-spirited, liberated women to appear on screen. She lives by her own rules. In fact, she seems to have very few rules at all. She’s bold and audacious. For example, she’ll climb into an almost complete stranger’s bedroom at three in the morning and snuggle in his arms. No doubt, this raised some eyebrows in theaters back in ‘61. Not everyone was hip to this type of lifestyle. Miss Golightly probably gave millions of viewers strange ideas about life in The Big Apple.

However, as free-spirited as Holly is, it’s also apparent that deep down inside she’s quite sad. We learn she’s had a difficult time of things -- married at fourteen, caring for three or four step-children, running off on her own and trying to make a go at acting, and so on. It’s this added dimension of the character that must’ve appealed to Hepburn. It makes for a more complex, juicer role -- something beyond what one could see in romantic comedies of the day. This is not a part Doris Day would’ve taken on.

Hepburn handles the sadness as well as the zaniness. When seeing the film for the first time we believe she’s capable of doing the nasty deeds she sets out to do. And we’re relieved when she doesn’t. This is very unlike performances given by most of Hepburn’s contemporaries, who often come on strong, but we see right through them. Not for a minute do we believe they’ll dump on a nice fella, or be cruel to a helpless animal. Hepburn is golden. When on screen, we can’t keep our eyes off her. She actress earned an Academy Award nomination for her enchanting portrayal of Holly Golightly - her fourth (she won the first go round for ROMAN HOLIDAY).

After nearly forty years, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is still an entertaining, if lightweight, pic. It has become quite dated, of course. The most alarming, ‘un-P.C.’ aspect of the production is the completely unnecessary character played by Mickey Rooney. In very heavy makeup, absurdly bucked teeth and squinty eyes, Rooney plays Mr. Yunioshi -- an Asian man living a couple flights above Holly’s apartment. When he speaks, or yells, his Rs are Ls and his Ls are Rs, and he’s a blundering, clumsy oaf. It’s embarrassing to watch. Unfortunately, such caricatures were not uncommon in films just a few decades ago.

A handsome, young George Peppard plays the kept man -- a writer living in a nice apartment by the graces of a wealthy ‘patron’ played by a rather coarse Patricia Neal. Buddy Ebsen shows up briefly as Holly’s ex from down south, and Martin Balsam has a small but critical role of O.J. Berman, Holly’s agent, and the first character to tell us a bit about Holly’s past. He also sums up her personality with a quick aside -- “She’s a phony, all right, but a real phony.”

Blake Edwards’ BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is one of those incredibly watchable, endearing little films, and Holly Golightly is one of the silver screen’s more memorable characters. The ending is a bit cornball, a bit sappy, but with Audrey Hepburn centerstage, it couldn’t be lovelier, or ‘loverlier.’

SYNOPSIS
Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) seems to be a rootless waif, held up in an apartment in Greenich Village with her cat -- named ‘Cat.’ She lives off the fifty dollar ‘tips’ she receives from her many boyfriends. She’s also paid to relay ‘weather reports’ from a mobster in Sing Sing to a lawyer on the outside.

Her new friend, Paul Varjak (George Peppard) is an author who just moved into the apartment building. Upon first meeting Holly, he’s invited in for a chat and to help her dress for her weekly visit to Sing Sing. Paul is intrigued by her -- and more than a bit perplexed. They have a great deal in common. Holly is a ‘kept’ female - relying on the money given to her while she’s on ‘dates’ and Paul is sponsored’ by an older, married woman, 2-E (Patricia Neal), who masquerades as his interior decorator.

Both would like to get out from under. Holly figures she can marry rich -- perhaps to Jose’ (Jose’ da Silva Pereira), a wealthy visitor from South America, or perhaps to Rusty Trawler (Stanley Adams), a rather oafish fella with deep pockets. It doesn’t matter who she walks down the isle with -- as long as he has a lot of cash. Paul would like to write for himself. The patronage from 2-E is doing more to hinder his work that inspire it.

We learn a bit about Holly’s past when Doc Golightly (Buddy Ebsen), her ex, visits from down south and tries to persuade her to come home. They were married when Holly was only fourteen. For some time, she cared for his children from another marriage, but eventually she lit off on her own to pursue an acting career. Holly still loves him, but more like a father than a husband. It’s no surprise when he boards the bus home on his own.

Eventually, Paul falls head over heels for Holly, though he often wonders if he means any more to her than the scores of other men in orbit around her. Holly says she wants to remain a free spirit. She doesn’t want to belong to anyone. She’ll marry for money, but not to be tied down. There seems to be no solution for the two, but the answer comes from an unlikely source -- a cat.


IMAGE
This is a slightly flawed, but good 1.85 : 1, anamorphic transfer from the folks at Paramount. With each passing month, and every new set of releases from this studio, we become more and more grateful for its return to the anamorphic fold. There’s no telling what this near forty year old flic would’ve looked like without the full treatment.

As it is, sharpness and detail are rather inconsistent when one compares brighter exteriors with moderate key lit interiors. The exteriors have weaker edges and less clarity - though they’re far from unwatchable. Interiors look fine with sharp lines and good detail. Color levels are good, but during a few exteriors we noted a small amount of bleeding - for example from Holly’s red/orange coat during her day in the city with Paul. Interior sequences have very well-rendered colors that hold their boundaries nicely. Flesh tones look natural throughout the presentation.

Blacks are solid, but a number of large white fields exhibit some ‘grain.’ Brightness and contrast levels are good and consistent throughout the feature. The print used by Paramount to strike their master was fairly clean, though as you would expect for a film of forty years, there’s an occasional nic and scar on the picture. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S is a delightful film, and this presentation, even with its flaws, will not take away from your viewing pleasure.


SOUND
This is a Dolby Digital, 5.1 track, however there’s very little to be heard from over the shoulders and we noted no sound at all from the .1 FX channel. One might expect this given the nature and age of the film.

The forward stage opens up wider for moments when Henry Mancini’s Academy Award-winning score rises up. Save for these occasions, the imaging in the front three speakers is rather narrow and shallow and carries hollow, thin dialogue. However, voices are never harsh or broken up.

There are only a few instances when effects are placed to the left and right of center -- for example, during a wild party at Holly’s place, down at the bus station with Doc, and out on the streets of The Big Apple. In general, placement is only fair -- a bit extreme to the left or right side, and having no ‘in between.’ This serves to limit the sense of spaciousness and gives poor imaging.

The surrounds serve up some low level ambient effects. They also provide support for Mancini’s score. We noted no distortortion on the track and no annoying ‘pops or ‘drop outs’ like those often heard on tracks made from thirty or forty year sound elements.


FEATURES
Scene access menu with links to 14 chapters in the film
Theatrical trailer
Alternate French language track (mono)
English closed captions

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