Judy and I enjoyed seeing BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S at the Paramount Theatre yesterday afternoon. It was the first time "Angel Harvey" had seen it all the way through and the first time I'd seen it in many years. We also enjoyed the pre-screening party and thanks to Wade and Cameron for inviting us. We had a great time.
The film was a lot darker than I remember as the George Axelrod script had to tiptoe around the edges of the fact that both of the leads, Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, were playing characters who were prostitutes of a sort. Wild stuff for 1961. I don't think BREAKFAST is a great film, but I do think it's a very good one and it is certainly an enduring one. It made a cinematic icon out of Hepburn and it still pleases audiences after more than 50 years. That's quite an achievement.
Here are a few odd/trivial things I noticed in the film. During the scene at the bus station with Peppard, Hepburn and Buddy Ebsen, there is a spinner rack in the background displaying paperback books. If you look closely, you'll see several copies of the paperback tie-in to PETER GUNN, a private detective television series that ran on NBC and ABC from 1958 to 1961. Craig Stevens starred as the titular P.I. in this jazzy, film noir series that featured an unforgettable title theme by composer Henry Mancini. Oh, and Blake Edwards, who directed BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S was the series creator and occassional writer and director.
There's also a paperback copy of NEVER LOVE A STRANGER on display. This was Harold Robbins's 1948 debut novel and it was filmed in 1958.
When Hepburn goes to Sing Sing to visit Sally Tomato, the part of the gangster is played by Alan Reed. Who? You know him best by his voice. He was Fred Flintstone on the long-running animated series THE FLINTSTONES.
Rusty Trawler, the eligible and rich bachelor under the age of 50 that Holly has her sights set upon is played by Stanley Adams who went on to genre immortality by playing Cyrano Jones in the classic STAR TREK episode "The Trouble With Tribbles."
Finally, in what has to be one of the weirdest cases of life imitating art imitating life or whatever you want to call it, there's this. When George Peppard tells Patricia Neal that their relationship is over, she snarkily replies "Well, well, so love has found Andy Hardy." Andy Hardy was of course, a character in a long running series of films from MGM studios in the 1940s. The actor who starred as Andy Hardy was none other than Mickey Rooney who plays the upstairs Japanese neighbor in BREAKFAST. Rooney's blatantly racist caricature is the worst part of the film and makes me cringe every time I see it. There were plenty of accomplished Asian actors in Hollywood at the time this film was made. I've never understood why the producers felt the need to cast Rooney in this part and have him play it so broadly. It's the one black mark in an otherwise first rate production.