Saturday, March 21, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffany's - The Novelette

The film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was based upon a short novel of the same name by Truman Capote. Capote's story portrayed the mysterious heroine, Holly Golightly and her upstairs neighbor, the curious and observant Paul Varjack. When he wrote the novella in 1958, Capote had already received critical acclaim for his novel Other Voices, Other Rooms and would go on to write In Cold Blood next.


Capote has been quoted as saying that Holly was his favorite character, and when she appeared in print many of his women friends claimed to be the inspiration for the part. But critics feel that she is really the alter ego of Capote himself; of her, he has said, "(Holly's) whole life is an expression of freedom and an acceptance of human irregularities, her own as well as everybody else's. The only sin she recognizes is hypocrisy."

The title Breakfast at Tiffany's was inspired by an anecdote popular among Capote's social circle about an out-of-towner who, upon being asked which glamorous New York restaurant he would like to visit, answered, "Well, let's have breakfast at Tiffany's".

It was George Axelrod who took Capote's novel and adapted it for the screen. To do this, he softened the language, sanitized Holly's call girl activity, added a few new characters, including unfortunately Mr. Yunioshi, and created a happy ending, among other things. When it came time to cast the film, Capote famously disagreed with the choice of Audrey Hepburn to portray Holly Golightly. His first choice was Marilyn Monroe.

Luckily for us, the part went to Audrey, who turned out to be the perfect choice. And an icon was born.
I'm having a giveaway of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"-inspired gifts; details are here!

1 comment :

barb cabot said...

I loved the soundtrack to this film and used to play that record often years ago. I thought Audrey Hepburn was such a lovely,gracious, other worldly beauty. Thanks for this memory.