Fifth Avenue, 5 AM Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the dawn of the modern woman

Sam Wasson

Book - 2010

A closeup examination of Blake Edwards' classic film, Breakfast at Tiffany's, winner of two Oscars.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 791.4372/Breakfast Checked In
New York : HarperStudio 2010.
Main Author
Sam Wasson (-)
1st ed
Physical Description
xx, 231 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 22 cm
  • Thinking it, 1951-1953
  • Wanting it, 1953-1955
  • Seeing it, 1955-1958
  • Touching it, 1958-1960
  • Liking it, 1960
  • Doing it, October 2, 1960-- November 11, 1960
  • Loving It, 1961
  • Wanting more, the 1960s.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Wasson, who wrote on the career of writer-director Blake Edwards in A Splurch in the Kisser, tightens his focus for a closeup of Edwards's memorable Breakfast at Tiffany's, which received five Oscar nominations (with two wins). Interviewing Edwards and others, he skillfully interweaves key events during the making of this cinema classic. He begins (and ends) with Truman Capote, whose novel was initially regarded as unadaptable by the producers, since they "hadn't the faintest idea how the hell they were going to take a novel with no second act, a nameless gay protagonist, a motiveless drama, and an unhappy ending and turn it into a Hollywood movie." The flow of Wasson's words carries the reader from pre-production to on-set feuds and conflicts, while also noting Hepburn's impact on fashion (Givenchy's little black dress), Hollywood glamour, sexual politics, and the new morality. Always stingy with praise, Capote dismissed the finished film as a "mawkish valentine to New York City," but one feels he would have been entranced by Wasson's prismatic approach as he walks "a perilous path between the analytic interpretation and the imaginative one." The result deserves Capote's "nonfiction novel" label. Recapturing an era, this evocative "factual re-creation" reads like carefully crafted fiction. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Wasson (A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards) traces Audrey Hepburn's life and career leading up to Breakfast at Tiffany's and describes how her role inspired women as they emerged from restrictive 1950s cultural, social, and sexual stereotypes. At the same time, he weaves in the story of Truman Capote, author of the book that was the basis for the film, and examines the complex sources for his famous character Holly Golightly. By the time Wasson arrives at the shooting of the film, readers will have a solid understanding of Hepburn and Capote as well as many others in their spheres and involved with the film-from director Blake Edwards and composer Henry Mancini to costumer Edith Head and screenwriter George Axelrod. The anecdotes are numerous and deftly told, and Wasson does not shy away from relevant interpersonal challenges. VERDICT This well-researched, entertaining page-turner should appeal to a broad audience, particularly those who enjoy film history that focuses on the human factors involved in the creative process while also drawing on larger social and cultural contexts.-Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.