Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the dawn of the modern woman by Sam Wasson



That title is a bit of a mouth full isn't it? I thought it was time for a book review. I haven't done one of those in awhile. I thought I would talk about a book I recently finished about Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's. But don't worry this isn't only Audrey Hepburn's story. This book also focuses on Truman Capote, George Axelrod, and many others. And going into I wasn't sure how to feel especially after I read some reviews about it from other readers. But I can't let other people shape my own opinion.

Breakfast at Tiffany's was published in 1958. The author Truman Capote had based the main character, Holly Golightly on his mother and his friend Babe Paley. Holly is a call girl and she develops a relationship with a unnamed writer who is a homosexual and her neighbor. I haven't read the book, but having read this book has me intrigued about Capote's book.

Fun Fact: Capote had wanted Marilyn Monroe to be Holly Golightly and he wanted to play her neighbor himself.

If you have seen the movie you know that it is different from the book. There is no mention made of Holly being a call girl and the neighbor is no longer gay and he has a name. The movie is a romantic comedy and Truman hated it. He hated the fact Audrey Hepburn was cast as Holly but most of all he hated how the producers had broken all of their promises after he had sold them the rights to the book.

Fun Fact: The studio wanted the song Moon River taken out of the movie. Good thing that didn't happen.

Even though the book doesn't completely focus on Audrey, she is still a huge part of it. It starts out with her early years in Hollywood right up until the end of filming of this movie. It mentions her relationships with her costar George Peppard (they didn't get along) and the director of the film Billy Wilder (they did get along). It also mentions her relationship with her first husband Mel Ferrer. At this point in time their marriage was falling apart. He was jealous of her success and emotionally abusive towards her. It would be a few years before the marriage ended in divorce, but according to the author the cracks were showing during the filming of this movie.

George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn


My Thoughts: I like this book. I know a lot more about the behind the scenes of this film. I wish there were more books like this on films I loved. The book is well researched. The author did his homework here and it makes me want to pick up more of his books. I will always love this film (except Mickey Rooney's character) but I wonder now what it would have been like if it had been made the way Truman had wanted it to be made? Sadly, that could have never happened in the late 1950's and early 1960's because there were strict codes on things that could be shown in the movies. Call girls and homosexuality were big no-no's back in the day. Today, I think the movie could be made the way Truman would have wanted it to be made. I am not a fan of remakes, but I could make an exception with this one if it was based off the source material.

And here is 90's one hit wonder Deep Blue Something to take us out....





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