Tag Archives: Audrey Hepburn

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Original Manuscript Sells for $306K

Even 55 years later, men are still willing to pay a pretty penny to get their hands on Holly Golightly.

According to Huffington Post, the original manuscript of Truman Capote’s famous Breakfast at Tiffany’s sold at auction for $306,000. Russian retail billionaire Igor Sosin bought it, with plans to display it in Moscow and Monaco, according to RR Auction. RR Auction is an Amherst-based auction house, which sold the manuscript online.

Probably the most notable part of the manuscript, written in 1955, is Capote’s handwritten notes in the margins — including changing the main character’s name to Holly Golightly from Connie Gustafson. The manuscript was published in the 1950’s in Esquire magazine before being turned into the 1961 movie that made Audrey Hepburn a star.

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Review: Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

Recap: In 1950’s America, women were seen as one of two things in movies and television: either perfect housewives or bad-girl sluts. There was no in-between, and there wouldn’t be an in-between until Audrey Hepburn played Holly Golightly in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. tells the true story of the novel turned Academy Award-winning movie that not only changed the film industry, but changed women in America forever.

When Truman Capote wrote the novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the 1950’s, Audrey Hepburn had already gone from model to actress, starring in movies like Roman HolidaySabrina, and Funny Face. But she’d never had a serious acting role, one that would put her on the map and prove that she had the chops to be a character unlike herself. Until Tiffany’s.

In Fifth Avenue, author Sam Wasson writes in depth about how producers acquired the rights to turn Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s into a movie. He writes about the difficulty they had getting the script approved and casting the film. After all, the story is about a hooker. At that time, sex was not portrayed in movies, and if it was, it was portrayed by bad girls like Marilyn Monroe. Many actresses refused to play a woman who gets paid for sex, and Hepburn wasn’t the ideal girl for the job, initially. After all, she’s not sexy. She’s cute. But that turned out to be exactly the thing that made the movie work. Hepburn made Holly Golightly likable. Not only that, but Hepburn and Holly changed the way women dressed, the way they carried themselves, and the way they dealt with men.

Analysis: As someone who’s only seen the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s decades after it was made and pronounced one of the classics, I think Wasson did a fantastic job of explaining the role of women and the role of movies in America in the 1950’s and 1960’s. A world of sexless movies is foreign to me, but Wasson’s invites you into that universe, which explains why Tiffany’s was considered risque and forward-thinking for its time.

This also explains why it had such an impact on Hepburn’s career. Suddenly, she wasn’t some pretty girl anymore. She was an actress — one who convinced other actresses that it was okay to play a woman having sex, one who convinced women it was okay to enjoy sex, and one who convinced women it was also okay to forgo colored clothes for black.

Wasson’s other tidbits of background add to the intrigue of Tiffany’s as well; for instance, “Moon River” was almost turned down as Holly Golightly’s song. Or that Hepburn needed a lot of extra acting help from the film’s director. Or that actor George Peppard didn’t get along with most of the people who worked on the movie.

MVP: Audrey Hepburn/Holly Golightly. Thank you for what you’ve done for women, fashion, and movies.
Get Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. in paperback for $10.29.

Or get it on your Kindle for just $7.59.

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Get Audrey Hepburn eBook for just $2.99

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman was on the New York Times bestseller list during the summer of 2010, and with good reason.

Though author Sam Wasson did not intend for his biographical book becoming a bestseller, it had every reason to. The book details the making of  Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which won two Oscars and received three other nominations in 1962. It delves into the difficulties of turning Truman Capote’s novel into a Hollywood movie and the massive impact that Audrey Hepburn had on American fashion and feminism after it was released.

You can still get a physical copy of the book for $10, but if you have an e-reader, getting the eBook for just $2.99 is a no-brainer. I bought it and can’t wait to start reading!

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