Audrey Hepburn Collection (Breakfast at Tiffany’s / Roman Holiday / Sabrina)

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3 thoughts on “Audrey Hepburn Collection (Breakfast at Tiffany’s / Roman Holiday / Sabrina)

  1. 44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Three Classics…One Audrey Hepburn…Mix Well, September 10, 2006
    By 
    Ed Uyeshima (San Francisco, CA USA) –
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    What could be more pleasurable than watching screen legend Audrey Hepburn in her most career-defining roles? This is a great three-movie set at a great price, as all three are deserved romantic comedy classics directed by masters – William Wyler, Billy Wilder and Blake Edwards. Her natural charm and grace are pervasive throughout and further proof that she was among the most consistently affecting of actresses. In my humble opinion, there will be no one like her again.

    In a beautifully restored print, 1953′s “Roman Holiday” provides a most enchanting introduction to the then-24 year old actress thanks mainly to director William Wyler’s expert direction and Dalton Trumbo’s sweetly observant script. In hindsight, it is a modest performance compared to Hepburn’s later work, but Wyler knew enough to let her natural breeding serve its purpose in conveying the carriage of a princess. It works wonderfully, as she is perfectly believable as a royal who experiences her first glimpse into the world outside her hermetically sealed world. The revelation here is really Gregory Peck, handsome and stalwart as always but in this movie quite relaxed with a surprising light comedy touch. It is actually his Joe Bradley that goes through the dramatic character arc that makes the ending so bittersweet. Even though this film is hardly mentioned in the same breath as his other classics like “The Best Years of Our Lives”, Wyler’s humanistic touch is everywhere – from the comic haircutting scene with the smitten barber to the famous Mouth of Truth scene where Peck pretends to lose his hand to the concluding press conference, which turns into a dance of acting nuance and unspoken feelings. This DVD has the most extras, including an excellent documentary on the production itself (watch for Hepburn’s first Hollywood screen test) and other short films on the film’s restoration process and Edith Head’s contribution to Hollywood costuming.

    With its cynical humor and the European-based sensibilities around different classes, 1954′s “Sabrina” is most definitely a Billy Wilder picture. The film is not quite in the same league of other Wilder classics like “Sunset Boulevard”, “Some Like It Hot” or “The Apartment”, but on its own, it’s an airy souffle of a comedy served on a perfectly lovely warming dish. What I like most about this movie is that Wilder keeps the fairy tale trappings of the story grounded in mordant wit and shrewd observations about business mergers, bribery and class snobbery. This is what keeps this movie surprisingly fresh. Torn between the characters played by her leading men, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden, Hepburn as a chauffeur’s daughter is charming. This was her first introduction to Givenchy fashion onscreen, and the difference in her appearance between “Roman Holiday” and “Sabrina” is actually more startling than the one in the movie itself. It is no wonder she became such a style icon from that point forward. While Bogart is too dour in his role of older brother Linus (a role pegged for Cary Grant who canceled at the last minute, damn the luck), Holden is hilarious as shallow, ne’er-do-well younger brother David. The ending is inevitable, but leave it to Wilder to mix sweet and sour better than a Cantonese restaurant. There is a brief making-of documentary on this DVD.

    1961′s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” has the most contemporary and provocative story of the three, yet it seems the most dated perhaps because director Blake Edwards tries awfully hard to capture the upscale bohemian atmosphere of early sixties New York. In a role that author Truman Capote wanted to cast Marilyn Monroe, Hepburn is delightful as the aptly named Holly Golightly and somehow dances around the fact that her character is a high-priced call girl through her sense of style, fun and vulnerability. Holly’s fear of commitment is the crux of this story, even though she is hopelessly drawn to a failed writer played by George Peppard, who is kept in fine style by a wealthy matron played with conniving sophistication by Patricia Neal. I still think Peppard is the weak link here as he doesn’t have the light touch required to keep up with Holly’s shenanigans. The rest of the cast can be best described as eccentric, in particular, Buddy Ebsen (pre-Jed Clampett) as Holly’s backwoods first husband and Mickey Rooney as the Japanese neighbor upstairs. As a Japanese-American myself, I have to admit I find Rooney’s Japanese make-up a bit much, but his accent is spot-on and his casting consistent with the loopiness of this film. Henry Mancini’s romantic music provides the perfect accompaniment, and Hepburn’s plaintive, ukelele-strummed version of “Moon River” is still the most definitive. Of the three films, this one has the most romantic ending, and the rain-soaked kiss in the alley is just about as lovely a scene as you are likely to see in movies. Sadly there are no extras on this DVD other than the trailer…

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  2. 70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    There aren’t enough words…, September 1, 2000
    By 
    Jennifer E Hughes (Concord, CA USA) –

    I’ll never forget when I fell in love with Audrey Hepburn. I was 16 and home sick from school. My mother had rented a bunch of old movies for me and Breakfast At Tiffany’s was one of them. I knew, from the first strain of “Moon River” as Holly Golightly stepped out of the cab in front of Tiffany’s, that I was hooked. I watched the movie three times in the next two days. I was completely enamored of Audrey’s grace, style and beauty. Breakfast At Tiffany’s has been my all-time favorite movie ever since (a great cure for the mean reds)! I still cry at the final sequence in the rain.

    Over the next few weeks I rented every Audrey movie I could get my hands on, I have seen them all numerous times by now and own most of them, and Sabrina and Roman Holiday are two of my other favorites. Roman Holiday was Audrey’s first American film for which she won an Oscar. She and Gregory Peck are truly magical in this sweet movie about a Princess out in Rome for a day of no responsibilities. Sabrina is the ugly duckling into a swan story, although ugly duckling is as far from Audrey as you can get! While Humphrey Bogart is my least favorite part of this movie (he and Audrey reportedly did not get along on the set), Audrey shines and her wardrobe is something to see in and of itself.

    I can’t recommend Audrey Hepburn or her movies enough. If you’ve never seen her movies, start with this trio. If you know nothing about the woman, find out. She was not only a wonderful actress but a phenomenal humanitarian. Her work with UNICEF should be her greatest legacy.

    I know that there will never be another Audrey. But I am thankful that her movies will allow her beautiful personage to live on forever. But don’t take my word for it. Watch this trio of movies and see for yourself. And while you’re at it, pick up Funny Face, Charade, How To Steal A Million, My Fair Lady…

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  3. 42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Pefect Trio from my Favorite Actress, November 8, 2002
    By 
    Jeff Williams “Jeff” (Schwenksville, PA) –

    Hey, I was just looking to pick up a copy of Roman Holiday, when I found that someone had packaged three of Audrey’s best movies together. And I said, “Three?! Thats it??? Why not six? Oh, well…it will have to do.” So I upgrade Breakfast at Tiffany’s from VHS to DVD, and I finally pick up Sabrina, which, despite a small crush on Julia Ormond, I must admit is superior to the remake.

    Its easy to see why Audrey Hepburn has remained such a popular film star, and why so many actresses fail miserably to be the “next” Audrey Hepburn. There was only one actress who combined the sense of innocence, sweetness, beauty, humor, grace and charm into one. And don’t we all wish she had made more movies? And don’t we all wish they could still make movies like the ones that Audrey starred in? No wonder she’s still our favorite!

    So, in chronological order…we get Roman Holiday(1953), Audrey’s breakout Oscar winner where she guaranteed she would be a star, then her next movie, Sabrina(1954), which cemented her as Hollywood’s sweetheart, then Breakfast at Tiffany’s(1961), simply one of my favorite movies of all time. I would have liked to have seen Charade, My Fair Lady, and Funny Face included, really I would…will there be a Volume 2?? It would be quite a nice cure for the mean reds. If you haven’t fallen in love with Audrey Hepburn yet, then buy this nice set and you will!

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