Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. was my selection for this quarter’s Book Club, although it wasn’t selected.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s was one of the earliest pictures to ask us to be sympathetic toward a slightly immoral young woman. Movies were beginning to say that if you were imperfect, you didn’t have to be punished.”
While Wasson’s main goal is to educate his audience on how Breakfast at Tiffany’s went from novella to motion picture but it is also a brief history about the shift from movies in the ’50s to movies in the ’60s. This shift was a more interesting topic than the filming of Tiffany’s, similar to how Hadley Freeman talked about the changes that occurred after the ’80s movies she wrote about in Life Moves Pretty Fast.
Wasson discusses Hepburn’s meteoric rise after her Academy Award winning role in Roman Holiday and the lengths the production team behind Tiffany’s went to securing her for the role of Holly Golightly. A girl who reinvents herself into a socialite, a girl who is not a “trollop” but a “kook.”
And of course, we kept getting to hear how Audrey was not a typical beauty.
There was a lot of backstage melodrama involved in Tiffany’s, Hepburn’s marriage to a domineering Mel Ferrer who tried to influence his wife’s choices as well as Capote’s dislike for the way the adaptation was being handled. Academy Award winning legend, Edith Head was a bit upset that Hepburn’s contract included Givenchey as her costumer and Axelrod had complaints about how his script was filmed.
While there was a lot of drama it seemed tame by today’s standards. Somehow this didn’t light me on fire like I thought it would.