Watching the 40th anniversary re-release of Breakfast At Tiffany's, you can't help but wonder what a film-maker with the cutting edge of Billy Wilder or Alfred Hitchcock might have done with Truman Capote's novella, especially as Blake Edwards and screenwriter George Axelrod turned the acerbic tale of a New York socialite-cum-callgirl into a sugary romantic fantasy.
George Peppard is the blocked writer who is both fascinated and perplexed by the antics of his downstairs neighbour Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn). One minute she's throwing hedonistic parties and trawling for ultra-rich bachelors, the next she's struggling with mood swings and brooding over separation from her enlisted brother. As for money, our "real phoney" relies on weekly prison visits to an ageing gangster.
The glossy location photography and the yearning Henry Mancini score can't entirely camouflage the film's blind spots - Mickey Rooney's grotesque caricature of a Japanese photographer, the blandness of Peppard's performance, or the superficiality of some of its psychological observations.
However, Breakfast At Tiffany's still exerts an enduring charm, not least because of the poise and waif-like beauty of the bewitching Hepburn. Her Givenchy-clad entrance, sashaying down a deserted street before gazing into the Tiffany's window display, is a moment of pure wonder.
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