Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s 50th Anniversary Blu-ray

Breakfast at Tiffany's Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Paramount | DIRECTOR: Blake Edwards | CAST: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Mickey Rooney, Patricia Neal, Martin Balsam, Buddy Ebsen
RELEASE DATE: 9/20/2011 | PRICE: Blu-ray $29.99
BONUSES: commentary, featurettes, galleries
SPECS: Not rated | 114 min. | Romance | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French, Spanish, Portugeuse subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Breakfast at Tiffany'sThe beloved Audrey Helpburn looks stunning in this Blu-ray edition of the classic romance Breakfast at Tiffany’s, based on the novella by Truman Capote.

The iconic film has been restored for this high-definition debut, and Hepburn’s gorgeous eyes and pink cheeks look fabulous. There’s no dirt or dust, but the lines of the picture aren’t as sharp as modern films. Instead, the restoration has stayed true to the filmic, filtered look of the movie.

The special features package on the Blu-ray is exactly the same as on Paramount’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s Centennial Collection DVD released in 2009, so don’t expect anything new. Among the extras is am interesting commentary from producer Richard Shepherd, who goes into details about the stories behind the scenes. For example, he tells us, a Paramount executive wanted to replace the classic “Moon River” song, but the producers fought to keep it in. And good thing too, as it went on to win a Best Song Academy Award for the movie. The film also won for Best Score and was nominated for Oscars in Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction and Best Actress for Hepburn.

Shepherd also reveals some Hollywood gossip, such as the fact that Dean Martin used to call the police on his own parties when he wanted people to go home.

A total of eight featurettes are on the disc, led by “A Golightly Gathering,” which brings back together all the actors in the famous crazy cocktail party scene. We hear the behind-the-scenes stories of how the party was choreographed as well as the fun impromptu parts.

The talent of Henry Mancini, the musician behind the film’s signature “Moon River” tune, is celebrated in another featurette. His life is told through interviews with his wife and children, who describe him as loving, goofy and, of course, a genius.

Mickey Rooney’s controversial role as an Asian character is discussed in “Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective.” The featurette goes beyond Rooney’s role to the portrayal of Asians in American films, from The World of Suzy Wong to Star Trek, and the history of Asians in the U.S., including how Asian-Americans were treated in internment camps during World War II.

Those three featurettes are shown in high-definition, but the rest on the disc are in standard definition.

We hear from the late director Blake Edwards as well as many others involved in the film in “The Making of a Classic,” about the movie’s production. Thankfully, it’s not like the modern making-of, and we get to hear even the not-so-pretty behind-the-scenes stories, such as Edwards’ saying that although he likes co-star George Peppard, he didn’t want him in the movie and wouldn’t have cast him later either. Edwards also talks about his regrets about casting Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi. And he reveals that Hepburn was partly responsible for making sure that “Moon River” stayed in the film.

The irrepressible Hepburn is explored in “It’s So Audrey: A Style Icon,” which looks at the actress in a variety of films and talks about her own sense of style and how she used it in movies. Fans of Hepburn will love this appreciative look at their favorite movie star.

The disc also includes a tour of Paramount Studios, a featurette about the Tiffany’s jewelry stores, a piece about a letter Audrey wrote about Tiffany’s and galleries of photos from the movie, production and publicity.

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.