Saturday, October 2, 2010

50 Years Later: Breakfast with A Dream

Publicity shot credited to Paramount Pictures, 1961
At dawn on Sunday, October 2, 1960, exactly fifty years ago, Audrey Hepburn stood in front of the Tiffany store on Fifth Avenue, dressed in Givenchy and sunglasses, nibbling a Danish pastry while  cameras rolled on the first day of filming on her new movie. As Sam Wesson reveals in his book "Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.," the actress hated Danish and asked director Blake Edwards if she could  lick  an ice cream cone instead. He said no, because of course she was supposed to be having breakfast at Tiffany's, and ice cream isn't breakfast.

A Danish for breakfast, at you know where
Wesson's marvelous, entertaining book draws the straight line that leads from the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" to "Sex in the City" and its successful, sexual female singletons. It's probably no wonder that the iconic image of Hepburn as Holly Golightly, hair swept up, dark glasses, tiara, and extravagant cigarette holder, has become a staple of girls' dorm rooms all across the country. The daughters of Carrie Bradshaw are the granddaughters of Holly.

I wonder who took the publicity stills for the film. All the sources I've found credit the photos (example above) simply to Paramount Pictures. No doubt this photographer, or these photographers, assumed they were merely doing a job, producing pictures for a marketing campaign. They most likely had no idea that the images they were creating would define what would become a pervasive idea: glamour as accessible as a black dress, freedom without a loss of innocence.

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