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Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) Poster

Trivia

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Although not visible on camera, hundreds of onlookers watched Audrey Hepburn's window-shopping scene at the start of the film. This made her nervous and she kept making mistakes. It wasn't until a crew member nearly got electrocuted behind the camera that she pulled herself together and finished the scene.
Holly Golightly wears the same dresses all the way through the movie, simply changing the accessories to give each outfit a different look. Her black shift dress features through the movie at least four times.
Henry Mancini wrote "Moon River" specifically for Audrey Hepburn. He later said that while many version of the song have been done, he feels that Audrey's was the best.
In the 2006 short documentary Breakfast at Tiffany's: The Making of a Classic (2006), Blake Edwards said that when the movie was made, he didn't think about the implications of casting a white actor, Mickey Rooney, in a role as a Japanese person, but "looking back, I wish I had never done it... and I would give anything to be able to recast it."
Holly Golightly is supposed to be just nineteen years old when she meets with Paul. Audrey Hepburn was thirty-one years old when playing Holly.
Author Truman Capote envisioned Marilyn Monroe in the part of Holly Golightly. Monroe was originally cast as Golightly, but her drama coach, Lee Strasberg, told her that playing a call-girl was not good for her image. The film went on to be a huge success, with Monroe's replacement Audrey Hepburn receiving Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress.
Audrey Hepburn's salary for the film was $750,000, making her the highest paid actress per film at the time.
At a post-production meeting following a screening of the film, a studio executive, in reference to "Moon River," said, "Well, I think the first thing we can do is get rid of that stupid song." Audrey Hepburn stood up at the table and said, "Over my dead body!" The song stayed in the picture.
About nine cats were used throughout the film as the role of Cat.
Tiffany's opened its doors on a Sunday for the first time since the 19th century so that filming could take place inside the store.
The famous black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening scenes of this movie was sold for $807,000 on December 4, 2006 at Christie's Auction House in London, making it the second most expensive piece of movie memorabilia ever sold. The first is the Best Picture Oscar for Gone with the Wind (1939).
Truman Capote was reportedly unhappy with the decision to cast Audrey Hepburn as he'd been in favor of Marilyn Monroe. Hepburn was very self-conscious of her performance while Capote was on set as she felt inadequate as the Holly he had envisioned.
Audrey Hepburn felt that she was miscast as Holly Golightly, but it became one of her most popular roles.
Elements of Holly's character in the original novel, such as her flirtation with bisexuality, were omitted to make the part more suitable for Audrey Hepburn. Notably however she still accompanies a visibly bored Paul to a strip club.
The song "Moon River" was written especially for Audrey Hepburn, since she had no training as a singer. The vocals were written to be sung in only one octave.
In the famous "it should take you exactly 4 seconds to cross from here to that door. I give you two" scene, it takes Paul exactly 4 seconds from when he starts walking to when he reaches the door.
Holly's whistle when she hails a cab for Paul was actually dubbed in. Audrey Hepburn attempted to learn how to whistle with two fingers, but could never produce the desired sound.
George Peppard was a student of Method acting, a style Audrey Hepburn found difficult to work with. Nonetheless, the two actors remained close friends until her death.
Due to the Hays Code, Fred's homosexuality could not be referred to in the movie.
Audrey Hepburn hated Danish pastries, making filming the famous opening scene a bit of a chore for her.
Although it's never explained why Holly is wearing a bed sheet at her cocktail party, an earlier scene (cut before release) established she'd been taking a bath and had to improvise a gown on the spur of moment. The cut scene was featured in Life magazine pictorial shortly before film was released.
In the Book the narrator describes how Holly would wash her hair and sit out on the fire escape thumbing her guitar while waiting for her hair to dry; this is reflected during her "Moonriver" scene, which is why she has a wrap around her hair.
After seeing Buddy Ebsen in his country role in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), the creator of The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) wanted him to play family patriarch Jed Clampett. At the time, Ebsen was thinking of retiring, but the producers sent him a copy of the script, and he changed his mind.
The movie was shot only three months after the birth of Audrey Hepburn's first son, Sean H. Ferrer.
John Frankenheimer was hired to shoot the film with Marilyn Monroe. When the producers suddenly moved to Switzerland and Audrey Hepburn replaced Monroe, she said she had never heard of Frankenheimer and insisted that he be paid off and another director be hired. Frankenheomer's sudden freedom resulted in his directing "The Manchurian Candidate."
Though she had known him previously and got along with him fine during rehearsals, Patricia Neal said that George Peppard was unbearable to work with.
The party sequence was reportedly the longest and hardest scene to shoot in the movie. Most of the gags that occur in the scene are not in the novel, but originally scripted by Blake Edwards.
The book Paul has written and brings to Holly's apartment is titled "Nine Lives" - a reference to Cat.
The uncredited voice of the "terrifying man" tearing up Holly's apartment is actually George Peppard, who years later used his voice talents as a hallmark of his master-of-disguise character on The A-Team (1983), where he always did his own alternate voices rather than having a dub double.
Audrey Hepburn supposedly exclaimed "over my dead body" when it was suggested that "Moon River" be removed from the film. However, there's an alternative recollection of this event. On the DVD of "Breakfast at Tiffany's Anniversary Edition," co-producer Richard Shepherd says in his commentary that after a premiere in San Francisco, Paramount's Head of Production desired to have "Moon River" removed from the film but co-producer Martin Jurow "and I both said 'over our dead bodies.'"
Director Blake Edwards was lunching with Mickey Rooney at a posh Hollywood restaurant when Rooney objected to how his salad was being tossed by the waiter and proceeded to show the 'proper' way to do it. Edwards thought Rooney's attention-getting routine so funny that he wrote it into the movie.
Patricia Neal's hair was dyed red so as not to compete with Audrey Hepburn's dark locks.
Tony Curtis stated in his 2008 autobiography that he asked his friend, director Blake Edwards to cast him in the role of writer Paul Varjak but Mel Ferrer didn't want his wife, Audrey Hepburn to make a movie with him, so Edwards declined his services.
Holly's couch is really an old-fashioned bathtub split in half. In some scenes, you can still see the gold handles at one end and the legs on the bottom.
In the film's original trailer (included on the special edition DVD), the announcer mistakenly pronounces Truman Capote's last name as "Capot", without pronouncing the "e" at the end of his name. This mistake was repeated (on purpose) on The Mary Tyler Moore (1970) Show - Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) is demanding better writers and he says they should get "that Truman Capot fellow". Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) tries to correct him by saying just "E". Ted then says "oh yeah, Truman E. Capot."
Upon selling the rights to his novella to producers Richard Shepherd and Martin Jurow, author Truman Capote expressed a desire to play Paul himself. The pair dodged the issue successfully.
According to the screenplay, 2-E's real name is Emily Eustace, hence the nickname "2-E."
The movie's poster was as #18 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.
It was Blake Edwards who brought Henry Mancini into the project, after Mancini had scored a hit with the theme from Peter Gunn (1958), though the producers were initially keen on a Broadway composer to fit the New York City milieu of the film. Mancini brought in Johnny Mercer as his lyricist, and so "Moon River" was born. Early titles for the song included "I'm Holly" and "Blue River".
While Audrey Hepburn was the ultimate professional during the shoot, her insecurities about playing the role took their toll and the stress resulted in weight loss that she didn't need.
The lines of dialog "How do I look?", "Very good. I must say, I'm amazed" and "I am a very stylish girl" were sampled in the Dimitri From Paris song "Une Very Stylish Fille".
Not surprisingly considering his intensity, George Peppard didn't make many friends on the set. He and Blake Edwards locked horns many times throughout the filming, almost coming to blows on at least one occasion. No matter what kind of direction he was given, Peppard would end up playing the scene as he thought it should be played, which didn't endear him to anyone. Even Patricia Neal, with whom Peppard had been friendly in the past, noticed a change in the actor-and not for the better. Peppard, she felt, had been "spoiled." Peppard felt from the get-go that Neal's character was too dominant. "He wanted things as he wanted them," she later said of Peppard. "I dominated him a lot more in the script and he didn't want to be seen in that condition...His character was written with a battered vulnerability that was totally appealing, but it did not correspond to George's image of a leading man. He seemed to want to be an old-time movie hunk."
Truman Capote maintained that he based Holly Golightly on Carol Grace (the former wife of William Saroyan and future wife of Walter Matthau), who had been a friend of his while living in New York.
Although the story in the movie occurs in 1960, the story in the novella is penned as occuring in 1943.
For the scene in which Holly throws a wild party in her apartment, Blake Edwards wanted to capture the free-wheeling lifestyle of Holly and her New York friends, using an intricate series of visual gags. Edwards ordered up cases of real champagne and let the bubbly flow among the actors, allowing everyone to contribute ideas of outrageous behaviour.
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Steve McQueen was offered the co-starring role. However, he was still under contract for the show Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958), which prevented him from appearing. The role eventually went to George Peppard.
Contrary to popular belief, the movie follows Truman Capote's original novel quite closely. The character of Mag Wildwood, the Amazon-like model who crashes Holly's party in the film, is a major character in the novel. Capote describes her as having a stutter. In the film, Mag does indeed stutter though this isn't explained. During the shoplifting sequence, Holly briefly dons a The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958) mask, mirroring the line "my Huckleberry friend" in her song, "Moon River." Although Audrey Hepburn's performance of "Moon River" is unsurpassed, it would not be officially released until after her death. Holly's "bad date" prior to her first visit to Paul's apartment is only heard behind a door. The man who provides this voice is uncredited, but he sounds a lot like Mel Blanc, who at the time was working with film co-star Alan Reed on The Flintstones (1960).
Henry Mancini found his greatest inspiration in Audrey Hepburn. He said, "It's unique for a composer to really be inspired by a person, a face or a personality, but Audrey certainly inspires me. Normally, I have to see a completed film before I'll compose the music, but with Tiffany I knew what to write for Audrey just by reading the script."
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Alan Reed, who plays Sally Tomatoes, was the voice of Fred Flintstone of The Flintstones (1960), a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958) - a mask that Holly picks up in the store - is also a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
Holly's real name is Lullamae, which means "Famous Warrior born in the Month of May". The name she chooses for herself is Holiday, Holiday meaning "Born on a Holy Day". In real life, Audrey Hepburn's birthday happens to be May 4th.
Audrey Hepburn moved to New York from Switzerland for the location shoot with husband Mel Ferrer and new baby Sean in tow.
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The very first scene filmed was the opening shot of Holly munching on a pastry in front of Tiffany's in an evening gown. The scene took place in front of the actual Tiffany's on 5th Avenue in Manhattan early on a Sunday morning. Tiffany's was extremely cooperative during the filming and allowed the crew unprecedented access to film its interiors.
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Shirley MacLaine turned down the role of Holly Golightly.
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Most of the exteriors were filmed in New York City, except the fire escape scenes and the alley scene at the end in the rain where Holly puts Cat out of the cab and then Paul and Holly look for Cat.
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The perfume Holly is spraying in the apartment hallway during her drunken scenes is Makila by Jean Patou.
For his portrayal of I. Y. Yunioshi, Mickey Rooney wore makeup and a prosthetic mouthpiece to change his features to a caricatured approximation of a Japanese person. Since the 1990s, it has been subject to increasing protest by Asian-Americans among others.
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In his audio commentary for the DVD release, producer Richard Shepherd said that at the time of production as well as in retrospect, he wanted to recast Mickey Rooney "not because he [Rooney] didn't play the part well" but because Shepherd thought the part of Mr. Yunioshi should be performed by an actor of Japanese ethnicity. It was Blake Edwards' decision to keep Rooney. In a "making-of" for the 45th anniversary edition DVD release, Shepherd repeatedly apologizes, saying, "If we could just change Mickey Rooney, I'd be thrilled with the movie." Edwards stated, "Looking back, I wish I had never done it... and I would give anything to be able to recast it, but it's there, and onward and upward."
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In a 2008 interview about the film, Mickey Rooney said he was heartbroken about the criticism he received for his role: "Blake Edwards... wanted me to do it because he was a comedy director. They hired me to do this overboard, and we had fun doing it.... Never in all the more than 40 years after we made it - not one complaint. Every place I've gone in the world people say, 'God, you were so funny.' Asians and Chinese come up to me and say, 'Mickey you were out of this world.'"Rooney also said that if he'd known people would be so offended, "I wouldn't have done it. Those that didn't like it, I forgive them and God bless America, God bless the universe, God bless Japanese, Chinese, Indians, all of them and let's have peace."
All of the interiors, except for portions of the scene inside Tiffany & Company, were filmed on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood.
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Holly's pad is much larger than the real-life brownstone used for exteriors.
Several exterior scenes had to be reshot after the processing lab accidentally damaged one of the film reels. Cinematographer Franz Planer was no longer available for the reshoots however, and Blake Edwards bought in Philip H. Lathrop to take his place.
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Jean Seberg was considered to play Holly.
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Premiered at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
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Rusty Trawler's full name is Rutherford Trawler.
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Kim Novak turned down the role of Holly Golightly.
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It is never explained why Holly wore a bedsheet to her party.
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When 2-E says "Love Finds Andy Hardy" to Paul, it is likely a nod to the fact Mickey Rooney played Andy Hardy and is also in this film.
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In the French post-synchronized version of the film, the actors are dubbed by: Jacqueline Carrel (Audrey Hepburn); Roland Ménard (George Peppard); Sylvie Deniau (Patricia Neal); Georges Hubert (Buddy Ebsen); Michel Gudin (Martin Balsam); Georges Riquier (John McGiver); André Valmy (Alan Reed) and Pierre Trabaud (Mickey Rooney).
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In the Italian post-synchronized version of the film, the actors are dubbed by: Maria Pia Di Meo (Audrey Hepburn); Pino Locchi (George Peppard); Nino Pavese (Buddy Ebsen); Nando Gazzolo (Martin Balsam) and Luigi Pavese (John McGiver).
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Cameo 

Mel Blanc:  Holly's "Over-eager Date" was played by none other than the legendary voice actor.
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Director Trademark 

Blake Edwards:  [cat]  The slapstick business with Cat presages Edwards' smash-hit franchise of The Pink Panther (1963) which was jam packed with feline imagery.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Audrey Hepburn said the scene where she throws Cat into the rainy street was the most distasteful thing she ever had to do on film.
Emily "2E" Eustace does not appear in the source novella. The subplot of Paul serving as 2E's "kept man" was apparently added to the movie to establish the heterosexual credentials of George Peppard's character. This then allowed for the movie's boy-gets-girl climax, something also not found in the novella. It also gave Peppard a chance to appear bare-chested in a bedroom setting, the very best "beefcake" scene in his entire movie career.

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