A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.
Even when she's hungover or just getting home from an all-nighter (as in the famous opening scene), Hepburn strikes a graceful and glamorous figure. In fact, it's when she's trying to act disoriented or disheveled that her performance is at it's weakest. It's as if she was so inherently stylish that she had to try (too) hard to present anything else! She does a very fine job with the role, even if the character's past is nothing short of preposterous. Peppard comes off as blandly attractive, but wooden. His arrogance regarding his role (fiercely protecting the traditional leading man image) not only undercut his own performance, but also slighted that of Neal's who was diminished as a result. However, sentimental filmgoers probably prefer his more heroic approach and Neal would certainly recoup her losses, earning an Oscar a short time later for "Hud". The most controversial aspect of the film is Rooney's portrayal of an Asian man who lives above Hepburn and who is awakened at all hours by her lifestyle. Whether or not one is offended by the over-the-top stereotype of the buck teeth and slant eyes, the role is not funny anyway! It's all way too forced and obvious, with his pratfalls in sight long before they occur. (A lamp exists RIGHT over his bed for the express purpose of giving him something to hit his head on continuously. Move it, already!) There are many memorable moments in the film including a sequence of Hepburn and Peppard doing things they've never done before, Hepburn sitting on the fire escape plaintively singing the Oscar-winning song "Moon River" (which is used throughout the film by master composer Henry Mancini) and wacky party scene (a prelude to Edwards' "The Party"?) in which all sorts of outre things take place including the cry "Timber!" when a tipsy guest begins to collapse. There's a surprising frankness, for the time, regarding Peppard and Neal's relationship. It seems to be one of the earliest Hollywood films in which the leading man is implied to be nude under the covers in his bed. The film is not without its flaws. Some of the dialogue is annoyingly indulgent and the storyline is fairly patchy (with a tacked on ending.) Still, with the sparkling presence of Hepburn (in some mind-blowing hats and costumes) and the slick work of Edwards, it is easy entertainment.
- Jun 24, 2004