Authors are rarely shown writing on film. Instead, directors employ various cinematic clichés to emphasize the author's craft. Typewriters and neat stacks of foolscap are good. Or an author filmed from below, tie disarranged, leaning back in his chair, hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. And then there's the library, the author's second home.
Holly brings Paul to Tiffany's; he brings her to the New York Public Library. His sudden confidence, in an otherwise hesitant, sensitive performance, embeds him in the literary world. The scene is key to making us believe that two such different people can exist as a couple. Holly encourages Paul's wild side and Paul encourages her sober side. Together against the system (a frumpy librarian, who multiply shushes them), they act like giddy teenagers. Holly does confess, however, that she doesn't find the library half as much fun as Tiffany's.
Despite the iconic outdoor photography and the odd witty line lifted from Capote's novella, this film is a tragedy. A tragedy because it has been purged of all the poignancy and subversion of the original (itself an imperfect fiction - most of Capote's characters are caricatures). A tragedy because Marilyn Monroe was intended to play Holly Golightly in a role that seems to have been written for her. A tragedy because it shows George Peppard on the cusp of becoming one of Hollywood's leading men before he was destroyed by his anger and his love of the bottle. And a tragedy, finally, because I don't really have the courage of my convictions - the final scene, with the cat, in the rain, I find tender and romantic despite my best efforts to avoid being manipulated.
Director: Blake Edwards
Cinematography: Franz Planer
Editing: Christian Nyby
Original music: Henry Mancini
Cast includes Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, Mickey Rooney, and Orangey as 'Cat'