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

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Restored English Mono
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • List Price: $29.99

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Breakfast at Tiffany's - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle

Purchase Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)


The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

“Breathes there a man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said”:  Audrey Hepburn is the ultimate eye candy. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote’s account of a New York party girl has achieved cult status as an epic chick flick, often imitated but never equaled or surpassed.  Just think: Pretty Woman before there was Pretty Woman. This sophisticated adult comedy follows the meanderings of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) as she moves in and out of other people’s lives.  Blake Edwards shows his directorial chops in this film genre and is ably abetted by Henry Mancini’s Oscar-winning score. This 50th anniversary reissue features a stellar restoration effort and reinvigorates a classic that should be on everyone’s short list of favorite films.

The story line follows Holly from her luminous appearance at Tiffany’s front window, through her meeting with neighbor  Paul Varjak (George Peppard), a struggling young writer (and kept man).  As their relationship evolves, we meet successful womanizing Hollywood agent O.J. Berman (Martin Balsam),  Mrs. Failenson (Patricia Neal, Varjak’s older woman), and jailed mob boss Sally Tomato (Alan Reed) who uses Holly as an unwitting courier.  Of course, there is a back story of Holly’s humble beginnings as revealed by former husband Doc (Buddy Ebsen).  While the course of this film’s love story has its rough spots, it keeps viewers emotionally involved, culminating in one of the most romantic moments in film history.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

This AARP-aged film is given a visual make-over that belies the provenance of the master print. Close up detail is excellent with relatively little graininess or motion artifact. The backdrop of New York and  Tiffany’s glamorous interior add requisite atmosphere as supporting members of the cast, treated lovingly by the cinematographers. Consider also that the fashion show put on by Madame Hepburn is a feast for the eyes, particularly “the little black dress.”  In spite of the period automobiles and somewhat dated décor, this film has managed to age extremely well.  Oh, by the way, the cocktail party sets the “bar” above anything that has preceded or followed. Thank God for mixed drinks!

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The musical score is one of Henry Mancini’s finest, adding considerably to the effect of this film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, considering its age, is excellent. There is some compression in frequency and dynamics typical of the recordings of this era, but this does not keep the music from scoring big time. You can hear harbingers of The Pink Panther, among other future Mancini soundtracks. I guarantee that you will love every bar.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

Finally, a big 50th reissue that actually delivers the extras in abundance. Besides the commentary by producer Richard Shepherd, there are 8 featurettes which include perspectives on Henry Mancini, the Making of a Classic, Audrey Hepburn, Tiffany’s, and trailers. For a refreshing change, they are all definitely worth watching.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

The romantic comedy has lived a long, happy Hollywood film life. From the earliest examples of this genre to the current film, there has always seemed to be a beautiful girl, an improbable lover, and numerous obstacles to be surmounted. Breakfast at Tiffany’s has all of these required elements, and then some. The script has some vagaries and does stray from the original novella, but for the most part, there is wonderful synergy of cinematography, casting, soundtrack, and direction. The Audrey Hepburn effect washes over this film like a high tide; her visual impact is unmistakable and addictive.  Who is Holly Golightly and what does she really do for a living? Capote, in a Playboy interview, called her an “American geisha girl.” In the film version, she appears to flit between paid escort to aspiring actress to gold-digger. In the end, it really doesn’t matter. If you catch the “Breakfast” wave, you will go along for the total ride. There are not a lot of films from this or any other era that viewers will gladly watch over and over again. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of those films, and, for this, we have to thank all involved and the remarkable restoration crew.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B001UHOWW4[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle

Purchase Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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