Today I received Breakfast at Tiffany’s: The Official 50th Anniversary Companion by Sarah Gristwood, a book I pre-ordered ages ago and had almost forgotten about. It was a pleasant surprise to get it today, after so many months.
I read it all in one sitting tonight and overall it’s a lovely book and a nice behind-the-scenes look at the film. It doesn’t cover anything I didn’t already know after reading Sam Wasson’s fantastic Fifth Avenue, 5.a.m., but it’s full of beautiful photographs and is a pretty coffee table book.
Gristwood’s book contains chapters focusing on, among other things, the script based ever so loosely on Truman Capote’s novella, Audrey Hepburn and the other actors cast, the fashion influence of the film, Mancini’s song “Moon River,” and the movie’s critical reception and lasting allure.
My only issue with the book is my lack of faith in some of the photo captions. For instance the author (or whoever is in charge of captioning photographs) twice labels Audrey Hepburn’s guitar instructor, who taught her to play “Moon River,” as Henry Mancini. That’s just a pitiful lack of double-checking, in my opinion, and annoyed me on behalf of the late Mancini, who was the bee’s knees and deserved to have a real picture of himself in the book.
Here’s Audrey Hepburn with someone who is not Henry Mancini. This photo and another of the same guitar teacher posing with George Peppard are mislabeled.
Here’s the real Mancini, around the time of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Mancini was brilliant. Just think of all the fantastic TV and movie scores he wrote — Peter Gunn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Days of Wine and Roses, Charade, Two for the Road, The Pink Panther, The Thorn Birds and many more. Just want to give a shout-out to Hank!
There are a few other little details in the captions that don’t seem quite right to me, but that’s par for the course in publishing these days, I find. Errors galore!
Still, even with those minor quibbles the book was an enjoyable read and a pretty coffee table book I’m sure I’ll flip through many times. If you are like me and feel the need to own every book about Audrey Hepburn that comes down the pike, you’ll probably want to buy this one, too. Or at least add it to your holiday wish list.