Breakfast At Tiffany's (Blu-ray) 50th Anniversary Edition Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=222154&d=1315569994
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

81






Studio and Year: Paramount - 1961
MPAA Rating:
Feature running time:
Genre:

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish/Portuguese Mono
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Audrey Hepburn , George Peppard , Martin Balsam , Buddy Ebsen , John McGiver , Patricia Neal , Alan Reed , Mickey Rooney
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Music by: Henry Mancini
Written by: George Axelrod based on the novel by Truman Capote
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 20, 2011







"Holly Golightly is unforgettable"



Film Synopsis:

Winner of two Oscars®, here's the romantic comedy that sparkles like diamonds! From the opening strains of Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's haunting, Oscar®-winning song "Moon River," you'll once again be under the alluring spell of that madcap, carefree New York playgirl known as Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) in this 24-carat romantic comedy based on Truman Capote's best-selling novella. George Peppard is the struggling and "sponsored" young writer who finds himself swept into Holly's dizzying, delightfully unstructured lifestyle as she determinedly scours Manhattan for a suitable millionaire to marry.




My Take:

The names Audrey Hepburn and Holly Golightly have become synonymous since this sparkling romantic comedy, adapted from Truman Capote's best-selling novella, hit the big screen in 1961. Holly is a delightfully eccentric New York City playgirl determined to marry a millionaire. She is outwardly bubbly, polished and primed for high society but below the surface she is naïve, vulnerable and emotionally guarded. Her seemingly perfect world is disrupted when Paul (George Peppard), a mildly successful writer and kept man moves into her building. The attraction is instantaneous and the two become fast friends, sharing fleeting moments of tenderness that allow Paul to see through Holly's façade. He senses her feelings for him but struggles against her overt pursuit of a wealthy man especially when faced with the rich Brazilian businessman she soon introduces as her fiancé. Guessing which man is right for Holly and why is easy. Seeing how romance blossoms and why is one of the enduring delights of this gem-like treat set to Henry Mancini's Oscar -winning score and the Oscar -winning Mancini-Johnny Mercer song "Moon River."

This is the first time I have seen Breakfast at Tiffany's in its entirety. It is one of those classic films that I haven't really been drawn to. This also the first Audrey Hepburn film that I have seen in its entirety (I know I know). I was instantly taken in by Hepburn's infectious charm and girl next door good looks. She owns this character and it is easy to see how Holly Golightly has evolved into the icon she has become. I loved the story's schmaltzy romance, light humor and unbridled edge. Holly makes no bones about her pursuits which I found refreshing considering the film's era. The subplot concerning her past makes for an interesting divergence that adds to her allure without detracting from the narrative's focus. There are lots of little moments in this film which is a testament to the writing and direction. I was completely enamored by Hepburn and can see why she is revered as a Hollywood legend. She and co-star George Peppard had marvelous chemistry which again added to the film's enrichment. Both Patricia Neal and Martin Balsam are outstanding in their limited by noteworthy supporting roles. I must admit to being flabbergasted by the Mr. Yunioshi character portrayed by Mickey Rooney but that is a discussion best reserved for another venue. I thoroughly enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's a fondly influential and purely delightful romantic comedy that is justly deserving of the iconic status that has been bestowed upon it.



Parental Guide:

The film isn't rated but contains smoking, alcohol consumption (including drunkenness) and thematic material.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Breakfast at Tiffany's comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

In 2011 Breakfast at Tiffany's underwent a digital restoration by Technical Creative Services under Paramount's supervision. While some purists may argue that the results compromise fidelity I would say that is a bit of an overstatement. Originally shot in 1.85:1 Technicolor this presentation is framed in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 which I found no issue with. The restored color palette appears lustrous as primaries and secondary hues look terrific. Fleshtones are warm with a balmy quality that isn't as natural as I would like but doesn't prove distracting. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is notable but not consistent from a texturally revealing standpoint. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual penetration but I found the majority of the exterior and interior shots to reveal appreciable levels of refinement and dimension. Resolution is quite good and remains stable over the course of the presentation. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enliven bright scenes and colors while maintaining discerning levels of visibility and depth during darker segments. Grain is present but inconsistently rendered which appears attributable to the restoration process. The application of digital noise reduction is apparent however I don't see its effects as a blanket that compromises the film's original elements. I think that the overall outcome of the restoration process is a positive one that presents fans with the opportunity to see Breakfast at Tiffany's looking better than it ever has on home video.

There are audio options in both restored mono and lossless surround sound. I opted to use the DTS-HD Master Audio surround track but did audition the restored Mono track and neither had trouble presenting the film's recorded elements. The front three channels carry the majority of the film's audio. The mix is spread across the front three channels with primary focus on the center channel with ambience bled to the right/left speakers. The Henry Mancini's Oscar winning music score is lightly spread to the rear channels which mildly broadens the sound field. Clarity and detail are excellent which pays dividends during the film's quieter moments. Bass frequencies are held to the upper registers which doesn't leave much work for the subwoofer but I never missed them. The dated components in the recording are apparent but I thought it sounded fine.



Bonus Features:


  • Audio commentary by producer Richard Shepherd

  • (HD) A Golightly gathering - 20 minutes

  • (HD) Henry Mancini: More than music - 21 minute documentary

  • (HD) Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian perspective - 17 minute documentary

  • The making of a Classic - 16 minutes

  • It's so Audrey: A style icon - 8 minute feature

  • Behind the gates: The Tour - 4 minute tour of Paramount Studios

  • Brilliance in a blue box - 6 minute feature

  • Audrey's letter to Tiffany - 2 minutes

  • Photo galleries: The Movie, Production, Publicity

  • Original Theatrical trailer


Final Thoughts:

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a fondly influential and purely delightful romantic comedy that showcases the talents of the infectious charm and effervescent talent of the marvelous Audrey Hepburn. It is indeed a classic film that is deserving of the accolades that have been bestowed upon it. This 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition from Paramount Home Entertainment features newly re-mastered/restored elements that positively reflect upon this wonderful film. The supplied bonus features include over 90 minutes of material that provide fans with an entertaining look at the film, music composer Henry Mancini, and the iconic star who made Breakfast at Tiffany's so memorable. I am pleased to add it to my collection and highly recommend it for fans/film enthusiasts.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 09:43 AM
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Thanks Ralph for the heads up. One of the best romances ever filmed. Great cast and soundtrack!

Are we having fun yet?
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 09:45 AM
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I'm a big fan of Audrey Hepburn so i have this on regular DVD.

Ralph,

How much of an improvement is this Blu Ray over DVD? I'm still going to get this but was just wondering if you've had a chance to do a comparison. Audrey is just truly mesmerizing in all aspects.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 09:48 AM
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+1. Is the pq really worth it?

It's the ultimate chick-flix, among others like Casablanca and Roman Holiday.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 09:49 AM
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BTW, as always, Ralph, thank you for the review.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 10:09 AM
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Ralph, buy one of the Audrey Hepburn collections. You will have a great time. Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady,... these are some great movies.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 12:41 PM
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Ralph,

Before buying an Audrey Hepburn collection, which I believe is on DVD, I would suggest you wait for "My Fair Lady" to come out on blu-ray, which is scheduled in the coming months.

"My Fair Lady" is one of my childhood favorites, as I grew up playing that soundtrack (album, yes, vinyl) thousands of times. A wonderful film that I've been hoping would be put out on blu-ray, and was overjoyed to find out it's due November 15. I already have mine pre-ordered.

So hopefully that will be one that you will receive for review, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they do it justice and make it sparkle.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 12:52 PM
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I know I'm going against the grain here, but after finally watching this "iconic" film, my wife and I were both left shaking our heads wishing we had found a better way to waste 2 hours of our lives. My wife likes romantic comedies (although this train wreck may not really be classified as a romantice comedy, but for the happy ending of sorts). I appreciate old classic movies. To us, this movie was neither. Apart from the completely unnecessary racism in the movie (which I knew to expect thanks to Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story), we found neither character even remotely sympathetic, Holly even less so than "Fred". The only character in the movie I had any sympathy for was "Cat", who was so obviously mistreated, and thanks to the "protaganists" finding Cat after Holly dumps her off, is sentenced to further time in this train wreck of dysfunction. I realize that train wreck was the point, but even that was not done well. Finally, the fewer movies about gold-digging whack jobs and gigolos, the better.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 04:10 PM
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my main problem when I first saw this on dvd was I kept waiting to see the scene that the iconic cover shot came from.
I waited and waited and waited and........
well it never came.
I couldn't believe it.
wtf??
so disappointing.
other than that surprising issue I enjoyed the film for the most part.
However, I'll take Sabrina and Roman Holiday over this one any day.
can't wait for those films to finally make it bd.
2 down, 2 to go.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-13-2011, 10:20 PM
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Roman Holiday is a truly great film, albeit a romantic comedy.

IIRC, this film was both Audrey's Hollywood film debut and won her an Oscar for Best Actress.
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