Gabrielle's Reviews > Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson
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May 11, 11

Read in May, 2011

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. is a short, easily read book about the production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The book begins with Paramount recommending that Truman Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, should not be turned into a movie. For its time, the novella was controversial. It dealt with adult themes of homosexuality and the lead character, Holly Golightly, was a call girl who had abandoned her family. Throughout the Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., Sam Wasson incorporates short anecdotes and explains how this movie was revolutionary for its time. Although the Hollywood version of the story did not incorporate the homosexual themes and downplayed other mature themes, it was still evident that Holly was not a “good girl.” As Wasson states, “There was always sex in Hollywood, but before Breakfast at Tiffany’s, only the bad girls were having it.”

Wasson also discusses how Paramount marketed the movie in order to appeal to parental and teen audiences. Audrey Hepburn played Holly, and Audrey’s good girl reputation was played up to make the movie less offensive. This film would become one of Audrey’s most famous roles, yet it was an atypical role for her to accept. She had never before played anything other than roles of educated, well-behaved young women. As one film critic, Judith Crist said, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s was different. It was one of the earliest pictures to ask us to be sympathetic toward a slightly immoral young woman. Movies were beginning to say that if you were imperfect, you didn’t have to be punished.”
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