Breakfast at Tiffany's
I love this image. It's not the classic Breakfast at Tiffany's shot – Audrey Hepburn in black gown, sunglasses and pearls gazing into the windows at the famous jewelers – but it really captures the city it's filmed in. It's New York then (a staggering 47 years ago) as it is now, Audrey Hepburn at her coquettish best and George Peppard before he lost his cool and joined The A-Team.
It's really surprising how much of New York hasn't changed since this movie was filmed. The classic brownstones, raised from the streets by steep stairs. The blue-gray skyscrapers. The grassy slopes of Central Park. Tiffany's.
Sure, it would be unusual today to see someone on the streets in huge black sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, puffing on a cigarette holder – though episodes of Sex and the City would suggest otherwise. And the winged tail lights of Thunderbirds aren't seen anywhere near as often as they should be anymore. But the substance of the place is the same.
Apart from apartment scenes, which were shot on the Paramount lot in Burbank, CA, the movie was filmed almost entirely on location in Manhattan (the fire escapes and the rain scenes are the exceptions). Holly Golightly's apartment is on the east side, at 169-171 East 71st Street, between Lexington and 3rd.
Much of the action does take place in the apartment building, but the exterior shots are great. Paul (Peppard) meets Holly's ex-husband in Central Park, which we see in some detail. The couple spend a day exploring the city together, from Fifth Avenue to a dime store. They jump in and out of vintage yellow cabs.
One of the main locations was at number 727 Fifth Avenue, the elegant Art Deco exterior of Tiffany's, the solidness of which it seems would be impossible to change. We even see the interior of Tiffany's, which has the air of a musty, old-fashioned department store, all chintz and hard-lined furniture. It's said that Tiffany's opened its doors on a Sunday for the first time since the 19th century so that the crew could shoot these scenes.
It's not exactly unusual to see New York in a movie, but it's particularly enjoyable to revisit the city as it was in the early Sixties, with the styles and colors of the time. And it's a good excuse to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's again. – Roshan McArthur