Charade (1963)

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Reggie Lampert: You’re blocking my view.
Peter Joshua: Oh… which view would you prefer?
Reggie: The one you’re blocking.

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kennedy, dir. Stanley Donen (Singin’ In The Rain, Funny Face).

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Cinematographer: Charles Lang (Some Like It Hot, Sabrina, The Magnificent Seven)

cinemagraph source: iwdrm
Charade distributor: Universal Pictures

Nostalgia’d Review: Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), Seen On The Big Screen!

This Week, Let’s Visit The Illustrious Holly Golightly And Grab Some Breakfast At Tiffany’s!

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Paramount Pictures

Holly Golightly: I’ll tell you one thing, Fred, darling… I’d marry you for your money in a minute. Would you marry me for my money?
Paul Varjak: In a minute.
Holly: I guess it’s pretty lucky neither of us is rich, huh?
Paul: … Yeah.

Based on the novel of the same name by Truman CapoteBreakfast At Tiffany’s follows the journey of Holly Golightly portrayed by the captivatingly brilliant Audrey Hepburn. We are introduced to this vision in black as she scarfs down on a croissant while looking lovingly at a window belonging to Tiffany & Co. You know, a typical Monday morning for many of us. Breakfast At Tiffany‘s also stars a beautifully tanned George Peppard, an incredibly racist performance by Mickey Rooney and is directed by the iconic Blake Edwards (Victor/Victoria, The Pink Panther)

Viewing This In The Theatres Is An Experience Like No Other

Tiffany’s is one of my favourite movies of all time and I was lucky enough to view it tonight at the VIP Cineplex theatre in Toronto. For those unfamiliar, the VIP theatres are 19+ and feature reclining seats, in-seat service, and they have basically been the only way I watch movies at the theatres now. They’ve spoiled me, really.

Hearing that incredible Henry Mancini score set against the backdrop of 1960s New York on a movie theatre screen while chomping down on an unhealthy brownie that was brought to me is fan… tastic! (This is also not a paid promotion… I just really like their VIP theatres)

And for those confused by my strange spelling, Canadians spell “theater” as “theatre.” Why? No idea.

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Audrey Hepburn As Ms. Golightly Is Simply A Dream

Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of this woman who harbours deep secrets and has lived through her whole existence by placing various facades on whomever she encounters could have easily come across as a vapid and selfish woman by any actress not of her calibre. Hepburn’s ability to step into a room and take it over completely while also managing to have that small-town naive look in her eyes is simply mesmerizing. I am genuinely in awe throughout the film at her sheer magnitude of a presence on screen. She receives first billing and undoubtedly owns it.

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Hepburn and Peppard work fantastically well together, I enjoyed every single moment these two were on screen because I felt the adoration each respective character had for the other. The way the story progressed added another layer to their relationship and understanding of each other, particularly in Paul’s (Peppard) growing love for Holly. Since Hepburn’s performance and grasp of her character is executed so well, you want to see her succeed and thrive in her love life regardless of her belief that she needs to be wealthy in order to achieve that. Every character works to serve Holly’s story and ultimately, I love the film for that because of how much I am drawn to Holly Golightly.



Really Though… That Mickey Rooney Was All Kinds Of Crazy

With the undying love I will forever have for this movie, that performance by Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi will always make me laugh at the sheer absurdity of it. It is terribly insensitive and I’m certain any audience member today watching for the first time will understand just how different the times were… Not to excuse the blatant racism of the character, you just can’t help but laugh at the terribleness of it when a grown man in shitty makeup is shouting, “Miss-a Gorightry!” In the words of Clay Davissheeeeeeeeit.

Henry Mancini’s Score And Blake Edwards’ Direction Is To Die For

Mancini’s Moon River is utilized throughout the film for a number of scenes and every time I hear those first few chords, I melt. Edwards’ sequences are paired perfectly with Mancini’s score. That iconic opening scene is regarded as a classic because of its ability to express so much with not a single word of dialogue uttered in it.

We hear the opening chords to Moon River set against the sequence of a beautiful woman in black dressed to the nines, adoring the window display of one of the most affluent establishments on Earth. The hugely pronounced font displaying all those involved plus a mention of “Cat” in the character list! This movie has me hooked already and it’s only a minute in!

Please Check Out The Opening Scene Below, It Is Lovely:

Favourite Scene!

So as you can tell from this entire piece, I love Breakfast At Tiffany’s and since it had been awhile since I last saw it, watching it in the theatre reminded me of all the fun this film has and the countless sequences that made me laugh aloud.

It is terribly difficult, darling to narrow it down to just one scene but since that is the point of this specific segment, I will mention the Stripper Dance scene wherein a drunk Holly and relatively distracted Paul visit a bar that I guess doubles as a strip show?

  • Bye Bye, Doc Golightly. The scene happened right after Holly said goodbye to Doc and declared to Paul to not take her home until she is well and drunk and well… Thankfully Paul is a man of his word.
  • Holly And Paul Discuss The Talents Of The Dancer. Nothing says relationship bonding like taking your prospective partner to a strip show and debating the merits of whether the woman stripping on stage is either “deeply and importantly” talented or “amusingly and superficially” talented… Not to mention HOW GREAT IS IT SEEING AUDREY HEPBURN AND GEORGE PEPPARD JUST CHILLING, WATCHING A WOMAN STRIP DANCE?!
  • My Favourite Line Of The Entire Film: “… Gracious! Do you think she’s handsomely paid?”

See My Favourite Scene Below:

If you’re a fan of Audrey Hepburn, gather your friends who are into older films that make you laugh and emotional at times and check out Breakfast At Tiffany’s. 

Breakfast At Tiffany’s receives a Matt Damon-Having-The-Time-Of-His-Life-And-Grabbing-His-Beautiful-Nose.


Some Ticket Stub Action, If You’re Into That:


When Did I First Feel The Need To Watch Breakfast At Tiffany’s?

Fun Fact! For those interested, I used to be a huge Gossip Girl fan back when it aired in 2007 (TEN YEARS AGO?!) and there is a Tiffany’s sequence that occurred in the first season that I remember so vividly because I used to watch that fucking show incessantly. I even bought the Season 1 DVD that is… Somewhere…

Anyway, there is a sequence in Season 1, Episode 14 where Blair (Leighton Meester) is in her Holly Golightly-garb set at the conclusion of the film, looking for “Cat.” I don’t know why I liked it so much, I think it was because the thought of naming one’s cat “Cat” was just so appealing to me. After that episode, I decided “hey, maybe I should watch this movie with Audrey Hepburn because Gossip Girl referenced it… I mean, it must be good if they referenced it, right?” I always knew of the film since I was slowly getting into old Hollywood films but never took the time out to watch since we all know how busy seventh graders are.

Long winded story short, it is thanks to that sequence from the first season of Gossip Girl that got me off my butt and watching this Hepburn classic. Thanks, Jenny BLAIR!

Check Out More Nostalgia’d Reviews!

featured image source: panic-posters

Psycho (1960)


Norman Bates: It’s not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?
Marion Crane: Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough.

Here Are Some Awesome Facts About The Iconic ‘Psycho’ Shower Scene, As Told From Those Involved With The Film

  • In a DVD extra for the film, Janet Leigh (Marion Crane) states she was on set for three weeks and the shooting of the shower scene took around seven days to film, essentially 1/3 of her shooting time was focused on that scene alone.
  • The uncomfortable stabbing sounds were actually the Prop Man stabbing some unassuming, innocent melons!
  • Hitchcock tested several different things to find that perfectly accurate on-screen depiction of blood. Some of these included the movie blood you’d find on film sets, ketchup and chocolate syrup. Ultimately, he felt the chocolate syrup “read the best”, according to Leigh.
  • Leigh reveals (~9:59) the final moments of the scene, with a pan out from Marion’s lifeless eye, took 20+ takes to film and it was the most difficult shot to film for her personally and technically as well because of the manual focusing of the camera that needed to be done.
Leigh’s most difficult shot to film in Psycho

The Unused Shot

The screenwriter of Psycho, Joseph Stefano describes a shot involving Marion’s body that ultimately did not make it in the final cut of the film that he refers to as: “the most heartbreaking shot [he] has ever seen.” (~9:20)

He explains a shot of the camera pulling all the way up and looking down at Marion’s deceased body lying in the tub with her bottom exposed, which ultimately led to objections and Stefano believing Hitchcock felt it wasn’t really necessary. He goes on to state that:

“there is something very tragic about seeing this beautiful figure with the life gone from it.”

Starring: Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, Vera Miles as Lila Crane and John Gavin as Sam Loomis, dir. Alfred Hitchcock.

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Cinematographer: John L. Russell (Macbeth, The Cabinet of Caligari, City That Never Sleeps)

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)


Schroeder: What do you mean Beethoven wasn’t so great?
Lucy Van Pelt: He never got his picture on bubblegum cards, did he? Have you ever seen his picture on a bubblegum card? Hmmm? How can you say someone is great who’s never had his picture on bubblegum cards?
Schroeder: … Good grief.

Starring: Peter Robbins as Charlie Brown, Christopher Shea as Linus van Pelt, Tracy Stratford as Lucy van Pelt, Kathy Steinberg as Sally Brown and Bill Melendez as Snoopy, dir. Bill Melendez.

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Do You Have A Favourite ‘Peanuts’ Special?

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


Jackson Bentley: What is it, Major Lawrence, that attracts you personally to the desert?
T.E. Lawrence: It’s clean.

Starring: Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence, Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali, Alec Guinness as Prince Feisal, Anthony Quinn as Auda Abu Tayi and Jack Hawkins as Gen. Allenby, dir. David Lean.

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Cinematographer: Freddie Young (Doctor Zhivago, You Only Live Twice, Ryan’s Daughter)

Peeping Tom (1960)


Vivian: What would frighten me to death? Set the mood for me, Mark.
Mark Lewis: Imagine… someone coming towards you… who wants to kill you… regardless of the consequences.
Vivian: A madman?
Mark: Yes. But he knows it – and you don’t.

Starring: Karlheinz Böhm as Mark Lewis, Moira Shearer as Vivian, Anna Massey as Helen Stephens as Maxine Audley as Mrs. Stephens, dir. Michael Powell.

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Cinematography: Otto Heller (the Crimson Pirate, The Ladykillers)

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)


Marisol: Why are you doing this for us?
Joe: Because I knew someone like you once and there was no one there to help. Now, get moving.

Starring: Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name/Joe, Gian Maria Volonte as Ramon Rojo, Marianne Koch as Marisol, Mario Brega as Chico and Wolfgang Lukschy as John Baxter, dir. Sergio Leone.

gif source: iljuharamia’s movie cinemagraphs
Cinematographers: Massimo Dallamano (Dorian Grey) and Federico G. Larraya (La Cabina)