The Audrey Hepburn 5 Pack (Restored / Remastered) (Widescreen) product details page

The Audrey Hepburn 5 Pack (Restored / Remastered) (Widescreen)

The Audrey Hepburn 5 Pack (Restored / Remastered) (Widescreen)
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With Audrey Hepburn at her most appealing, Gregory Peck at his most charismatic, and Rome at its most photogenic, Roman Holiday remains one of the most popular romances that has ever skipped across the screen. Aside from being an enormously enjoyable romp, the film is most notable for two reasons. The first is Hepburn, featured here in her first starring role in a Hollywood film. Her performance won her an Academy Award and established her as an actress whose waifish, delicate beauty presented a viable alternative to the amply proportioned bombshells of the day. With her wide-eyed but cultivated portrayal of Princess Anne, Hepburn kicked off a trend defined by the Audrey Hepburn "look"--simple, sophisticated, and streamlined. The second reason for the film's importance is its location. Whereas modern-day filmmakers may think nothing of jetting off to remote and exotic locales, in 1953 the idea of traveling beyond a Hollywood soundstage was fairly novel. Director William Wyler's use of Rome is one of the best examples of how a location can become a leading character in a film: without the city's twisted alleyways, bustling crowds, and hulking ruins, Roman Holiday would have had the visual impact of a museum diorama. The effect of using the actual city in the film was eye-popping: audiences saw not just a romance between the two lead characters but a love affair between the camera and the city. In this respect, Roman Holiday goes beyond its status as one of the screen's most enduring romances to become one of history's most thumbed-through travel brochures. Rebecca Flint Marx, All Movie Guide

The Paris fashion scene is rendered in broad, cartoonish glory by director Stanley Donen in Audrey Hepburn's first attempt at a major studio musical. Hepburn's American naif is discovered in a bookstore by photographer Dick Avery (played by Fred Astaire, in a deliberate homage to Richard Avedon), who romances her into the role of his It girl. Donen satirizes the fashion industry as gently as he did the movie business in Singin' in the Rain, poking fun at the milieu without diminishing its escapist glamour. The candy-colored sets and stellar George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin songbook -- including S'wonderful and Kay Thompson's witty rendition of Think Pink -- are Funny Face's most lasting qualities. The musical's strengths are enough to make one overlook the preposterous gulf between the ages of the two leads, or the script's facile, anti-intellectual subplot. Michael Hastings, All Movie Guide

Blake Edwards may have directed Breakfast at Tiffany's, and screenwriter George Axelrod certainly did a splendid job of adjusting Truman Capote's novel for the screen, but from the first moment Audrey Hepburn steps out of a cab with her coffee and danish and window shops at Tiffany's after a night on the town, this is her movie, and it's all but impossible to imagine another actress in the role. Beyond her tremendous charm and buoyant comic timing, Hepburn manages to make Holly Golightly at once resilient and fragile, a woman who knows her way around Manhattan but still hasn't figured out how not to be hurt by the world around her -- it would have been easy to make Holly seem flighty and annoying, but in Hepburn's capable hands she's an adorable, jaded innocent whose hipster façade and oft-stated desire to marry a wealthy man never quite disguises her need to be loved and to belong. As Paul Varjak, Holly's neighbor, friend, confidante, and eventual boyfriend, George Peppard is almost a bit too strong and solid -- he seems a mite stiff much of the time -- but he plays well off of Hepburn, and knows enough to stay out of her way; elsewhere, Patricia Neal is spot on as Paul's cheerfully cynical "sponsor," and Buddy Ebsen is superb in a brief turn as the former husband of the former Lula Mae Barnes (and could anyone blame him for wanting her back?). The film's only obvious casting mistake is Mickey Rooney, whose buck-toothed and over-the-top shtick as Mr. Yunioshi might be a shade less offensive if he were the least bit funny. However, between Edwards' frothy pacing, Franz F. Planer's lovely location camerawork, and Henry Mancini's memorable score, Breakfast at Tiffany's is a thoroughly charming and witty valentine to one special woman and the city she loves that still enchants more than 40 years after it first hit the screen. Mark Deming Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Billy Wilder's Sabrina has an explicit fairy-tale quality (it begins with the words "once upon a time") that betrays its -Cinderella roots. Based on Samuel Taylor's stage play, the movie suffers occasionally from feelings of staginess and windiness. It is, at times, obviously formulaic and predictable, but such is the nature of most romantic comedies. Audrey Hepburn's naïf-like vulnerability and angelic beauty make her the perfect fit for the part; her natural elegance, playfulness, and intelligence have the audience cheerfully manipulated into applauding her elevation from rags to riches. Humphrey Bogart (in a part originally intended for Cary Grant) plays against type as the romantic lead who knows the price of everything, but has no concept of the value of love. His character, Linus Larrabee, not Sabrina, is the real protagonist of the piece, as it is his big decisions and personal growth that key the movie's action and resolution. William Holden is well cast as the debonair and wanton ******. Playing on opposing themes, such as commerce vs. love, cynicism vs. romanticism, ****** vs. love, Sabrina casually gives class conflict and consciousness the Hollywood treatment, so we are led to see that nothing can keep true lovers apart. Billy Wilder doesn't hit us over the head with these themes, because they are all so deeply ingrained in our collective unconscious that he only needs to give us a wink and a nod. While Bogie and Hepburn don't rank up there with Bogie and Bacall on the chemistry meter, both are incessantly charming. Sabrina is not as insightful or cutting as Wilder's best work, but the snappy and witty banter, which is marked by droll double entendres, help to elevate the film above standard entrants in this genre. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, but ended up winning only one, for Edith Head's costume design. Dan Jardine, All Movie Guide