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Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 17:18 GMT
Breakfast still fresh at Tiffany's
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Holly Golightly remains Hepburn's most famous 'waif' role
Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor is joining other British celebrities for a gala screening of the re-released classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The screening at London's Odeon Leicester Square on Thursday celebrates the issue on 16 February of a brand new print of the movie starring Audrey Hepburn.

The British Film Institute has made the spruced-up version of director's Blake Edwards's 1961 movie in celebration of the film's 40th anniversary.

It is part of an ongoing two-year project by the BFI to make its most requested classic movies readily available to audiences of the future.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
The film endures as a style classic

Other titles to be re-released in the same way include Some Like it Hot, Alfie and Don't Look Now.

"Film deteriorates naturally over time, especially if heavily used," explained a BFI spokesman.

"There are no usable copies of any of these films in our collections so we cannot offer them to cinema-goers anywhere."

Despite the need to refresh the physical state of Breakfast at Tiffany's, the film's content is considered to be timeless in its appeal to audiences.

Gloss

Its two strongest characteristics are the wit of its script and its glamour - personified by screen idol Audrey Hepburn.

Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, New York's ultimate glamorous party girl and free spirit.

Beneath the gloss, however, Holly lives in a bare apartment, surviving on "tips" from men she meets on the social scene.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
Peppard's character (R) disruputs Holly's plans to marry a rich man

She is of course determined to marry a millionaire - at any cost.

But that plan begins to lose shape when struggling writer Paul Varjak, played by George Peppard, moves into her block.

The film is based on the 1958 novella by Truman Capote.

At the time, it was not considered by critics to be one of his best works, which included Other Voices and Other Rooms.

Yet Breakfast at Tiffany's remains the most famous and influential book Capote wrote.

Capote later in life said Holly Golightly was his favourite character.

In an early draught of the book he gave her the name Connie Gustafon, but later changed it to the more symbolic Holly Golightly.

Bittersweet

Capote had originally chosen Marilyn Monroe for the part, but instead Monroe chose to do The Misfits.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
Hepburn plays Moon River

It was lucky for Hepburn because, despite a strong performance from Peppard, Breakfast at Tiffany's is undeniably Hepburn's film.

In addition, Holly Golightly is perhaps Hepburn's most endearing and enduring "waif" characterisation.

For all its charm Breakfast at Tiffany's has a bittersweet aftertaste.

It deals ultimately with characters who exploit others but damage themselves in the process.

The melancholy of the film is captured in the evocative score from Henry Mancini, of which the most famous song remains Moon River.

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