I wrote an article called “Audrey Sure Knows How to do a Makeover Movie” on my blog in September of 2010. It is still one of my favorite little posts and I think it is worth a visit! Last weekend I took myself on a solo date to see Funny Face on the big screen. It was so inspiring, I thought I would revisit my old article and write a similar one here, adding one more Audrey Hepburn film to the mix. Audrey Hepburn Fans unite as I geek out to 5 Audrey Hepburn Makeover Movies!
1) Roman Holiday (1953)
I may say this about every one of these films, but I love Roman Holiday. It may be my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie. This film cast Audrey in her breakout role as Princess Ann, a young woman who runs away to find herself in the masses of strangers in Rome. She meets a heartbreaker reporter and they fall in love, only to be separated by duty to ones calling. In this film, Audrey evolves from a naive and anxious girl into a carefree woman. I love the scenes of Ann’s walk through Rome as she makes ever so slight changes to her appearance (except for a pretty in your face haircut!)
When Gregory Peck, who plays the romantic lead Joe, saw the waves Audrey Hepburn was going to make in her role as Ann, he insisted she should also have her name next to his above the title. Its a good thing he did, because she won an Oscar for her work in this film!
“Do you have a silk nightgown with rosebuds?” – Princess Ann “I haven’t worn a nightgown in years!” Joe Bradley.
source/more facts about Roman Holiday
2) Sabrina (1954)
This film is truly the story of a makeover, and it is fabulous. I love the transformation Audrey makes in this film as the young daughter of a chauffer in love with the son of the “big house”, into a chic parisienne complete with a little dog. A love triangle ensues upon Sabrina’s arrival home from Paris.
Audrey Hepburn was payed $15,000 for her role in this film named after her character… Humphrey Boggart was paid $300,000. Um…I’m chalking that up to sexism. This was also the film where Audrey Hepburn first worked with the incredible designer Hubert de Givenchy in the selection of her wardrobe. He went on to clothe her in many other films and created the “Hepburn Look”. To me, Audrey and Givenchy were a perfect partnership.
” A woman happily in love, she burns the soufflé. A woman unhappily in love, she forgets to turn on the oven.”
source/more facts about Sabrina
3) Funny Face (1957)
I believe this to be the most visually stunning of Audrey’s “make-over movies”. When I saw it in theaters, the technicolor was so beautiful and the images were so striking, that I became teary from how perfect the art direction was (perfect enough to be elected for a 1957 Oscar!)
Fred Astaire plays opposite Audrey as the photographer who discovers Audrey’s character, Jo, at a beatnick bookshop in Greenwich Village. He “loves her Funny Face” and whisks her to Paris where she becomes a glamorous model (but stays pretty cool and nerdy). Fred Astaire’s character is modeled after the famous fashion photography Richard Avedon who set up the beautiful photography stills shown in this film. Audrey is decked out again in an amazing wardrobe by Givenchy. This movie has really amazing song and dance routines for the musical lover. Audrey Hepburn’s beatnick dance routine in a smoky Paris Jazz cafe is one of the best things about this film. I love seeing this classically trained dancer trying out modern dance.
“Every girl on every page of Quality has grace, elegance, and pizazz. Now, what’s wrong with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit, and intelligence?”
source/more facts about Funny Face and more facts about Fred Astaire
4) Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
Breakfast at Tiffany is an iconic Audrey film about a lost little girl inside a party-girls body. It may not read as a “make-over movie” right away, but as we watch the film, we learn that Audrey’s Character, Holly Golightly, is in a process of constant reinvention. She is never quite happy with who she is. Before the start of the film, Holly was farm girl Lulamae, and we catch small glimpses of this person as Holly experiences all her inner conflict. Also, the awesome scene where she transforms from a sleeping beauty to a New York Sophistacate in a LBD, is a favorite Audrey moment. I want a morning routine that fast!
Fun fact, the writer of the book Breakfast at Tiffany’s was Truman Capote. His first choice to play the role of Holly Golightly was Marilyn Monroe! Can you imagine how different this film would be had she been given the part?
“You musn’t give your heart to a wild thing.”
source/more facts about Breakfast At Tiffany’s
5) My Fair Lady (1964)
This exquisite film was produced on an incredibly grand scale and is a treat to watch! In it, Audrey Hepburn plays Eliza Doolittle, a flower seller on the streets of london at the turn of the century. She is picked up as an experiment by Henny Higgins (played by Rex Harrison) who thinks he can pass her off to society as a Lady with a little make-over and some vocal coaching.
Cecil Beaton designed this film’s costumes. I did love reading that Audrey’ white ball gown worn at her moment of pure transformation was an actual antique shipped in from London. Additionally Rex Harrison insisted his costumes for this film were made by his own bespoke tailors in London. Speaking of Rex, I thought it was very bittersweet to learn that he pulled emotion into his voice for his solo “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” by imagining his late wife was just in the other room… call me sentimental. If you watch/listen to this film you will hear the dubbed vocals of a Marni Nixon, singing the vocal parts of Eliza. Audrey sang her role in Funny Face, but not for this film!
“I may have sold flowers but I never sold myself. Now that I’m a lady, that’s all I have to sell.”
source/more facts about My Fair Lady
Isn’t Audrey great in Makeover movies? Did I miss one? Do you think “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a makeover movie?
PS. I found a similiar article about Audrey Hepburn Makeover Movies on Hello Giggles! This writer took a different approach, what do you think?