The Beginner’s Guide to Audrey Hepburn Movies

The Beginner's Guide to Audrey Hepburn Movies

In a recent post, I talked about how great Audrey Hepburn was, both as a person and as an actress. One of my friends read it and said she’d never seen any Audrey Hepburn movies except for the beginning of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Since Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a bit slow and somber, my friend got bored and quit watching. While I think everyone should watch Audrey Hepburn movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, contrary to popular opinion, isn’t my favorite of her movies and I could have told my friend that she would get bored watching it. Having been a fan from a young age, I am going to use my knowledge to create a guide for Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey Hepburn walking down the stairs for a photo shoot in Funny Face

I want that dress!

Funny Face

The first Audrey movie you should watch is Funny Face. In this delightful, light-hearted flick, the editor and photographer of a prestigious fashion magazine scheme to get an intellectual, too good for plebeian things like a fashion magazine, funny looking girl to model in Paris for them. Hijinks ensue. People fall in love; it is Paris, after all. It even won an Oscar for best costume design. The costumes were designed by Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy, so no surprise there. The outfits are absolutely sumptuous. It’s also a cute musical without having too many long or boring singing scenes. Bonus: It features Fred Astaire dancing and being suave. Seriously, I could fall in love with Fred’s dancing.

Sabrina

“I have learned how to live, how to be IN the world and OF the world, and not just to stand aside and watch. And I will never, never again run away from life. Or from love, either.- Sabrina Fairchild”

The next movie newbies should watch is Sabrina. However, if for people that aren’t big on musicals, an alternative is to watch Sabrina first. Sabrina is about the daughter of a chauffeur who is hopelessly in love with the David Larrabee, playboy extraordinaire and son of the family her father works for. Sabrina’s father sends her to cooking school in Paris for a twofold reason: to learn useful skills and to forget about David. However, Sabrina returns still in love with David and no longer looking like a little girl. When David notices her, nobody else besides Sabrina is happy. Things get a little complicated and crazy in the best way possible. This costars William Holden and Humphrey Bogart. It also won an Oscar for Best Costume Design so it won’t be a disappointment after the fashion world in Funny Face. Bonus: There’s a remake made in 1995 starring Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear. It manages to stay relevant to the times and makes changes without straying from the integrity or feel of the original.

My Fair Lady

The next movie I think people should watch is My Fair Lady.  This is my personal favorite Audrey Hepburn movie and in my top 10 favorite movies overall. However, it is a little long. The plot revolves around Henry Higgins, a phonetics professor who makes a bet that he can make Eliza Doolittle, a lowly flower girl, presentable in high society by teaching her to speak with a different dialect. Of course, they fall in love despite their differences.  The above scene in the YouTube link is one of my favorite scenes in all the movies I’ve ever scene and the main focus isn’t ever on the main characters. That says a lot about how great this movie is. Every single detail is golden. There’s even one scene where Eliza imagines getting the king to chop off Henry Higgins head. This film is a great example of a movie that’s really well done, lots of fun to watch and makes people think about society and how little things like language affect the way we perceive others. It was directed by George Cukor, the original director for Gone with the Wind who secretly coached Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland after he was fired. The movie got 8 Oscars including best director, best actor in a leading role (Shout out to the great Rex Harrison) and, you guessed it, best costume design by Cecil Beaton. Bonus: This movie is adapted from the book Pygmalion.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany's

“I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.”

The quintessential Audrey Hepburn movie. The movie that popularized the “Little Black Dress.” This movie, based on the book of the same name by Truman Capote, is sad and moving and deep while also managing to be fun and visually gorgeous. You feel for Holly Golightly. She breaks your heart and makes you cry. This is a movie that has to be felt rather than seen. One fun part is when she helps out the mob without even realizing it.

Bonus: you’ll want to go to Tiffany’s and eat breakfast to get over the mean reds.

How to Steal a Million

The most unknown and underrated Audrey Hepburn movie is How to Steal a Million. Also set in Paris, this fun heist flick costars, the young and ever so adorable Peter O’Toole. I can’t really go into the plot without taking away some of the fun but you should definitely check it out.

So there you have it. The first five Audrey Hepburn movies you should watch. The good news is all except for My Fair Lady are available to stream on Netflix. After you watch these, check out Roman Holiday and Charade* then go to amazon and buy What Would Audrey Do or How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World.

*The first time I started Charade I only watched the first 30 minutes and got bored and gave up. The next time I made it through the beginning to where it gets really good. It a great, very underrated caper movie. It will have your head spinning! Check it out.

Obviously, this is all subjective. Please share if you agree with my opinions! I’ll leave you with the words of the lovely lady.

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’ “

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An Unpopular Confession: Why I don’t worship Marilyn Monroe

I love old Hollywood glamour.

A picture of Cary Grant looking attractive

Hello Gorgeous

Cary Grant is a dreamboat and I’ve loved him since I was probably 7 or 8 watching An Affair to Remember, Thanks, Mama for the introduction!

Doris Day and Rock Hudson look lovingly into each other's eye on the beach from the movie "Lover Come Back"

Doris Day and Rock Hudson had the best on screen chemistry!

Doris Day and Rock Hudson are adorable in every film they are in and Doris Day’s character in Lover Come Back is one of the reasons I considered and chose to major in public relations!

I could go on and on about how much I love old movies and old actors and actresses. I fell in love with Fred Astaire in Swing Time, Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain, Frank Sinatra anytime he sings. I want to be Lauren Bacall as Schatze Page in How to Marry a Millionaire, Grace Kelley was classy, beautiful, a great actress, and a literal princess.

Audrey Hepburn

The Fairest of Them All

But let’s not forget the greatest of them all, Audrey Hepburn. If you can find someone who loves Audrey more than I do (and by love I mean has seen more than just Breakfast at Tiffany’s and understands that she was also a huge humanitarian) send them my way so we can fangirl together.

There are so many people famous in the 30s, 40s, and 50s who I absolutely adore that I could go on forever and should probably write a seperate post about my favorite leading men and ladies or favorite movies from before 1980s sometime (if you’d read that, tell me!) but that’s not what I am saying here.

So many girls idolize, obsess over, and quote Marilyn Monroe. I can’t. I refuse to worship her.

She was a beautiful lady and I am so sorry about her rough life that led to her suicide. It is heartbreaking; I wish I could go back in time and hug her and save her from the bad people but I can’t.

So while I feel great pity for her life, I do not go around quoting her and I don’t buy things with her image on them.

Audrey Hepburn played roles that varied and had character and grew. Side note, she was a hipster 50 years from before it was cool in Funny Face. Katherine Hepburn plays strong, dynamic women who are in charge of their own destiny. Marilyn Monroe played promiscuous, dumb blondes who was on the prowl for wealthy men.

She is not a role model. I repeat, Marilyn Monroe is not a role model.

If you want a beautiful actress from Old Hollywood to adorn your walls with, buy some Grace Kelly merchandise. If you want to quote a gorgeous actress from the glamour days, look up the words of wisdom from Audrey Hepburn (or ask me). If you want a tenacious role model from then, look at Katherine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall.

Y’all, I’m a passionate person. I am passionate about dumb things sometimes. I care way too much about grammar and how Coke always beats Pepsi and Sprite is a million times better than Sierra Mist. On this issue, however, I don’t think I’m being silly. I look up to strong women who have made things better for me. I read a biography about Susan B. Anthony when I was 10. It’s possible that not all the women I endorsed made things better for me. I don’t know a ton about Lauren Bacall or Katherine Hepburn but I do know that neither of them played roles that objectified. The studio system was really intense and crazy back in the day and actors didn’t have the freedom to pick and choose as they do now, so it may not have been Marilyn Monroe’s fault that she played parts that objectified her. Nonetheless, she didn’t contribute to making Hollywood view women as people rather than sex objects. Honestly, I view her life as more of a sad “what not to do” than a life to be admired. Please, watch one of the movies I listed or research some of the ladies and find a more worthy rolemodel!

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

To leave you on a positive note, go fall in love with Ole Blue Eyes gem of a voice, here