Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Breakfast at Tiffany's House

Who could forget Holly Golightly's house? Who could forget the fabulous cocktail parties, with Mickey Rooney as Mr Yunioshi shouting protests from the balustrade above? Who could forget the bathtub sofa, and the gloriously simple bedroom, where Givenchy's glamorous dresses appeared like magic? And finally, who could forget Audrey Hepburn's poignant rendition of Moon River on the fire escape, a song that brought some gentle reflection to an otherwise whirlwind drama?

Well, now the house that was in Breakfast at Tiffany's is up for sale. Owned for more than a decade by a former Merrill Lynch broker, the Upper East Side Manhattan townhouse has just been listed for $5.85M. The residence is located at 169 East 71st Street, and although most of the interior shots were filmed in a specially designed studio, there were some scenes that were shot here, including the exterior street scenes and (supposedly) a party. The house no longer features the green and white striped window awnings it wore in the movie, but it is still delightful, and you can't look at it without imagining Audrey stepping out of a taxi and prancing up the steps in big dark sunglasses.

It's difficult to believe that this film was considered a little risque when it was first released. The idea of a character who is a call girl may seem completely acceptable to us now but back then it was considered rather shocking. Apparently Truman Capote (the author of the novel) wanted Marilyn Monroe for the role, but the producer and the screenwriter pressed for Audrey, believing that her natural charm and the fact that she was much less overtly sexual than Monroe would make the character less offensive to both the censors and the public. As it turned out, they were right. But not everyone was happy. Audrey's husband, Mel Ferrer, urged his wife not to play a call girl, fearing it would end her career. However, Audrey took the character and, with Givenchy's help, made it her own.

Four decades later, we're still enchanted by it.

{Photo: Publicity stills from Breakfast at Tiffany's.}


  1. How amazing to live in this house with its connection to such a gorgeous and iconic movie!!! Altho anywhere on the Upper East Side would be fine for me :)

    Loving your blog :)

  2. Thanks for your kind comment Simone. So lovely to hear from you. Yes, I'd be happy with the Upper East side too. Or Midtown... Or SoHo... Or the East Village... Or even Brooklyn...! Janelle

  3. The whole call girl thing is so subtle in the movie - I remember watching it as a young-ish girl (maybe aged 13?) and while being fairly clued up in general, totally missed that part! I only discovered that when I read the book a year or so later.


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