Synopses & Reviews
The satirical American newspaper the Onionand#160;
recently ran a story with the headline and#147;College-Aged Female Finds Unlikely Kindred Spirit In Audrey Hepburn,and#8221; lampooning modern American girlsand#8217; continued fascination with the star (along with their habits of hanging posters ofand#160;Breakfast At Tiffanyand#8217;s
and#160;in their dorm rooms).
What gives this slight starlet such staying power? A talented actress, an icon of fashion, a loving mother, and an active humanitarian, Hepburn remains one of the worldand#8217;s most beloved women even two decades after her death. Ranked as the third greatest screen star of all time by the American Film Institute, she possessed grace and beauty that still enchant us today. The winner ofand#160;the 1953 Academy Award for her role as Princess Ann inand#160;Roman Holiday,and#160;she received further Academy Award nominations forand#160;Sabrina,and#160;Breakfast at Tiffany's,and#160;andand#160;Wait Until Dark. Her timeless, iconic style, both on and off screen, has long been admired, and she is seen by many as the epitome of grace, class, and elegance.
Fan Phenomena: Audrey Hepburnand#160;focuses on the transformative nature of Hepburnand#8217;s star persona, exploring her journey from ingand#233;nue to UNICEF ambassador. The book looks at her iconographic relationship with female culture and fashion and situatesand#160;Breakfast at Tiffanyand#8217;sand#160;alongside the works of Edith Wharton andand#160;Sex and the City.and#160;
“Rich in incident and set among the glitterati of Americas most glamorous era, the book reads like a novel…[Wasson] has assembled a sparkling time capsule of old Hollywood magic and mythmaking.” Kirkus Reviews
“The anecdotes are numerous and deftly told. This well-researched, entertaining page-turner should appeal to a broad audience, particularly those who enjoy film history that focuses on the human factors involved in the creative process while also drawing on larger social and cultural contexts.” Library Journal
“Wassons story is part encyclopedia, part valentine, and worth reading just to find out what exactly went into making the amazing party scene.” The Huffington Post
“Sam Wassons exquisite portrait of Audrey Hepburn peels backs her sweet facade to reveal a much more complicated and interesting woman. He also captures a fascinating turning point in American history when women started to loosen their pearls, and their inhibitions. I devoured this book.” Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City
“Reading a book about a movie is seldom as entertaining as watching the film, but Wassons is the rare exception.” Christian Science Monitor
“Reads like carefully crafted fiction…[Wasson] carries the reader from pre-production to on-set feuds and conflicts, while also noting Hepburns impact on fashion (Givenchys little black dress), Hollywood glamour, sexual politics, and the new morality. Capote would have been entranced.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This splendid new book is more than a mere ‘making-of chronicle. Wasson has pulled it off with verve, intelligence, and a consistent ring of truth...compulsively readable. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. is both enjoyable and informative: everything a film book ought to be.” Leonard Maltin, author of Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen
“A fascination with fascination is one way of describing Wassons interest in a film that not only captures the sedate elegance of a New York long gone, but that continues to entrance as a love story, a style manifesto, and a way to live.” New York magazine
“A breezy tale of dresses and breakfast pastries, this is not.... The subtexts of Breakfast at Tiffanysmaterialism, sexual freedomwere decidedly more complicated.” Women's Wear Daily
“A brilliant chronicle of the creation of Breakfast at Tiffanys. Wasson has woven the whole so deftly that it reads like a compulsively page-turning novel. This is a memorable achievement.” Peter Bogdanovich
“Crammed with irresistible tidbits…[Wassons] book winds up as well-tailored as the kind of little black dress that Breakfast at Tiffanys made famous.” New York Times
“A bonbon of a book...as well tailored as the little black dress the movie made famous.” Janet Maslin, New York Times
“Anyone even slightly interested in Capote/Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffanys will delight in [Wassons] account.” USA Today
“Wasson offers enough drama to occupy anyone for days...The whole thing reads like a cool sip of water.” Daily News
“Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. offers lots of savory tidbits [from the making of Breakfast at Tiffanys]. Mr. Wasson brings a lively and impudent approach to his subject.” Wall Street Journal
“Sam Wasson unfolds the dramatic story of the films creation. He also offers a fascinating slice of social history.” Arrive Magazine
“Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian...[Fifth Avenue, 5 AM] is as melancholy and glittering as Capotes story of Holly Golightly.” The New Yorker
“[We] couldnt put down Sam Wassons new book, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M..... Along with juicy film gossip, the book offers behind-the-scenes insight on how Hepburn and designer Hubert de Givenchy created Holly Golightlys iconic style.” AOL Stylelist
“So smart and entertaining it should come with its own popcorn.” People
Audrey Hepburn is an icon like no other, yet the image many of us have of Audreydainty, immaculateis anything but true to life. Here, for the first time, Sam Wasson presents the woman behind the little black dress that rocked the nation in 1961. The first complete account of the making of Breakfast at Tiffany's
, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.
reveals little-known facts about the cinema classic: Truman Capote desperately wanted Marilyn Monroe for the leading role; director Blake Edwards filmed multiple endings; Hepburn herself felt very conflicted about balancing the roles of mother and movie star. With a colorful cast of characters including Truman Capote, Edith Head, Givenchy, "Moon River" composer Henry Mancini, and, of course, Hepburn herself, Wasson immerses us in the America of the late fifties before Woodstock and birth control, when a not-so-virginal girl by the name of Holly Golightly raised eyebrows across the country, changing fashion, film, and sex for good. Indeed, cultural touchstones like Sex and the City
owe a debt of gratitude to Breakfast at Tiffany's
In this meticulously researched gem of a book, Wasson delivers us from the penthouses of the Upper East Side to the pools of Beverly Hills, presenting Breakfast at Tiffany's as we have never seen it beforethrough the eyes of those who made it. Written with delicious prose and considerable wit, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. shines new light on a beloved film and its incomparable star.
Audrey Hepburn is an icon like no other, yet the image many of us have of Hepburn—dainty, immaculate—is anything but true to life. Here, for the first time, Sam Wasson presents the woman behind the little black dress that rocked the nation in 1961. With a colorful cast of characters including Truman Capote, Edith Head, Givenchy, “Moon River” composer Henry Mancini, and, of course, Hepburn herself, Wasson immerses us in the America of the early sixties before Woodstock and birth control, when a not-so-virginal girl by the name of Holly Golightly raised eyebrows across the country, changing fashion, film, and sex for good.
Talented actress, iconic fashion model, loving mother and active humanitarian; Audrey Hepburn is one of the worldand#8217;s most beloved women and even ten years after her death, her grace and beauty still enchants us today. Ranked as third greatest star of all time by the American film institute she won several BAFT awards for her performances in The Nun's Story
(1959) and Charade
(1963), and received Academy Award nominations for Sabrina
(1954), Breakfast at Tiffany's
(1961) and Wait Until Dark
(1967). Her timeless iconic style, both on and off screen, has been long been admired and she is seen by many as the epitome of grace, class and elegance.
Fan Phenomena: Audrey Hepburn focuses on the transformative nature of Hepburnand#8217;s star persona, exploring her journey from ingand#233;nue, to kook, to lady, to UNICEF ambassador. The book looks at her iconographic relationship with female culture and fashion such as Hepburnand#8217;s persona as an instructive style guru through female publications which explore her relationship with fashion.
About the Author
Sam Wasson studied film at Wesleyan University and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is the author of A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards, and the forthcoming Paul on Mazursky. He lives in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Audrey Hepburn: Fashion, Fairy Tales and Transformation
Audrey is a Hep Cat Now
Why is Hepburn So 'Audrey'?
Transformation, Fashion and Funny Face
Audrey Hepburn and the Popularization of the 'Little Black Dress'
'She's Enchanting': How Her Neglected Films Give Fans the Key to Audrey-ness
The Making of an International Star: The Early Film Career and Star Image of Audrey Hepburn, 1948-54
Little Black Dress: Audrey, Fashion, and Fans
The Audrey Hat Trick
Audrey Hepburn Syndrome: It's a Girl (and Sometimes a Boy) Thing