Audrey Day

22 Oct
Audrey Day

All I want this weekend is some charmth to warm my soul. And few actors are as charming as Audrey Hepburn, so she’s my preferred company today. Just familiar stuff, so I can wallow in the details without worrying about surprises and other nasty things.  Plus, she must hold some kind of record for acting in the most number of movies set in Paris and I could definitely do with some Parisian romance this week.

A few favorites amongst some of her less-discussed movies:

1. How to Steal a Million

The movie that made me fall in love with Peter O’Toole despite my father’s best efforts to traumatize me as a child with repeated viewings of Lawrence of Arabia.

It’s really an amusing trifle but as a caper it hits just the right spot – O’Toole is adorable as the bemused would-be art thief shanghaied into helping a family of accomplished forgers thanks to the go-getter daughter of the house. It has the kind of 60s silliness that makes that whole era such fun: hi-tech gadgets and yummy fashion and amazing cars. And smoking hot chemistry that doesn’t require anyone to get naked.

Well, maybe a little naked but it takes place discreetly offscreen.

2. Robin and Marian

A look at the lives of glorious heroes long after the cheers have faded into memory, this m0vie was written by James Goldman who also wrote The Lion in Winter and They Might be Giants (all you Sherlock fans might want to check it out). For this reason alone, it has long been on my list but it took Flynn Week to bring it back up.

And it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s not really “Robin Hood” except in name but works really well as a movie about young men who dedicate their lives to a higher cause, the young women they leave behind, and what happens when life catches up with them.

3. Two for the Road

I’ll never forget the very first time I saw this movie thanks to that one scene in which Audrey and Albert Finney discuss the silence of married people at restaurants. It’s the kind of writing that comes back to you at unexpected moments; the simple honesty of little things that you never quite analyze until someone points it out to you and then it remains bound to your memory of that person forever.

This is not the movie for you if you’re looking for the “classic” Audrey Hepburn experience with the wide eyes, the chic clothes and the ladylike language – you’d have to choose director Stanley Donen’s two other, more famous, collaborations with Audrey for that fix (Funny Face, Charade).

An examination of a couple’s marriage over a decade as they go on various road trips, I often wonder how it would have played if Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in it… and I mean that as a compliment.

4. Paris – When it Sizzles

Look at that trailer! Don’t you want to see it? It’s like this movie was made to make all writers of fanfic green with jealousy – will your insane (-ly sexy!) storylines ever be acted out by anyone even half as awesome as Audrey Hepburn and William Holden? I think not!

I have to say, analytically speaking, you end up wondering if this movie about a hard partyin’ screenwriter forced to submit the allegedly phenomenal script he’s been working on in gay Paree and the assistant he finds to help him crank it out in time was more of a docudrama than fiction. There’s a distinctly cobbled together feel to the whole enterprise. But who wants to speak analytically? It sounds like a painful medical condition! Talking about medical conditions, these two ought to do something about this fatal attraction their mouths have for each other.

5. Love in the Afternoon

This movie was an eye-roller even when it came out, but if you have a thing for Autumn-Spring romances – and much as it pains me, I must out myself here – then this absolutely charming. It’s not as sweet as Sabrina but Gary Cooper works much better than Humphrey Bogart.

And as hilarious (-ly sexist) as that whole “connoisseur of women” stuff sounds in the trailer, it’s even more funny in the movie as you watch Cooper drip charm in a tuxedo tailored for Cary Grant. But it kind of works too – you buy him as the great big, rough American millionaire who likes his dames with exotic accents. There’s a certain hard-living hint of sleaze about him that’s very unusual for roles of this kind. And Audrey is, of course, utterly delicious and extremely young.

It’s like chicken soup for my heart.


Posted by on October 22, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Review, Video


Tags: , , , ,

10 responses to “Audrey Day

  1. Beth

    October 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Is Paris – When It Sizzles secretly a Desai film?!?

    • Amrita

      October 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      RIGHT?! 😀 Severe lack of concern rape, missing brothers and matching lockets makes me rethink. Or is it just to throw me off the trail? Dun-dun-DUN!

  2. Rum

    October 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Oooo Amrita I love this post, all of my favorites of Audrey’s films. I haven’t seen ‘Two for the Road’ yet but I must because its held so highly, and ‘Paris When It Sizzles’ is so fun and such fluffy entertainment, and it’s a cute spoof and I adore William Holden and Audrey together.
    I finally find someone who likes ‘Love in the Afternoon’ when I’ve shown it to my friends they get the heeby-jeebies about Cooper’s age, but its soo romantic in an odd but good way! Audrey seems to have brilliant chemistry with older guys like Bogie in Sabrina too!

  3. CheeC

    October 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    (I like how you’d shortened my “adopted” name to CheeC — mostly coz of how it sounds — and might stick with it a while for that semblance of predictability.)

    Remember that Postmodernism class I was talking abt? In it, we first started off reading a decidedly non-Postmodern book (per the prof): Breakfast At Tiffany’s!

    Ever since, I’ve been wanting to watch the movie coz everyone else seems to have seen it and there were discussions in class on how folks (in the 60s, who’d read the book back then) felt it was a huge gamble on the director’s part to go with dainty Ms Hepburn as Holly Golightly, the whimsical waif, but how she blew away the skeptics by imbuing her character with that rare elfin charm…

    BTW, haven’t seen any of the ones you mention here. Damn! Damn! Damn! (I think Wait Until Dark and Roman Holiday may be her only movies to have come my way!)

    • CheeC

      October 24, 2010 at 2:53 am

      Checked out all the (Kiss-themed?!) trailers here, just now. Wow! What energy and enthusiasm folks put into creating them in those days!! By comparison, trailers these days look so stage-y, so slapdash, so fake…we’re seriously fortunate if any interest in watching the films remains at all, once we’ve endured the onslaught of mindlessly put-together promos.

      Also LOVED her in that biography bit her son narrates. I had no idea about Audrey’s background…war, ballet, underground etc. She’s so sweet, so strong!

      Finally, sealed the night off with (a kiss, what else? from) the ending of Breakfast At Tiffany’s (that I just looked up on YouTube). Thank you! You are too generous to share “the charmth that warmth the soul”. 😀

  4. Gradwolf

    October 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Where is Moon River? :O

  5. bollyviewer

    October 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Excellent idea. We all need an Audrey day now and again to chase away the blues. But why no Roman Holiday and Wait Until It’s Dark? Surely they deserve their rightful place in any Audrey Hepburn list, even if they are not exactly unknown or less-discussed. Love In The Afternoon seriously creeped me out and I’ve never forgiven a middle-aged Gary Cooper for pursuing a clearly adolescent Hepburn! 😀 I’ll take Sabrina over it, any day. I should try and find Two For The Road. Never came across it before.

  6. dustedoff

    October 23, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Oh, lovely. Now I have some more Audrey films I must look out for! I loved Paris – When it Sizzles too, as well as How to Steal a Million. The others, unfortunately, no, though I’ve heard of them. Must, must watch!

    @bollyviewer: And two more of my favourites, though by no means less discussed: War and Peace, and Charade. Very different, very watchable.

  7. ramesh

    October 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

    ah they don’t kiss like that anymore (as they show in robin and marian) ..

  8. bhel

    October 25, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Check this site out if you haven’t already:

%d bloggers like this: