‘…a film made with reverence and love, and likely to connect with a wide audience who remember Hepburn as one of the great film-stars of the 20th century…’

Audrey Hepburn truly belongs in the top echelon of film stars; you don’t need a film-critic to explain the timeless quality she brought to such well-loved films as Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady. Her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the kind iconic role that defines what an iconic role is; if a man can’t put on a suit without thinking of James Bond, a little black dress can only spark memories of the kooky girl she played in Blake Edwards’ Truman Capote adaptation, a multi-layered film that coasts by on Hollywood gloss that disguises a harsh underbelly. Hepburn turned her back on stardom post 1967, and Helena Coan’s documentary aims to explain why, and present a full portrait of the star.

As you’d hope, Coan manages to pull together the remaining few who were close to the star, from family members to passing acquaintances, to co-stars like Richard Dreyfuss who worked with her on Always. Coan also has access to a trove of private photographs, plus rare film, and also an access-all-areas compilation reel of film-appearances, from Ealing comedies to War and Peace. Hepburn’s rise was mercurial, leading to an early Oscar, but some unhappy marriages and having her voice dubbed for My Fair Lady dented her confidence, and she chose to focus on her family after 1967’s Wait Until Dark.

Turning her back on cinema wasn’t the end of Hepburn as a public figure; her work with UNESCO is well-documented here, and makes up almost half of the film’s length. That’s not to suggest the documentary tails off; quite the contrary, Hepburn seems to have been re-invigorated by her new public role, and while the footage of her work in Africa might trigger white saviour distain in 2020, you can’t fault her for doing the best job she could at the time.

Hepburn has proved to be the most enduring of stars, still the model for any aspiring actress, and the footage and anecdotes compiled here attest to that elusive quality of stardom. It’s a film made with reverence and love, and likely to connect with a wide audience who remember Hepburn as one of the great film-stars of the 20th century, but also those who see a wider world than beyond the cinema screen.

Thanks to NBCUniversal for access to this title.




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  1. I’m ashamed to say the only Audrey Hepburn film I’ve seen is Breakfast. I haven’t seen this documentary but I love docs about the old stars so I’m going to check this one out.

    • Hey Melanie

      Roman Holiday is one to check out, and the doc is a primer for her best work. I have a thing for Wait Until Dark as well, although she’s exiting the studio system by then. Will be checking your blog to see how you get on! And yes, Breakfast is a high-point, but there’s plenty of other good stuff to enjoy.

  2. was always upset with the way Golightly treated her cat! Also the Capote novel was a gay novel that had to be cleansed for a 50s audience. Someone needs to remake that thing properly.

    • And Mickey Rooney doesn’t cover himself with glory either. A more honest remake would be a good idea, but is unlikely to have it’s cake and eat it that way this one does. And yes, she’s rough on the cat, but it brings them together in the end…

    • I think a lot of people will dig having this story retold though many unseen clips and photos that capture her essence…enjoy!

  3. Looking forward to this one. She as a genuine star. And she made some very interesting choices like The Unforgiven and The Children’s Hour well outside her comfort zone.

    • The Children’s Hour is one I keep meaning to have a look at, saw it in a season of ‘controversial’ movies when I had a different idea of what a shocking film was, should be ripe for re-appraisal.

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