It is sometimes easy to forget that Audrey Hepburn made films for almost 40 years. Like many beloved iconic actors and actresses, she is best remembered for a handful of true classics. You don’t hear people name-dropping films like The Nun’s Story, for which she got an Oscar nomination, or her Emmy-winning appearance in an episode of “Gardens of the World” (for Outstanding Individual Achievement – Information Programming). Heck, did you even know that she is one of the few performers to achieve the Grand Slam of show business, the EGOT (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award)?
What people DO know about Audrey Hepburn is that she was a timelessly elegant fashion icon, left a legacy of philanthropy before it was fashionable, and departed this world all-too-soon. And her classic films, when she was young and adorable, are still beloved today. Warner Bros. has released three of her most-famous films in the Audrey Hepburn Collection on Blu-ray: the jovial musical romp, Funny Face, the romantic Sabrina, and the pop-culture classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s. All three Blu-rays contain the bevy of extras that were heaped upon the most-recent, souped-up anniversary editions of their DVD releases, but come with the crispness that only Blu-ray can offer your fancy HDTV.
* Funny Face has Hepburn teamed with a much older Fred Astaire, which would be creepy if the film weren’t so utterly delightful. Full of song and dance, and a famous black turtleneck in a jazz club, the story takes place in the world of fashion as a magazine mogul (the fabulous Kay Thompson), along with her photographer (Astaire), spots bookseller Hepburn, and decide to jet her to Paris to make her a supermodel. (Read our review)
* In Billy Wilder’s romance Sabrina, Hepburn is the titular young lady, daughter of a chauffeur, who crushes on rich playboy William Holden, only to be wooed by his responsible older brother, played by Humphrey Bogart. If you are not smitten with the romance, you will be smitten by Hepburn’s fashions when her character returns from a transformative trip to (yes) Paris. (Read our review)
* And what can be said about Breakfast at Tiffany’s? The film is so ubiquitous in pop culture that you may feel like you have seen it, even if you haven’t. Even if it weren’t for the fashion, the scenes of swinging parties, and luminous Audrey herself, the movie will be remembered for introducing the timeless classic “Moon River”. (Read our review)
Really, the only thing missing from this collection of films is the lovely and romantic gem Roman Holiday, which is actually my favorite of Audrey Hepburn’s films. Nonetheless, this is an efficient box set which is not only a great introduction for movie fans not familiar with her most famous work, but the collection actually gathers together three huge films that are must-haves for her fans.
Kay Thompson, Fred Astaire, and Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1954).