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DIV Before Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn was still a little-known actress with few film roles to speak of; after it – indeed, because of it - she was one of the world’s most famous fashion, style and screen icons. It was this film that matched her with Hubert de Givenchy’s “little black dress”. Meanwhile, Truman Capote’s original novel is itself a modern classic selling huge numbers every year, and its high-living author of perennial interest. Now, this little book tells the story of how it all happened: how Audrey got the role (for which at first she wasn’t considered, and which she at first didn’t want); how long it took to get the script right; how it made Blake Edwards’ name as a director after too many trashy films had failed to; and how Henry Mancini’s soundtrack with its memorable signature tune ‘Moon River’ completed the irresistible package. This is the story of how one shy, uncertain, inexperienced young actress was persuaded to take on a role she at first thought too hard-edged and amoral – and how it made Audrey Hepburn into gamine, elusive Holly Golightly in the little black dress - and a star for the rest of her life. /div
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2010 “So smart and entertaining it should come with its own popcorn” – People “A bonbon of a book… As well tailored as the little black dress the movie made famous.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times “Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian.” – The New Yorker “Reads like carefully crafted fiction…[Wasson] carries the reader from pre-production to on-set feuds and conflicts, while also noting Hepburn’s impact on fashion (Givenchy’s little black dress), Hollywood glamour, sexual politics, and the new morality. Capote would have been entranced.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Sam Wasson’s 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 Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson is the first ever complete account of the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. With a cast of characters including Truman Capote, Edith Head, director Blake Edwards, 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 nation, changing fashion, film, and sex, for good. With delicious prose and considerable wit, 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 before—through the eyes of those who made it.
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.
In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany's; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm. This volume also includes three of Capote's best-known stories, “House of Flowers,” “A Diamond Guitar,” and “A Christmas Memory,” which the Saturday Review called “one of the most moving stories in our language.” It is a tale of two innocents—a small boy and the old woman who is his best friend—whose sweetness contains a hard, sharp kernel of truth.
The pop culture historian and best-selling author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. presents a revealing portrait of the renowned dancer, choreographer, screenwriter and director that traces his numerous reinventions and prodigious professional achievements as well as his romantic relationships and excessive appetites. 40,000 first printing.
With one of the longest and most controversial careers in Hollywood history, Blake Edwards is a phoenix of movie directors, full of hubris, ambition, and raving comic chutzpah. His rambunctious filmography remains an artistic force on par with Hollywood's greatest comic directors: Lubitsch, Sturges, Wilder. Like Wilder, Edwards’s propensity for hilarity is double-helixed with pain, and in films like Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, and even The Pink Panther, we can hear him off-screen, laughing in the dark. And yet, despite those enormous successes, he was at one time considered a Hollywood villain. After his marriage to Julie Andrews, Edwards’s Darling Lili nearly sunk the both of them and brought Paramount Studios to its knees. Almost overnight, Blake became an industry pariah, which ironically fortified his sense of satire, as he simultaneously fought the Hollywood tide and rode it. Employing keen visual analysis, meticulous research, and troves of interviews and production files, Sam Wasson delivers the first complete account of one of the maddest figures Hollywood has ever known.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Fifth Avenue, Five A.M. and Fosse comes the revelatory account of the making of a modern American masterpiece Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making. In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation. Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written. Praise for Sam Wasson: "Wasson is a canny chronicler of old Hollywood and its outsize personalities...More than that, he understands that style matters, and, like his subjects, he has a flair for it." - The New Yorker "Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian because he finds meaning in situations and stories that would otherwise be forgotten if he didn't sleuth them out, lovingly." - Hilton Als
“Hart has a genuine gift for conveying the texture of midcentury Manhattan…. [She makes] the dilemmas of her own young life both compelling and contemporary.” —USA Today “[A] glorious once upon a time fairytale come true….I loved every moment!” —Adriana Trigiani, author of Very Valentine A memoir acclaimed as “reminiscent of The Best of Everything and Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (BookPage), Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart is the true story of two best friends experiencing the time of their lives in New York City during the summer of 1945. The Cleveland Plain Dealer raves, “Hart writes about that stylish summer with verve, recollecting with a touching purity a magical summer in Manhattan, seen through the eyes of two 21-year-olds, just as the end of World War II approached.”
“Like the best of his subjects, which include Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray and Tina Fey, Wasson has perfect timing.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune Finalist for the 2017 George Freedley Memorial Award In this richly reported, scene-driven narrative, Sam Wasson charts the meteoric rise of improv from its unlikely beginnings in McCarthy-era Chicago. We witness the chance meeting between Mike Nichols and Elaine May, hang out at the after-hours bar where Dan Aykroyd hosted friends like John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner, and go behind the scenes of cultural landmarks from The Graduate to The Colbert Report. Along the way, we befriend pioneers such as Harold Ramis, Chevy Chase, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Alan Arkin, Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, and many others. “Compelling, absolutely unputdownable…And, in case you’re wondering, yes, the book is funny. In places, very funny. A remarkable story, magnificently told.”—Booklist “One of the most important stories in American popular culture…Wasson may be the first author to explain [improv’s] entire history…a valuable book.”—The New York Times Book Review “Improv Nation masterfully tells a new history of American comedy…It holds the element of surprise—true to the spirit of its subject.”—Entertainment Weekly