CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Breakfast At Tiffany's or Butterfield 8?

There's nothing better than when people discuss a topic and each have their own distinct views that are complete opposite of one another. And, no I'm not talking politics. I'm talking about movies. Don't get me wrong, I love it when I talk to friends and co-workers and chat buddies and we love the same movies and actors. But if everyone agreed on everything all the time, the world would be a very boring place. Anyway I've recently been blogging about Audrey Hepburn a lot and while I love many of her films, Breakfast at Tiffany's is not high on that list. But I do love Butterfield 8, starring Liz Taylor. And since these are somewhat similar movies, I decided to do a post on comparing them.
First is Breakfast at Tiffany's. Audrey Hepburn is wonderful as Holly Golightly, the call girl who falls for George Peppard's Paul Varjak, who is a kept man to rich socialite Mrs. Failenson (Patricia Neal). Audrey was on a roll during this period of her career, coming off such hit films like Funny Face, Roman Holiday, and Love In The Afternoon. And she is amazing here and looks gorgeous, wearing some of the best outfits you will ever see a woman wear in film. Despite strong performances by the leads, I could never get into this film. I mean it is a well made film, and very nice to look at, but it never clicks for me. Maybe it's because I have seen it only one full time. And bits and pieces of it a few other times. And it's been at least 15 years since I've last seen it. So in fairness, it would probably be a good idea for me to watch it again so I can make a proper judgment. So Tiffany fans cut me some slack until I see it again.
Now Butterfield 8 is one film I did enjoy immensely. The fabulous Liz Taylor, who is one of my favorite actresses of all time, plays Manhattan model/call girl Gloria Wandrous (is that a great name or what?)
engages in an illicit affair with married socialite Weston Liggett (played by Laurence Harvey). Their affair soon runs out of steam when Gloria, under the mistaken impression that he'll never divorce his wife Emily (a solid Dina Merrill) and marry her, decides to begin a new life in Boston. This is pure 60's soap opera trash, but it's good trash. Liz never looked better, especially when strutting around in negligees or skimpy clothes. And Liz while winning an Oscar for Best Actress, sometimes goes over the top, but it still works. I don't know why I like this film more than Tiffany's but I just do. Probably because I like Liz a little more than Audrey and I've seen Butterfield 8 at least three times. It's the type of film, you can't believe you're still watching after an hour or so, not because it's so good, but because it's just good trashy, melodramatic fun. And I will give Tiffany's the edge in being the better made film, and maybe because my expectations are so low for Butterfield 8, but give me Liz all day long. But I guess the best thing you could do is watch a double bill of both these films and make the decision which do you prefer the most. Or just say that you like them both. I'll let everyone know once I watch Tiffany's again. But this was a fun post for me to write and I may to more posts comparing similar movies.

Notes: Butterfield 8 premiered November 1960 while Breakfast At Tiffany's debuted nearly a year later in October. It's ironic about the similarities between these two films: both cost around $2.5 million to make and both earned roughly the same amount of $15 million. So they were both hits and both had leading ladies that carried each respective film.


Dawn said...

Monty, both movies are awesome!! Breakfast at Tiffany's is my favorite movie of the two. I love the glamour and the ending is very heartwarming. Liz Taylor, is my favorite actress of the two.

The Poetess said...

I must say that I prefer "BAT" to "B8." I just feel like "BAT" was a better quality, more charming film. I don't think Liz deserved the Oscar for "B8," though there is no denying her talents. She OBLITERATED every other female's performances in '66 when she did "Virginia Woolf." THAT was the Oscar she deserved.

Like I said- "BAT" takes the cake for me. But what girl WOULDN'T prefer that movie??

Frl. Irene Palfy said...

*er* here is one girl (well, I was the last time I checked that..) who prefers "Butterfield 8". :")

I think it is awesome - and I adore Elizabeth Taylor! (though I can't stand neither Laurence Harvey - "Butterfield 8" - nor George Peppard - "Breakfast at Tiffany's")
I can relate much more to Gloria Wandrous than to Holly Golightly - or is it Liz versus Audrey? hm..

Frl. Irene Palfy said...

oh - I think it is a great idea to compare these two films!

Frl. Irene Palfy said...


you are my todays' hero for being my first follower on my film blog!! :")
Thanks a lot! I'll smirk moronic all day long! :")

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