Breakfast at Tiffany's: Novella Cut

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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1961
Original Running Time:
115
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
89
Time Cut:
26
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The 1961 film, featuring Audrey Hepburn in her likely best-known role, has been conformed to match the 1958 novella of the same name by Truman Capote as much as possible, as well as removing the horribly-dated appearance of Mickey Rooney. In essence, this edit takes the romance and some "comedy" out of a beloved romcom!
Intention:
Inspired both by reading the original book as well as posts by the Silver Screen Samurai and Dwight Fry in the "Fantasia Cuts" thread, positing that Rooney's Mr Yunioshi (who has minimal importance in the main story of the book anyway) could be removed to make the film less uncomfortable, I wanted to see what would happen if the additional material in George Axelrod's screenplay was removed.

The novella contains content much more daring for the time period than a contemporary mainstream film could have included so obviously this could only be so-successful, but the end result is much more interesting to me now that the story is freed of the requirements to revolve around a traditional romance, I hope that others think so too.
Additional Notes:
If there is demand (or if I end up feeling like it), I will do a much less severe edit (probably called the Channel 5-ish Cut) that merely removes Mr Yunioshi and leaves the rest intact, would not be my personally preferred version though. If I can find the right music someday, I would also like to change the score during scenes with Doc, to make the mood a little more uneasy considering the subject matter.
Special Thanks:
Special thanks to the Silver Screen Samurai and Dwight Fry for the forum posts that got me thinking about this idea, though I have gone beyond your suggestions I hope you approve!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Did a trial-run using an old DVD as the source, once I had completed a draft and satisfied myself that the idea was feasible I got myself the 50th anniversary Blu-ray from 2011, looks infinitely better!

As stated before, the aim was to remove as much non-book material as possible without diminishing my own enjoyment. Key elements are:

• No romance between Paul and Holly, they have no interest in each other beyond friendship. This means:
o No trip to Tiffany’s to have the crackerjack ring engraved.
o No conflict where he tries to insist that people belong to each other.
o No kiss in the rain at the end.
• No liaisons between Paul and his decorator (Mrs Emily Eustace Failenson, or “2E”).
• Paul’s name is never clearly heard, in the book his character is unnamed beyond Holly anointing him after her brother, we only hear it indistinctly over the phone towards the end and see it written down twice.
• No Mr Yunioshi, even if he wasn’t played as an embarrassing caricature in one of the most widely-known pieces of miscasting, the character is only seen in person once in the book (at the very start, when Holly is getting rid of Sid Arbuck) and referred to a couple of times more. He still exists here, but only by being mentioned by others.

SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK BELOW!

The ending was a tricky decision for me, in the book they can’t find Cat so Holly flies away and she and the narrator (called Paul in the film) never seeing each other again, with him some weeks later seeing that Cat has found another home for himself.

I considered trying to emulate this exactly, fading out before Cat is found and using title cards to explain the rest, but this left the ending feeling rather abrupt (the book goes on for a little longer as the narrator ponders) and the sentimental part of me felt that this was too sad when shown on screen. Cat is found in this edit, but we fade away before Paul and Holly embrace, using text cards now didn’t feel too out of place.

SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK END

Exported in Full HD with 5.1 audio and English subtitles. Added a little extra text (including some untranslated French, which I can understand a literal few words of) where it was previously missing.
Cuts and Additions:
• 0:00:00 Inserted personal plate and fanedit disclaimer
• 0:00:10 Shifted the Paramount mountain logo forward to make room for a couple of text cards, introducing the story as if this a retelling of Paul’s experiences (as in the book).
• 0:01:46 Modified Mickey Rooney’s credit so it now reads “And not starring…”, took clean background and did text with extracted words and letters, with layer of grain on top to help blend.
• 0:03:23 Removed Mr Yunioshi from scene of Holly arriving home with Sid.
• 0:03:52 Removed exchange between Holly and Mr Yunioshi.
• 0:12:37 2E (Emily Eustace, the decorator) does not address Paul by his name.
• 0:12:44 Trimmed couple of shots of Holly moving her sunglasses, slight continuity errors in positioning previously.
• 0:13:06 Cut short scene of Emily Eustace after Holly says “How do you do.”, as well as Mr Yunioshi complaining about the sound of the gramophone and preceding shot of Holly in her dress. Fading now to Holly climbing out of the window in her dressing gown.
• 0:13:27 2E is not in Paul’s apartment.
• 0:13:41 Reference to 2E removed.
• 0:14:01 Reference to 2E removed, facilitated by repurposing a deleted shot (previous edited item).
• 0:14:41 Discussion on 2E removed.
• 0:15:35 Zoomed in to create a new medium shot of Holly looking at the book, facilitating next item, upscaled and grain added to try and make it stand out less.
• 0:15:38 Removed Holly reading the title and author credit on Paul’s book.
• 0:20:47 Cut scene where Paul talks to 2E on the phone, fades from him having read the note to opening the box with Holly’s gift of a typewriter ribbon.
• 0:23:32 Fade between two static sections of a long take, to hide O.J. Berman asking Paul about his name.
• 0:24:53 Another early cut to hide Paul’s name after “…I’m gonna let you know. Bang!”
• 0:30:26 Cut Mr Yunioshi calling to complain about the noise, as well as Paul putting the phone down and extinguishing his cigarette.
• 0:31:30 Cut Mr Yunioshi reacting to Mag Wildwood falling down.
• 0:32:59 Muted Paul correcting Berman about his name as he helps José escape, muted centre channel and replaced with clean audio from different section.
• 0:38:04 Cut scene with 2E after the shot through the window of Doc outside.
• 0:40:24 Cut Paul telling Doc his name.
• 0:44:47 Cut 2E leaving the building.
• 0:52:24 Trimmed shot of Paul as he responds to Holly’s musing on the dancer, he is already looking at her and doesn’t stumble on his words.
• 0:53:09 Cut Mr Yunioshi and relevant conversation afterwards.
• 0:55:32 Trimmed references to 2E where Holly drunkenly tries to pay Paul for whiskey.
• 0:58:56 Removed Paul’s “In a minute.” and Holly’s “So I guess it’s pretty lucky neither of us is rich, huh?”, he responds to her initial question with an ironic “Yeah.”
• 0:59:18 Removed reference to 2E in conversation where Paul says that he’s sold a story, required zooming in on a shot facing Paul to hide Holly changing position between shots, upscaled and grain added to try and make it stand out less.
• 1:00:19 Removed scene of going to Tiffany’s, fade between different shots of them walking on the street.
• 1:01:10 Cut short scene where Paul shows Holly the card index at the library as his name is spoken, fade to their number being called (trimmed dialogue so Paul just says “That’s us@ as the number flashes up) then them at the counter.
• 1:01:19 Cut out section at the counter where Paul’s name is spoken.
• Faded out ambient sounds by muting centre channel (filling in with left and right), music from Paul/Holly kiss scene now plays as she and José arrive (see cuts below), it cuts out when Holly is heard reacting to the telegram.
• 1:05:17 As they return home after stealing the masks, have pasted in some edited dialogue extracted from second library scene (now deleted), where Holly talks about marrying José.
• 1:05:31 Removed final sections with 2E and second scene in library, fading from Holly and Paul arriving home to Holly arriving home with José sometime later.
• 1:05:50 Removed Mr Yunioshi.
• 1:11:01 Removed extended look between Paul and Holly after she mentioned ranch houses and knitting patterns.
• 1:15:18 Removed Mr Yunioshi from scene where Holly and Paul are arrested.
• 1:15:25 Cut Paul spelling his name and profession at the police station.
• 1:15:44 Shortened shot to remove photographer.
• 1:17:12 Reduced volume of the telephone operator, we hear something but Paul’s name is not clear.
• 1:17:35 Removed back and forth of O.J. Berman not knowing who Paul is, he introduces himself as a friend of Holly’s at that they met at a party and is recognised as “Fred baby” at 1:17:38.
• 1:23:53 Cut Paul proclaiming his love for Holly and saying that people belong to each other.
• 1:24:58 Cut Paul saying that people belong to each other again, as he is standing at the open taxi door.
• 1:25:20 Removed Paul throwing the ring at Holly.
• 1:25:21 Zoomed in slowly onto Holly’s face after Paul leaves the taxi, to hide that she has the ring in her hand, upscaled and grain added to try and make it stand out less.
• 1:28:17 Slowed down final shot of Holly holding Cat to 50% to accommodate a fade-out, she and Paul end the story looking at each other but never embrace.
• 1:28:23 Have a few text cards as the music plays out as normal, saying that (like the book) they never saw each other again.
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1961
Original Running Time:
115
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
89
Time Cut:
26
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The 1961 film, featuring Audrey Hepburn in her likely best-known role, has been conformed to match the 1958 novella of the same name by Truman Capote as much as possible, as well as removing the horribly-dated appearance of Mickey Rooney. In essence, this edit takes the romance and some "comedy" out of a beloved romcom!
Intention:
Inspired both by reading the original book as well as posts by the Silver Screen Samurai and Dwight Fry in the "Fantasia Cuts" thread, positing that Rooney's Mr Yunioshi (who has minimal importance in the main story of the book anyway) could be removed to make the film less uncomfortable, I wanted to see what would happen if the additional material in George Axelrod's screenplay was removed.

The novella contains content much more daring for the time period than a contemporary mainstream film could have included so obviously this could only be so-successful, but the end result is much more interesting to me now that the story is freed of the requirements to revolve around a traditional romance, I hope that others think so too.
Additional Notes:
If there is demand (or if I end up feeling like it), I will do a much less severe edit (probably called the Channel 5-ish Cut) that merely removes Mr Yunioshi and leaves the rest intact, would not be my personally preferred version though. If I can find the right music someday, I would also like to change the score during scenes with Doc, to make the mood a little more uneasy considering the subject matter.
Special Thanks:
Special thanks to the Silver Screen Samurai and Dwight Fry for the forum posts that got me thinking about this idea, though I have gone beyond your suggestions I hope you approve!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
Did a trial-run using an old DVD as the source, once I had completed a draft and satisfied myself that the idea was feasible I got myself the 50th anniversary Blu-ray from 2011, looks infinitely better!

As stated before, the aim was to remove as much non-book material as possible without diminishing my own enjoyment. Key elements are:

• No romance between Paul and Holly, they have no interest in each other beyond friendship. This means:
o No trip to Tiffany’s to have the crackerjack ring engraved.
o No conflict where he tries to insist that people belong to each other.
o No kiss in the rain at the end.
• No liaisons between Paul and his decorator (Mrs Emily Eustace Failenson, or “2E”).
• Paul’s name is never clearly heard, in the book his character is unnamed beyond Holly anointing him after her brother, we only hear it indistinctly over the phone towards the end and see it written down twice.
• No Mr Yunioshi, even if he wasn’t played as an embarrassing caricature in one of the most widely-known pieces of miscasting, the character is only seen in person once in the book (at the very start, when Holly is getting rid of Sid Arbuck) and referred to a couple of times more. He still exists here, but only by being mentioned by others.

SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK BELOW!

The ending was a tricky decision for me, in the book they can’t find Cat so Holly flies away and she and the narrator (called Paul in the film) never seeing each other again, with him some weeks later seeing that Cat has found another home for himself.

I considered trying to emulate this exactly, fading out before Cat is found and using title cards to explain the rest, but this left the ending feeling rather abrupt (the book goes on for a little longer as the narrator ponders) and the sentimental part of me felt that this was too sad when shown on screen. Cat is found in this edit, but we fade away before Paul and Holly embrace, using text cards now didn’t feel too out of place.

SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK END

Exported in Full HD with 5.1 audio and English subtitles. Added a little extra text (including some untranslated French, which I can understand a literal few words of) where it was previously missing.
Cuts and Additions:
• 0:00:00 Inserted personal plate and fanedit disclaimer
• 0:00:10 Shifted the Paramount mountain logo forward to make room for a couple of text cards, introducing the story as if this a retelling of Paul’s experiences (as in the book).
• 0:01:46 Modified Mickey Rooney’s credit so it now reads “And not starring…”, took clean background and did text with extracted words and letters, with layer of grain on top to help blend.
• 0:03:23 Removed Mr Yunioshi from scene of Holly arriving home with Sid.
• 0:03:52 Removed exchange between Holly and Mr Yunioshi.
• 0:12:37 2E (Emily Eustace, the decorator) does not address Paul by his name.
• 0:12:44 Trimmed couple of shots of Holly moving her sunglasses, slight continuity errors in positioning previously.
• 0:13:06 Cut short scene of Emily Eustace after Holly says “How do you do.”, as well as Mr Yunioshi complaining about the sound of the gramophone and preceding shot of Holly in her dress. Fading now to Holly climbing out of the window in her dressing gown.
• 0:13:27 2E is not in Paul’s apartment.
• 0:13:41 Reference to 2E removed.
• 0:14:01 Reference to 2E removed, facilitated by repurposing a deleted shot (previous edited item).
• 0:14:41 Discussion on 2E removed.
• 0:15:35 Zoomed in to create a new medium shot of Holly looking at the book, facilitating next item, upscaled and grain added to try and make it stand out less.
• 0:15:38 Removed Holly reading the title and author credit on Paul’s book.
• 0:20:47 Cut scene where Paul talks to 2E on the phone, fades from him having read the note to opening the box with Holly’s gift of a typewriter ribbon.
• 0:23:32 Fade between two static sections of a long take, to hide O.J. Berman asking Paul about his name.
• 0:24:53 Another early cut to hide Paul’s name after “…I’m gonna let you know. Bang!”
• 0:30:26 Cut Mr Yunioshi calling to complain about the noise, as well as Paul putting the phone down and extinguishing his cigarette.
• 0:31:30 Cut Mr Yunioshi reacting to Mag Wildwood falling down.
• 0:32:59 Muted Paul correcting Berman about his name as he helps José escape, muted centre channel and replaced with clean audio from different section.
• 0:38:04 Cut scene with 2E after the shot through the window of Doc outside.
• 0:40:24 Cut Paul telling Doc his name.
• 0:44:47 Cut 2E leaving the building.
• 0:52:24 Trimmed shot of Paul as he responds to Holly’s musing on the dancer, he is already looking at her and doesn’t stumble on his words.
• 0:53:09 Cut Mr Yunioshi and relevant conversation afterwards.
• 0:55:32 Trimmed references to 2E where Holly drunkenly tries to pay Paul for whiskey.
• 0:58:56 Removed Paul’s “In a minute.” and Holly’s “So I guess it’s pretty lucky neither of us is rich, huh?”, he responds to her initial question with an ironic “Yeah.”
• 0:59:18 Removed reference to 2E in conversation where Paul says that he’s sold a story, required zooming in on a shot facing Paul to hide Holly changing position between shots, upscaled and grain added to try and make it stand out less.
• 1:00:19 Removed scene of going to Tiffany’s, fade between different shots of them walking on the street.
• 1:01:10 Cut short scene where Paul shows Holly the card index at the library as his name is spoken, fade to their number being called (trimmed dialogue so Paul just says “That’s us@ as the number flashes up) then them at the counter.
• 1:01:19 Cut out section at the counter where Paul’s name is spoken.
• Faded out ambient sounds by muting centre channel (filling in with left and right), music from Paul/Holly kiss scene now plays as she and José arrive (see cuts below), it cuts out when Holly is heard reacting to the telegram.
• 1:05:17 As they return home after stealing the masks, have pasted in some edited dialogue extracted from second library scene (now deleted), where Holly talks about marrying José.
• 1:05:31 Removed final sections with 2E and second scene in library, fading from Holly and Paul arriving home to Holly arriving home with José sometime later.
• 1:05:50 Removed Mr Yunioshi.
• 1:11:01 Removed extended look between Paul and Holly after she mentioned ranch houses and knitting patterns.
• 1:15:18 Removed Mr Yunioshi from scene where Holly and Paul are arrested.
• 1:15:25 Cut Paul spelling his name and profession at the police station.
• 1:15:44 Shortened shot to remove photographer.
• 1:17:12 Reduced volume of the telephone operator, we hear something but Paul’s name is not clear.
• 1:17:35 Removed back and forth of O.J. Berman not knowing who Paul is, he introduces himself as a friend of Holly’s at that they met at a party and is recognised as “Fred baby” at 1:17:38.
• 1:23:53 Cut Paul proclaiming his love for Holly and saying that people belong to each other.
• 1:24:58 Cut Paul saying that people belong to each other again, as he is standing at the open taxi door.
• 1:25:20 Removed Paul throwing the ring at Holly.
• 1:25:21 Zoomed in slowly onto Holly’s face after Paul leaves the taxi, to hide that she has the ring in her hand, upscaled and grain added to try and make it stand out less.
• 1:28:17 Slowed down final shot of Holly holding Cat to 50% to accommodate a fade-out, she and Paul end the story looking at each other but never embrace.
• 1:28:23 Have a few text cards as the music plays out as normal, saying that (like the book) they never saw each other again.

User reviews

1 review
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(1)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(1)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(1)
Narrative
 
9.0(1)
Enjoyment
 
10.0(1)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Should clasic movies ever be touched?

This demonstrates that a YES is the way to go.

The narrative and tone of this movie is vastly improved upon, and not just because of Rooney's excision.

This movie should always have been a bitterweet and sublime experience, and the commecial pressure at the time led to many deviations from the source material. The editor has addressed thes as best can be done with the material avalable, and the tone is greatly imprived. There are a few segements that feel unaturlly short, but having now also viewed the original, it is appropriate to the editors objective, and I aplaud the courage to apply those changes.

Niether Hepburn nor Peppard's performances are diminished in any way; in fact, they play better for the changes made.

If you have not seen this in a while, this is an ideal way to revisit, and frankly it does not feel like 26 minutes were removed...it feels like it should feel IMHO, and I hope others will concur.

Thankyou for the vision and execution.

I'm off to brunch!

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