Audrey Hepburn is probably a lot of people’s favourite actress and sometimes I feel that, amongst all the ‘oh, she was soooo elegant’ comments her talents get overlooked (then again, this is hardly an uncommon occurrence when it comes to women in any field). But it really bugs me when she is solely admired for being stylish or classy or that she is either loved or hated for her thin body. This little ranty quote I reblogged on Tumblr quite a while ago sums up why it bugs me so perfectly. That aside, many people just don’t think she could act at all – I’d love to say they are wrong but an opinion is an opinion, whether or not I agree with it and acting styles can leave some people cold whilst enrapture others. Aside from some awkward roles, I am in the enraptured camp when it comes to Audrey Hepburn.
She has been my favourite actress since I was a child (along with Doris Day) and I grew up watching many of her films (the most watched being Charade) then discovered more as I grew up. And so I’ve compiled my top 5 of the films I’ve seen so far from her acting credits (I’ve seen about 15, which is roughly half of what is listed on IMDB) – I usually like to write a bit about each film but I can’t seem to find a lot to say, this time. Eep.
How to Steal a Million directed by William Wyler, 1966
This movie is like a heist film meets romantic comedy and it’s a whole heap of fun. Which is a quality I value a lot in movies. Plus there is Peter O’Toole! Dreamy. And, as an art lover, the concept tickles me greatly.
Paris When it Sizzles directed by Richard Quine, 1964
There is something slightly offbeat about this film that I enjoy (seen especially in the scenes of the film William Holden’s character is writing like this one with Tony Curtis) and, yes, it’s another film that’s a lot of fun! If somewhat exasperating at times. William Holden is always great as the playboy type and plays the lazy screenwriter, Richard Benson, very well. Oh, and Noel Coward is in it, too! Just like How to Steal a Million I think it shows that Hepburn did have some comedic talent.
Charade directed by Stanley Donen, 1963
I know I’ve already used this film in my top 5 all-time favourites post but it is one of my top five favourite Hepburn films, as well, so it gets a second look-in! I don’t really have anything else to say that I didn’t write last time but do yourself a favour and see this film if you haven’t.
Funny Face directed by Stanley Donen, 1957
I love musicals so at least one had to make it to this list and it certainly wasn’t going to be My Fair Lady (don’t even get me started on how much I loathe Henry Higgins…ugh) so Funny Face it is. Any film that starts with a song extolling the virtues of the colour pink is OK in my books. It’s probably not one of Astaire’s greatest roles and Hepburn’s voice is not exactly suited to musicals (though I think she had a lovely, airy singing voice that is very pleasant to listen to nonetheless) but damn it, this film makes me feel good. Plus, that dance sequence in the cafe is pretty iconic (…right?) and it’s nice to see Hepburn’s dancing background utilised a little.
Sabrina directed by Billy Wilder, 1954
First things first, I think we can all agree that the costumes (by Edith Head and/or Givenchy…) are more than drool worthy. I find Hepburn so damn charming in this role – from pre-Paris Sabrina to the brightness of her character when she returns home, she just lights up the screen. And then there is another favourite of mine, Humphrey Bogart. This film is somewhat of an anomaly in Bogart’s career and as most of us know, he wasn’t the first choice for the film. I wonder if there are any people who think the role doesn’t suit him? I know Bogart felt like he didn’t at the time but I really like him in this role. Sabrina is kind of a lovely film but some of the characters are pretty awful. Sabrina is naive, to say the least, and though she certainly changes a lot in Paris still somehow loves David? (Not that this makes her awful – just frustrating for a while.) Then there is David, who is an asshat and completely unappealing. Linus is stuffy but that’s the point. He’s also not very nice to Sabrina (which is also the point). But nevertheless I love this movie.
Honourable mentions: Wait Until Dark and The Children’s Hour, both of which show off Hepburn’s dramatic capabilities well (though it is Shirley MacLaine who really shines in the latter, though. Gosh, she is magnificent in that movie).
Any other Hepburn fans want to weigh in on their own favourites?