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"The movie is a hybrid. It was meant to be. I'd like to think that
just as soon as you laugh, you might well up at the next line."
-Blake Edwards, directer

One of the most memorable components of the film Breakfast at Tiffany's is the extraordinary music composed by Henry Mancini. The film's theme song, Moon River (co-written with lyrisist Johnny Mercer), was hailed as an instant classic. Moon River has been recorded over 500 times and has sold over a million copies of its sheet music. Mancini met director Blake Edwards outside the Universal barbor shop and the two decided to colaberate on the television series Peter Gunn. Mancini's soundtrack album for Peter Gunn was his first to sell a million copies and went on to win him his first two Grammys, including Album of the Year. Edwards next asked Mancini to score Breakfast at Tiffany's in 1961. His score went on to win two Acadamy Awards.

Mancini was heavily inspired by the film’s star Audrey Hepburn. "I kind of knew what to write, at least what track I should I be on, by reading the script," he said. "And Audrey’s big eyes gave me the push to get a little more sentimental than I usually do. Those eyes of hers could carry it I knew that. Moon River was written for her. No one else has ever understood it so completely. There have been more than a thousand versions of Moon River, but hers is unquestionably the greatest. When we previewed the film, the head of Paramount was there, and he said, ‘One thing’s for sure: That fucking song’s gotta go.’ Audrey shot right up out of her chair! Mel Ferrer [Audrey Hepburn’s husband] had to put his hand on her arm to restrain her. That’s the closest I had ever seen her come to losing control."


Moon River
Moon River, wider than a mile:
I'm crossin' you in style someday.
Oh dreammaker, you heartbreaker,
Wherever you're goin', I'm goin'your way.
Two drifters, off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end,
Waitin' round the bend,
My huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.






This is a letter that Audrey Hepburn sent to Henry Mancini
after his score was added to the film.

It reads:

Dear Henry,

I have just seen our picture - BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S - this time with your score. A movie without music is a little bit like an aeroplane without fuel. However beautifully the job is done, we are still on the ground and in a world of reality. Your music has lifted us all up and sent us soaring. Everything we cannot say with words or show with action you have expressed for us. You have done this with so much imagination, fun and beauty. You are the hippest of cats - and the most sensitive of composers!

Thank you, dear Hank.

Lots of love,
Audrey



Source:
Clarke, Gerald. Capote: A Biography. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
Mancini, Henry. Breakfast at Tiffany's. Linear notes, 1961.
Maychick, Diana. Audrey Hepburn: An Intimate Portrait. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993.