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DVD Review: The Audrey Hepburn 7-Movie Collection

February 11, 2019

By John Corrado

Last week, Paramount released The Audrey Hepburn 7-Movie Collection on DVD, featuring a selection of her classic films conveniently packaged together in a single case.

Listed in chronological order, the set includes the films Roman Holiday (1953), Sabrina (1954), War and Peace (1956), Funny Face (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Paris When It Sizzles (1964), and My Fair Lady (1964).

I’ve been watching through these films since I got this set for review, and doing so has been an absolute joy. Hepburn was a true movie star of her time, with an ability to light up the screen like few other actresses then or now, regardless of whether she was starring in comedies, dramas or musicals.

As you can tell, some of Hepburn’s most famous works are included here, from her Oscar-winning breakout performance as a young princess in William Wyler’s incredibly enjoyable Roman Holiday, a real treat to watch that remains just as splendid and effervescent as it ever was, to her Oscar-nominated performances in Billy Wilder’s classic romantic comedy Sabrina and Blake Ewards’s iconic Truman Capote adaptation Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Then there’s George Cukor’s beloved musical My Fair Lady, which won a total of eight Oscars including Best Picture, but strangely didn’t get Hepburn a Best Actress nomination for her performance, in what must have been an incredibly surprising snub at the time. The other musical included in this set is Stanley Donen’s Funny Face, in which Hepburn stars alongside Fred Astaire. Loosely based on the 1927 Broadway play of the same name, it features a selection of Gerswhin tunes that will be instantly familiar to most viewers, even if they’ve never seen the film.

The most underrated film here is easily Richard Quine’s completely delightful Paris When It Sizzles, a sort of screwball comedy that finds Hepburn playing the typing assistant to a struggling screenwriter (William Holden), who becomes his muse and helps him overcome his writer’s block as they work to assemble a screenplay over two days in a Paris hotel room over looking the Eiffel Tower.

The film is cleverly assembled as a dual narrative, cutting back and forth between their scenes in the hotel and the increasingly over the top movie they are writing, with these two stories converging as the film goes on. It’s a fun and inventive look at the writing process, with the bulk of the film playing as a two-hander between Hepburn and Holden – reuniting ten years after Sabrina – that smartly keeps the focus on their chemistry together.

While Paramount doesn’t own the rights to several of her other classics, namely The Nun’s Story, The Children’s Hour, Charade and Wait Until Dark, so they can’t be included in this set, the films that are here make this an incredibly solid collection for fans of Hepburn’s work. The seven discs are housed in a clear plastic clamshell case, that comes with a lovely pink cardboard slipcover.

The Audrey Hepburn 7-Movie Collection is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release.

Street Date: February 5th, 2019

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