Harper Academic

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman

by Sam Wasson

On Sale: 09/21/2021

Price: $17.99

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

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Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman

by Sam Wasson

On Sale: 09/21/2021


Price: $17.99

About the Book

There has always been a certain kind of woman in motion pictures — the girl who stays out late, drinks a little too much, and has sex before marriage. But until 1961, she was always the bad girl, who had to repent for her wild ways before the end of the film. All of that changed with the release of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” when Audrey Hepburn showed the world that a certain kind of woman could also be a heroine.

In the first complete account of the making of this iconic film, Sam Wasson presents an abundance of behind-the-scenes facts and delicious gossip: Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the leading role; director Blake Edwards filmed multiple endings, and George Peppard was universally disliked on the set. With a colorful cast of characters that includes Colette, Edith Head, Givenchy and Henry Mancini, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. is the perfect guide to the movie that democratized glamour and paved the way for the social upheaval of the sixties.

Sam Wasson studied film at Wesleyan University and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is the author of A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards. He lives in Los Angeles.

“Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian ... [Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.] is as melancholy and glittering as Capote’s story of Holly Golightly.” — The New Yorker

Critical Praise

“A bonbon of a book . . . as well tailored as the little black dress the movie made famous.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Anyone even slightly interested in Capote/Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany’s will delight in [Wasson’s] account.” — USA Today

“So smart and entertaining it should come with its own popcorn.” — People

“This splendid new book is more than a mere ‘making-of’ chronicle. Wasson has pulled it off with verve, intelligence, and a consistent ring of truth...compulsively readable. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. is both enjoyable and informative: everything a film book ought to be.” — Leonard Maltin, author of Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen

“A fascination with fascination is one way of describing Wasson’s interest in a film that not only captures the sedate elegance of a New York long gone, but that continues to entrance as a love story, a style manifesto, and a way to live.” — New York magazine

“Crammed with irresistible tidbits…[Wasson’s] book winds up as well-tailored as the kind of little black dress that Breakfast at Tiffany’s made famous.” — New York Times

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. offers lots of savory tidbits [from the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s]. Mr. Wasson brings a lively and impudent approach to his subject.” — Wall Street Journal

“Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian. . . . [Fifth Avenue, 5 AM] is as melancholy and glittering as Capote’s story of Holly Golightly.” — The New Yorker

“A brilliant chronicle of the creation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Wasson has woven the whole so deftly that it reads like a compulsively page-turning novel. This is a memorable achievement.” — Peter Bogdanovich

“Wasson’s story is part encyclopedia, part valentine, and worth reading just to find out what exactly went into making the amazing party scene.” — The Huffington Post

“Wasson offers enough drama to occupy anyone for days...The whole thing reads like a cool sip of water.” — Daily News

“Reads like carefully crafted fiction…[Wasson] carries the reader from pre-production to on-set feuds and conflicts, while also noting Hepburn’s impact on fashion (Givenchy’s little black dress), Hollywood glamour, sexual politics, and the new morality. Capote would have been entranced.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A breezy tale of dresses and breakfast pastries, this is not.... The subtexts of Breakfast at Tiffany’s—materialism, sexual freedom—were decidedly more complicated.” — Women's Wear Daily

“Rich in incident and set among the glitterati of America’s most glamorous era, the book reads like a novel…[Wasson] has assembled a sparkling time capsule of old Hollywood magic and mythmaking.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The anecdotes are numerous and deftly told. This well-researched, entertaining page-turner should appeal to a broad audience, particularly those who enjoy film history that focuses on the human factors involved in the creative process while also drawing on larger social and cultural contexts.” — Library Journal

“Reading a book about a movie is seldom as entertaining as watching the film, but Wasson’s is the rare exception.” — Christian Science Monitor

“[We] couldn’t put down Sam Wasson’s new book, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M..... Along with juicy film gossip, the book offers behind-the-scenes insight on how Hepburn and designer Hubert de Givenchy created Holly Golightly’s iconic style.” — AOL Stylelist

“Sam Wasson’s exquisite portrait of Audrey Hepburn peels backs her sweet facade to reveal a much more complicated and interesting woman. He also captures a fascinating turning point in American history— when women started to loosen their pearls, and their inhibitions. I devoured this book.” — Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City

“Audrey Hepburn dances through the pages of Sammy Wasson’s portrait of a movie and a little black dress that were game changers at the dawn of the sixties. Both juicy and informative, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. provides the inside story while giving Hepburn her due as a true modern original.” — Molly Haskell, author of Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063115446
  • ISBN 10: 0063115441
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 09/21/2021
  • Trimsize: 5.310 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 0.650 in (d)
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price: $17.99
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / Social History
  • BISAC2 : PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production
  • BISAC3 : PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism
  • BISAC4 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts