Audrey Hepburn is one of those names that immediately evokes a certain kind of style. Even if you’ve never seen Audrey Hepburn’s movies in your life, her name still conjures up images of capri pants and big sunglasses, pixie haircuts and dramatic eyebrows. But if you only know Audrey as a fashion icon and not as an actress, you’re missing out! Audrey Hepburn movies are some of Hollywood’s most classic films. In this post, we’ll take a look at Audrey Hepburn’s best movies–and even the odd Audrey Hepburn musical!
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Early Audrey Hepburn Movies
You can find movies with Audrey Hepburn as far back as 1951–but I doubt you’ll recognize any of them. While she’s most famous for her work in Hollywood, Audrey began in the British film system with bit parts in films like We Go to Monte Carlo (see, I told you you’d never heard of them!) While We Go to Monte Carlo was released in 1951, making it Audrey Hepburn’s first movie, she didn’t get her big break until 1953, when she starred with another of those great old movie stars, Gregory Peck. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn starred in, yes, Roman Holiday. If you haven’t seen it, this is a great place to start your Hepburn watching: Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday performance is epic.
Best-Known Audrey Hepburn Movies
Audrey Hepburn characters are usually thought of as wide-eyed, ingenue types. For the most part, that’s fair: out of all the old time movie stars, Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s was as lash-fluttering as the best of them. But she always brought something more to her roles, too.
Roman Holiday and Sabrina are typical of this early-Hollywood Hepburn, and are celebrated in their own right. However, her most famous role may have come with 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which has kept Audrey Hepburn a fashion icon to this day. And children (and adults) everywhere have watched Hepburn in My Fair Lady for decades.
While Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer, her husband (and then ex-husband) did collaborate on several films after they met on the set of War and Peace, only one other film they worked on really has any staying power: Charade (and Ferrer only has a cameo in that). Ferrer also produced and did a voiceover for Wait Until Dark, and appeared in another cameo role in the absolutely awful Paris When It Sizzles.
In the end, Hepburn became most famous for the roles she took on without Ferrer.
Underrated Audrey Hepburn Movies
Speaking of Charade, this has to be one of the most underrated Audrey Hepburn movies of all time. The film is gorgeous, hilarious, thought-provoking, and fascinating. If that’s not enough for you, you’ll also get to see Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn flirting up a storm.
Two for the Road is also vastly under-appreciated. It’s also one of the only films I’ve seen that shows exactly how sexy Albert Finney (you may know him from Annie and Erin Brockovich) was in the ‘60s. Yes, really. It also has outstanding costumes, making it a visual cousin of How to Steal a Million, one of Hepburn’s comedic tour-de-forces. Of course, Funny Face also has the amazing Hepburn-fashion component, but we’ll get to that in just a moment.
Audrey Hepburn Musicals
In case you’re wondering, that really is Audrey Hepburn singing “Moon River” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And it’s really her singing (well, kind of singing–she talks through a lot of the songs) in Funny Face, where she also did her own dancing. Not an easy feat, when you’re up against Fred Astaire!
People ask about those movies a lot because, notoriously, Marnie Nixon filled in for Hepburn’s voice in her other big musical, My Fair Lady. While Hepburn was reportedly upset at this (and who wouldn’t be, having recorded all the songs already?), I’ll take a chance and say this was probably a good call. She’s a lovely singer, but untrained and with a limited range. “Moon River” is a great Hepburn song. The big, showy numbers of My Fair Lady need something slightly stronger.
Audrey Hepburn Last Films
Audrey Hepburn’s last picture was Always, filmed in 1989 by Steven Spielberg (no joking!) However, she doesn’t have a huge role in it–just a cameo. Still, it’s worth seeing if just to have the strange experience of seeing her in a (somewhat) modern setting. She was Audrey Hepburn, always.
Best Audrey Hepburn Films
I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I’m not a huge fan of either Breakfast at Tiffany’s (if you go to the novella on which it’s based, the grittiness that Hollywood took out kind of ruins the movie) or My Fair Lady (who has the time?)
On the other hand, you can’t go wrong with Audrey Hepburn classics like Roman Holiday and Sabrina. I’ve already stated my love for Charade, which would have to be my top Hepburn pick (three-way tied with How to Steal a Million and Two for the Road). I’ll also include Love in the Afternoon among the best Audrey Hepburn films. It’s a bit of a weird choice, and Gary Cooper’s role could have been better cast, but seeing Audrey Hepburn and Maurice Chevalier together is just too, too good.
Audrey Hepburn Filmography
Audrey Hepburn’s filmography is a lot shorter than most people think. Not including made-for-TV movies, she made fewer than 30 films. But look how many classics there are! Go Netflix the ones you haven’t seen and see if you agree with my opinions. There are as many opinions on the best Audrey Hepburn films as there are, well, Audrey Hepburn fans!
- We Go to Monte Carlo, 1951
- One Wild Oat, 1951
- Laughter in Paradise, 1951
- The Lavender Hill Mob, 1951
- Young Wives’ Tale, 1951
- Baby Beats the Band, 1951
- Secret People, 1952
- Roman Holiday, 1953
- Sabrina, 1954
- War and Peace, 1956
- Funny Face, 1957
- Love in the Afternoon, 1957
- Green Mansions, 1959
- The Nun’s Story, 1959
- The Unforgiven, 1960
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961
- The Children’s Hour, 1961
- Charade, 1963
- Paris When it Sizzles, 1964
- My Fair Lady, 1964
- How to Steal a Million, 1966
- Two for the Road, 1967
- Wait Until Dark, 1967
- Robin and Marian, 1976
- Bloodline, 1979
- They All Laughed, 1981
- Always, 1989