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  • Maxim Vinogradov

Ranking Every Audrey Hepburn Movie

(CW: I'm upset.)

Roman Holiday; Audrey Hepburn laughs at Gregory Peck
Roman Holiday, the first Audrey movie worth acknowledging because she was in The Lavender Hill Mob for two frames and Secret People does not exist.

This is an article I was supposed to write for my job. When I sent my editor my rankings, he responded by saying he didn’t know much of anything about Audrey Hepburn, but still retorted with his own rankings “based on commercial success + impacts that the movies had in their times, as well as other factors.” It looked like a fun hybrid between Siskel and Ebert’s lists, but if Ebert watched the movies and Siskel only had a little window he could scream out to ask pedestrians if they’d heard of Funny Face. You couldn’t write that article and still be proud to have had a childhood obsession with the only attractive person who made you feel safe.

So, here’s the article I was not allowed to write:

Fuck you, Tom: a name I am only barely amending. This whole company’s approach to commercializing articles is why nobody knows who the fuck I’m talking about when I say who I work for. I wrote an article about the top 15 TV shows of all time and one of you fuckers added, and I am not kidding, 18. What We Do in the Shadows, 17. Cobra Kai, and 16. Married with Children. Clearly two of those were because you were trying to PED that list into an SEO gold medal and the other was because you really really really like Married with Children. Nobody’s gonna take any of your shit seriously if your top movies lists all have Alita: Battle Angel and Triumph of the Will because those round out some niche demographics. Have opinions in your opinion pieces, you cookie cutter bubble children with salaries.

Here’s a thought, which I need to label as one to you because telling your website what a thought is is like telling a pilgrim what a vibrator is: every newspaper in the world has an entertainment section. Every magazine, every media outlet, even the anti-vaxx identity theft cesspool sites that run on the captured momentum of their header GIFs have one. Your goal is to compete in one of the most ludicrously oversaturated markets in existence while paying writers half a crumb above the max for “just crumbs” and you think you’re gonna stay buoyant doing nothing to differentiate your product? You’re gonna do exactly what Variety is doing but with 1/100th the budget and 1/99th the integrity?

Wait Until Dark; Audrey Hepburn fearfully holds a match in the dark
Wait Until Dark, what Stephen King called the scariest movie he'd ever seen and what my editor wanted to put it as Audrey's 6th worst because to do otherwise would require being an editor.

I’m gonna get to some terrific journalism editorialism listicleism about Audrey Hepburn movies in a minute, but for right now I have to address that Twitter is loaded past the fill line with hot entertainment takes that get more eyes on them in 24 hours than the entirety of the site I work for will in its incubated lifetime. If you threw some Google AdWords propaganda for Paw Patrol on the side of any of those semi-literate tweets, and there are dozens that go viral daily, you would make an estimated ton of fucking money. If you instead just tweeted “Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the #1 Audrey Hepburn movie” your handle would be removed from you for lack of usage; you would make no money; you’d be fucking short money for the electricity required for your three seconds of editorial work. Maybe, just maybe, if you pushed through a full critical thought, you’d opt instead for the site to do the thing that millions of people pay more attention to. You’d say something new; you know, the fucking point of saying things.

My editors’ top five Audreys, if you weren’t able to guess them in real time, were My Fair Lady (the worst movie musical ever produced that not only royally fucked Audrey in her floral asshole but amended Shaw’s Pygmalion into a thesis that a woman should become the property of whichever professor twenty years her senior wants to buy her), Roman Holiday (a good movie, no notes), Sabrina (Billy Wilder’s worst movie; Humphrey Bogart was, and this is not a fun exaggeration, born in the 1800s anno fucking domini and is here wooing a young woman who was, also not an exaggeration, the exact same age as Anne “The Child” Frank), Charade (a great movie and I know that they let me keep this one here because Cary Grant aged like leather wine and my editors clearly compromised by putting Funny Face only at #6; you know, the one where Fred Astaire was ALSO born in the 19th century and looked like he was going to die of fucking age at any moment while he tries to cock ring himself into death-bedding Audrey Hepburn while there is no logical plot or charm or fucking what the fuck even happened here did every creative on this set have shell shock), and finally Breakfast at Tiffany’s (where Mickey Rooney’s character is so racist it made what was honestly a delightful movie otherwise into Klanbait to put in the Klanphlets; it can and should be in the top 5 because it launched Audrey Hepburn from a hero of the UN and the fifth ever EGOT into an Airbnb interior design motif, but putting it at #1 becomes a whole ass statement that racism is not just permitted but cool again). That list is not an opinion piece; it’s the equivalent of saying that JK Simmons’ best work is Farmers Insurance or that McDonalds has been crowned the world’s best restaurant. It’s the other reason why we stopped hiring toddlers to write the articles, the first being labor acts.

Two for the Road; Audrey Hepburn impersonates a train crossing sign because she's just so charming.
Two for the Road, probably my favorite movie in the entire world.

Instead of creating the editorial equivalent of a stick man and being confused why no galleries wanted to fist me with Franklins, I decided not to do that. I’m tired. Here’s the fucking list. No explanations. I'll come back to this and do the explanations later. Also six are missing because I didn’t want to watch them and then I didn’t watch five of these anyways.

20. Green Mansions

19. Paris When It Sizzles

18. Always

17. Bloodline

16. Robin and Marian

15. My Fair Lady

14. They All Laughed

13. Funny Face

12. The Children’s Hour

11. The Unforgiven

10. How to Steal a Million

9. War and Peace

8. Sabrina

7. Wait Until Dark

6. Roman Holiday

5. Love in the Afternoon

4. The Nun’s Story

3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

2. Charade

1. Two for the Road

Thank you for reading and I'm sorry you did that.


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