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Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

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Based on Truman Capote's 1958 novella of the same title, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961) is the story of a woman on her own making her way in the big city.  As stories go, it is short on plot but rich in characterization which may explain why its protagonist, Holly Golightly, has become Audrey Hepburn's most memorable screen persona.  In the hands of director Blake Edwards, the film neglects much of the book's foreboding edge, but gains an unforgettable comedic touch which actually helps accentuate the darker moments.  In addition, Henry Mancini's musical score and Hubert de Givenchy's gowns for Ms. Hepburn successfully uphold Capote's style when the story itself is forced to leave his writing behind. Like the protagonist at its heart, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S is quirky, funny, bewildering, serious, sophisticated and bittersweet -- and as movies go, great entertainment.

Audrey eating.

Meet Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn).  Here she is on New York's 5th Avenue in the early morning hours, dressed to the nines, sipping coffee, nibbling a danish and window shopping at Tiffany's under the opening credits.

Click here"Moon River" (clip) by Henry Mancini (an .AU file courtesy Rhino Records).

Audrey sleeping

Meet Cat, Holly's feline roommate.  They don't belong to each other, but they get on well together, entertaining at night and sleeping during the day -- or trying to, until author Paul Varjak (George Peppard) buzzes them from downstairs because he can't get in the building.  Paul thinks he's just coming in to use the telephone, but unbeknownst to him, he has now entered Holly's world.

Audrey: How do I look?

On Thursdays, Holly goes to visit mafioso Sally Tomato at Sing Sing. 

(Where? Click here a .WAV file.)

Because she's overslept this morning, Paul (whom Holly has decided to call Fred because he looks like her brother Fred) helps her get dressed.  A dress, a hat, some earrings, a pair of alligator shoes and...

(Voila! a .WAV file.)

Memorable Quotations:

  • "Poor old cat.  Poor slob.  Poor slob without a name.  The way I look at it, I don't have the right to give him one.  We don't belong to each other.  We just took up by the river one day." --Holly.
  • "I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together.  I'm not sure where that is, but I know what it's like.  It's like Tiffany's." --Holly.
  • " know those days when you get the mean reds?" --Holly.
    "The mean reds? You mean like the blues?" --Fred (Paul).
    "No... the blues are because you're getting fat or because it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" --Holly.
    "Sure." --Fred (Paul).
    "When I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away." --Holly.
  • "If I could find a real life place to make me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name." --Holly.
  • "Thursday!  Oh no, it can't be!  It's too gruesome!" --Holly.
  • "You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he give you... I must say, the mind reels!" --Holly.
  • "You don't have to worry.  I've taken care of myself for a long time." --Holly.
Paul and Holly hailing a cab.

Out front, Paul tries to get her a cab, but Holly doesn't need his help.
(Taxi! Click here a .WAV file.)

Just as Holly is about to get into the cab, Paul's "decorator," Mrs. Failenson, steps out, and after a brief (and awkward) introduction of the two women, Holly speeds away: "Grand Central Station, and step on it, darling!"

(For help opening any of the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins page.)

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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