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Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

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Paul and Holly shop at Tiffany's.

Paul and Holly's relationship has its ups and downs.  He disapproves of her quest to marry a rich man, and she knows it.  On the other hand, Holly has inspired Paul to strive for financial independence, and when he succeeds in selling a story, they celebrate by spending a day on the town doing things they've never done before.

Paul has never had champagne before breakfast.  Holly has never been on a walk in the morning.  Paul has never been to Tiffany's. 

(Tada! Click here a .WAV file.)  They shop for a present on a $10 budget and pass up the sterling silver telephone dialer for the opportunity to have a Crackerjack ring engraved.  Next, Paul introduces Holly to the public library and autographs the copy of Nine Lives that they find there.

Paul and Holly steal from the 5 & 10.

"Hey!  Did you never steal anything from a 5 and 10?"  Paul answers no so they apply their sticky fingers at a nearby store and come away with two Halloween masks: a dog for him and a cat for her.  On the strength of this fun-filled afternoon, Paul makes up his mind to break with Mrs. Failenson permanently.

Click here"Moon River Cha Cha" (clip) by Henry Mancini (an .MP3 file courtesy Rhino Records).

Still More Memorable Quotations:

  • "Let me tell you something, Mister.  If I had her money, I'd be richer than she is." --Holly.
  • Click here "As Miss Golightly was saying before she was so rudely interrupted..." --Holly (a .RA file).
  • Click here "It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door.  I'll give you two." --Holly (a .WAV file).
  • Click here"I don't think I've ever drunk champagne before breakfast before.  With breakfast on several occasions, but never before before." --Fred (Paul) (a .WAV file).
  • "I'll tell you one thing, Fred darling.  I'd marry you for your money in a minute." --Holly.
  • "Well, I do believe love has found Andy Hardy." --2-E (Mrs. Failenson).
  • "Simply do not ask me what this is all about, parce que je ne sais pas, mes chers." --Holly.
  • "There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl's complexion." --Holly.
  • "I don't want to put you in a cage. I want to love you!" --Fred (Paul).
  • "I'm not Holly.  I'm not Lulamae either.  I don't know who I am.  I'm like Cat here.  We're a couple of no-name slobs.  We belong to nobody and nobody belongs to us.  We don't even belong to each other." --Holly.

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

Dinner is ready.

Paul soon discovers that Holly does not share his commitment, and instead, is making plans to marry a prominent Brazilian landowner named Josť.  Paul's new financial independence does not permit him to keep his apartment, and he moves away, but Holly invites him over for a farewell dinner the day before her plane to Rio.  After a little trouble with the rice cooker (left), they decide to go out.

Upon their return however, they find Mr. Yunioshi and the police waiting for them.  Holly has been implicated in Sally Tomato's narcotics racket, necessitating a madcap trip to the police station for Paul and a night in jail for Holly.  Upon her release, she discovers that the very image-conscious Josť has changed his mind about her, and despite her disappointment, she is determined to go to Brazil anyway.  Not about to let her get away, Paul has it out with her in one of the most memorable movie endings in Hollywood history...
Paul and Holly kiss in the rain.

"You know what's wrong with you, Miss whoever-you-are?  You're chicken.  You've got no guts.  You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, 'Okay.  Life's a fact.  People do fall in love.  People do belong to each other.'  Because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness.  You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage.  Well Baby, you're already in that cage -- you built it yourself.  And it's not bounded on the west by Tulip, Texas or on the east by Somaliland.  It's wherever you go.  Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."

Though a cinema classic, the famous kiss-in-the-rain ending differs significantly from Capote's story in which the unnamed narrator (who becomes the character Paul in the film) fails to capture Holly's heart.  She leaves for Brazil, and with the exception of a few postcards and some second-hand stories he picks up from old acquaintances, he never hears from her again.

Frequently Asked Questions about BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S:

  • What's the name of the cat?
    • Holly's cat doesn't have a name.  She just calls him "cat." 
  • What does Paul (Fred) have engraved on the Crackerjack ring at Tiffany's?
    • Although the sales clerk asks them what initials they would like engraved on the ring, his question is never answered.  There is a post-engraving close-up of the ring at one point in the film, and it is possible that seeing the film in a theatre, the audience might be able to read it -- I don't know because I've never seen BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S on the big screen.  But from a home video standpoint, the movie never explicitly reveals what Tiffany's engraved on the ring.
  • Why does Holly get $50 to go to the "powder room"?
    • "$50 for the powder room" is a euphemism. Holly Golightly is a call girl. The money is payment for her companionship for the evening. The movie glosses over that aspect of Holly's character because audiences of the time didn't want to see such things implied about a character played by Audrey Hepburn.  But if you read the story by Truman Capote (which differs significantly from the film, especially in the ending), you'll understand the true nature of the Holly Golightly character, and the powder room money will make more sense.
  • Where is Tiffany's?
    • Tiffany & Co., the famous New York jewelry store where Holly eats breakfast in the scene under the opening titles, is located at 727 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street in New York City.
  • Where is Holly's apartment?
    • The New York apartment building where the exteriors of Holly's apartment were shot is located on the East Side of Manhattan at 169 East 71st Street.

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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