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Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • Holly Golightly is a flighty Manhattan party girl, who expects "money for the powder room as well as for cab fare" for her companionship. She has even gotten a lucrative once weekly job to visit notorious convict Sally Tomato in Sing Sing, she needing to report back to Sally's lawyer the weather report that Sally tells her as proof of her visits with him in return for payment. Her aspirations for glamor and wealth are epitomized by the comfort she feels at Tiffany's, the famous high end jewelry retailer where she believes nothing can ever go wrong. Her resolve for this wealth is strengthened, if not changed slightly in focus, upon news from home. Into Holly's walk-up apartment building and thus her life is Paul Varjak, a writer who Holly states reminds her of her brother Fred, who she has not seen in years and who is currently enlisted in the army. The two quickly become friends in their want for something outside of their current lot. Paul's situation is closer to Holly's than he would like to admit. Having not had anything published in over five years, he is a kept man by his wealthy married "decorator", Emily Eustace Failenson - who he refers to as 2E - which allows him not to write, which he no longer truly does. Eventually, Paul falls for Holly, and wants to take care of her, instead of being taken care of as is his current situation. Although Holly also seems to be falling for him, the question becomes whether Paul can fulfill Holly's life aspirations, and if not what needs to change for there even to be the possibility of a future for them.

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  • Struggling writer Paul Varjak moves into a New York apartment building and becomes intrigued by his pretty, quirky neighbor Holly Golightly. Holly's lifestyle confuses and fascinates Paul; in public she flits through parties with a sexy, sophisticated air, but when they're alone she changes into a sweetly vulnerable bundle of neuroses.

  • A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.


Spoilers

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Synopsis

  • Holly Golightly (AUDREY HEPBURN) lives in a brownstone on Manhattan's swank East Side. Totally madcap, she has a partially furnished apartment, owns a cat with no name, gets rid of the "mean reds" by visiting Tiffany's jewelry store, and is forever misplacing her door key, much to the dismay of her upstairs neighbor Mr. Yunioshi (MICKEY ROONEY), a Japanese photographer. Holly makes her living in two ways: she receive $50 from her gentlemen escorts whenever she needs powder room money, and she is paid $100 for each weekly trip she makes to Sing Sing Prison, where she visits Sally Tomato (ALAN REED), an ex-mobster. One day Paul Varjak (GEORGE PEPPARD), a young writer who is supported by an older woman nicknamed "2E" (PATRICIA NEAL), comes into Holly's life. Following one of Holly's wild cocktail parties hosted by her Hollywood agent, O.J. Berman (MARTIN BALSAM), Paul unexpectedly meets Doc Golightly (BUDDY EBSEN), a gentle Texan whom Holly married when she was only 15 years old. Holly explains to Paul that the marriage was annulled long ago, and he helps her send the heartbroken Doc away. After a day on the town together, Paul realizes that he is in love with Holly and proposes to her; but she is determined to marry José (VILALLONGA), a South American millionaire. However, when it is publicly revealed that Holly has been innocently carrying narcotics ring information from Sally Tomato to his New York associates, the stuffy José abandons her. Furious at everything and everyone, Holly kicks Cat out of her taxicab into the rain and decides to leave town for Brazil, but Paul lectures her and then goes out to find Cat. Holly realizes how much she is giving up and races through the wet New York streets to a happy reunion with Paul and Cat.

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