Black SplatBreakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

"You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts."

Breakfast at Tiffany's - Paul Varjak confronts Holly Golightly

Description: George Peppard as writer Paul Varjak confronts jet-setting escort Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) in the classic motion picture Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).

Paul Varjak is a struggling writer living in a brownstone apartment in Manhattan. One of his neighbors, Holly Golightly, is an attractive young lady who earns a living being an escort and as a courier for Sally Tomato (Alan Reed), an ex-mobster serving time in Sing Sing. She makes $100 a week to visit him and carry information (labeled "The Weather Report") to his associates.

"It's better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear." - Holly Golightly

Paul becomes fascinated with Holly, who seems to live a double life. On one hand, she is a sexy, sophisticated partygoer who hobnobs with the jetsetters. On the other, she is a quiet, vulnerable neurotic. This dichotomy fascinates and yet confuses Paul, who will soon find himself attracted to this madcap young nymph who has a cat with no name and enjoys visiting Tiffany's Jewelry Store.

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe 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?
Paul Varjak: Sure.
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

Before Holly came to New York she was known as Lula Mae Barnes and had married a kindly Texas veterinarian named Doc Golightly (Buddy Ebsen) at the age of 15. The marriage was annulled and Holly fled her captivity in search of freedom and a new life in New York City where she became a socialite with the dream of marrying rich.

One night, Doc shows up and tries to convince his Lula Mae to come back to Texas. He threatens to withdraw financial support to her brother Fred (who later dies) when he returns from the military, but Holly still refuses. When Doc insists he still loves her, Holly replies,

"I know you do, and that's just the trouble. It's the mistake you always made, Doc, trying to love a wild thing. You were always lugging home wild things. Once it was a hawk with a broken wing... and another time it was a full-grown wildcat with a broken leg. Remember? ...You musn't give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they're strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky."

After Holly's scheme to marry José da Silva Pereira (José Luis de Vilallonga), a South American millionaire falls apart when he learns she was arrested for transporting narcotics information (although innocently) for a known criminal, Holly packs up her bags, calls a taxi and decides to blow town to Brazil with her cat.

“I certainly had him pegged wrong, didn’t I? I thought he was just a rat, but he was a super rat all along—a super rat in rat’s clothing” - Holly Golightly

As she prepares to leave, Paul gets in the taxi and tells Holly that her loves her. She tearfully says, "So what." Paul replies, "So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!" Holly disagrees, and tells Paul, "No. People don't belong to people....I'll never let ANYBODY put me in a cage."

At one point, she declares "I'm not Holly. I'm not Lula Mae, either. I don't know who I am! I'm like cat here, a couple of no-name slobs. We belong to nobody and nobody belongs to us. We don't even belong to each other."

Holly has the cab stop and throws her cat out ("Scram! I said take off!") and then asks the cabbie to continue on its way. Paul asks the taxi driver to pull over and goes after the cat. Before he leaves, he lectures Holly on her inability to commit:

“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 in the west by Tulip, Texas or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. [takes out the ring and throws it in Holly's lap] Here. I've been carrying this thing around for months. I don't want it anymore."

Holly picks up the ring, and slowly realizes she can't leave town. She exits the cab and runs through the rain to find Paul and her cat.

Breakfast at Tiffany's - Movie Poster

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