Film / Breakfast at Tiffany's
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Blake Edwards, loosely based on the 1958 novella by Truman Capote. Audrey Hepburn stars as Holly Golightly; also in the cast are George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and (in a notorious yellowface role) Mickey Rooney.

This is well-known for being the movie in which Hepburn wears a fabulous Givenchy dress and holds a cigarette in a holder, and for introducing Henry Mancini's Oscar-winning song "Moon River". In this version Holly probably isn't a hooker (though she does seek out wealthy men to have flings with), while the gay writer is now a straight gigolo—or something close to it—named Paul Varjak who has a tumultuous relationship with Holly.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • The gay, unnamed protagonist of Truman Capote's novella becomes the film's straight love interest, Paul.
    • Holly was bisexual in the novella. This being Hollywood in the 1960s, this was changed.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Holly is blonde in the novella, but brunette in the film.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Holly first calls Paul "Fred" after her brother, whom Paul reminds her of.
  • All There in the Script: According to the screenplay, 2-E's real name is Emily Eustace, hence the nickname "2-E."
  • Asian Buck Teeth: Mr. Yunioshi.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi in the movie follows this.
  • Bad Dreams: Holly gets into bed with Paul and talks in her sleep about, apparently, losing her beloved brother in the snow. The trope is slightly averted in that she'd already revealed, earlier in that scene, that she worries about her brother, but not the extent to which it distresses her.
  • Beehive Hairdo: Holly even sleeps with her hair up.
  • Blithe Spirit: Holly, naturally.
  • Canon Foreigner: Emily "2E" Eustace does not appear in the source novella. The subplot of Paul serving as 2E's "kept man" was apparently added to the movie to establish Paul's heterosexual credentials. This then allowed for the movie's boy-gets-girl climax, something also not found in the novella. It also gave Peppard a chance to appear bare-chested in a bedroom setting, the very best "beefcake" scene in his entire movie career.
  • The Capital of Brazil Is Buenos Aires: Almost averted, but not quite. Holly does learn Portuguese in order to go to Brazil, but she nevertheless pronounces her Brazilian fiancé's name, José, as if he were Hispanic. The pronunciation should be Zhoo-zeh, not Ho-say.
    • Worse, José even mispronounces his own name in this manner. The actor playing him (José Luis de Vilallonga) is Spanish.
  • Caught in the Rain: Holly and Paul, near the end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The moment you see Paul getting a ring from a Cracker Jack box, you know it'll be important.
  • Compensated Dating: What Holly does.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mag Wildwood is cut down to just another colorful extra during the party scene in the film.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Do not call Holly "Lula Mae."
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Holly's cat is named...Cat. (She states that "The way I see it I haven't got the right to give him [a name]".)
  • Edible Theme Naming: Sally Tomato.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Though Holly somehow thinks she's too young to wear diamonds without being "tacky".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: For a film in which the two lead characters are more-or-less prostitutes, it's remarkably roundabout in its approach to sexuality.
  • Gold Digger: Once she gets tired of Compensated Dating, Holly aims for this. Unfortunately, one (who was broke to begin with) gets married, and another gives up once she's arrested.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl : Holly.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Holly, after knowing her brother died. And also after "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • High Class Gloves: Her fancy evening dress is paired with long, black gloves.
  • Hollywood Kiss: The kiss between Holly and Paul at the end.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Holly, though this is strongly toned down compared to the novella. She still refers to her "playing the field" though.
  • Kick the Dog: When Holly abandons her cat in an alley, it's the ultimate sign that she's selling out for a soulless life of luxury. And going back to find him is her redemption. Audrey once said that this was the most distasteful thing she ever had to do on film.
  • Little Black Dress: Holly wears one; it's probably the most iconic example of the trope in film history. It was designed, like all of Audrey Hepburn's costumes for the film, by Hubert de Givenchy.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Holly in the film.
  • May–December Romance: Holly's husband was much, much older than her, and had several kids before marrying her. Holly was still a teenager when they got married, and it sounds like their marriage was relatively innocent, with her doing nothing but sitting around at home all day.
  • Meaningful Name: What better surname than "Golightly" could there be for a free-spirited ditz with an unserious approach to life?
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Paul is a writer who has not had anything published in five years since writing a book of vignettes titled Nine Lives.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Holly, after "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Holly is kind of smart... but not enough to notice she's been helping the drug dealing activities of the convict she often visits.
    "Snow flurries expected this weekend in New Orleans." Isn't that just the weirdest? I bet they haven't had snow in New Orleans for a million years. I don't know how he thinks them up.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Justified. The film presents Holly as an Oklahoma country girl who was trained to speak with a British accent, though Hepburn can occasionally be heard slipping out of the British accent.
  • Qipao: The two Chinese girls who show up at the party both wear qipaos.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Paul to Holly, in the penultimate scene of the film.
  • Redemption in the Rain: The climax of the film.
  • Romantic False Lead: Jose.
  • Romantic Rain: The final kiss between Paul and Holly takes place in a heavy rain.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: The film ends with Paul and Holly kissing in the rain.
  • Setting Update: Although the story in the movie occurs in 1960, the story in the novella is penned as occuring in 1943.
  • Simple Country Doctor: Holly's ex-husband.
  • Sleep Mask: Holly has one.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Ironically, Holly's cigarette stick was supposed to be an affectation that Holly assumes to cover her insecurity. It backfired. Audiences didn't get it, probably at least in part because of the choice of Audrey Hepburn for the role.
  • Spy Speak: Sally's "weather reports" which Holly passes forward.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While Holly Golightly is definitely the main character, her love interest Paul Varjak is the protagonist.
  • Timber!: Holly shouts this as a woman passes out.
  • Yellowface: Mickey Rooney's role as the buck-toothed stereotype-Japanese Mr. Yunioshi is a notorious example. Recent DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film have people involved with its making apologizing for this, as well as a featurette titled "Mr. Yunioshi: An Asian Perspective" discussing the depiction of Asians in Hollywood.
  • Wakeup Makeup: You try sleeping not only in full, perfect makeup with your hair done up, but also with a sleeping mask on.
  • Writer's Block Montage: Not a montage, but a panning shot with the same effect.