Born Yesterday

1950

Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance

30
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 8395

Synopsis


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July 26, 2014 at 07:43 AM

Director

Cast

William Holden as Paul Verrall
Broderick Crawford as Harry Brock
Judy Holliday as Emma 'Billie' Dawn
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
806.19 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 43 min
P/S 1 / 1
1.64 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 43 min
P/S 4 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lee Eisenberg 10 / 10

learn democracy through comedy

George Cukor released his first adaptation of a Garson Kanin play with "Born Yesterday". Judy Holliday won an Oscar for her role as the ditzy moll of a slimy businessman (Broderick Crawford). While they're in Washington, DC, a reporter (William Holden) shows her the city. Cukor had previously cast Holliday in a supporting role in "Adam's Rib" - written by Kanin - but her performance here knocks everything out of the field. To be certain, the movie plays with the audience. At first it looks as though she's not the main character. But when the focus shifts to her, there's some great stuff in store.

The movie is half zany comedy, half lesson about democracy. As Holliday and Holden tour the important sites and see the documents that laid the foundation for the US's democracy, he reminds her that a democracy is only as good as the people. When Amy Goodman interviewed George Takei, he quoted his father, who said essentially the same thing. So, while we should laugh at the humorous scenes in "Born Yesterday", we should take a lesson that a system of government in which the leaders are supposed to answer to the people is not something to take for granted.

But aside from that, it's a funny movie. Holliday milks her dumb blonde image to the fullest. Crawford's character reminded me of Donald Trump. As for the movie's legacy, I wonder if it became iconic for the gay community (especially since it was an open secret in Hollywood that George Cukor was gay). Worth seeing.

Reviewed by kabin-882-534873 10 / 10

Youth is wated on the wrong people (borrowed from It's a Wonderful Life)

Sometimes I wish that millennials, gen-xers, etc. wouldn't bother watching classic films, at least the nay-sayers writing reviews. They don't get it. Their comments reveal no understanding of context. They self-absorbed seem to expect that films produced before they were born should have been made in anticipation of their 21st century sensibilities (or lack of them), their devotion to CGI, action, and their limited attention spans.

I've been watching a lot of old films lately (most I've seen before having been raised by my parents to appreciate them) and I have been surprised by the kernels of relevancy they may contain; even a not very good Dr. Kildare film has Dr. Gillespie espousing that comprehensive health care should be a right for all.

Watching Born Yesterday again after many years, I see the themes of greed - for wealth, for power, corruption in government, domestic violence, women empowering themselves.

Watching Broderick Crawford's bullying business tycoon Harry Brock, I see Donald Trump.

That's a timely film.

Reviewed by weezeralfalfa 8 / 10

Archetypical dumb blond outwits her gangster keeper

Judy Holiday reprises her stage role in the play of the same name, as the kept uneducated mistress(Billie) of wealthy corrupt uncouth junkyard and scrap metal kingpin dealer Harry Brock, who has come to Washington with his lawyer to bribe a congressman or two to talk up some legislation he wants passed that will increase his earnings from foreign supply sources.

Judy is an extreme caricature of the stereotypical childlike dumb blond. Her speech is quite distinctive: virtually the same as that of the better remembered Jean Hagen, who played a similar type of character in "Singing in the Rain". I'd swear they must be the same woman! Since the latter film was released a couple years after this one, I have to wonder if Jean's characterization was based upon Judy's performance here? Of course, those who are familiar with "My Fair Lady" will see some similarities between Eliza Doolittle and Judy's Billie.

Harry provided Billie with virtually anything she desires, several times declaring that "I love that broad". On the other hand, the chauvinist in him often treats her like dirt and occasionally even slaps her hard across the face. Billie's lack of sophistication and social graces is an embarrassment to Harry in the Washington scene. Apparently, he has kept her in virtual isolation, so why she has not absorbed any social graces. Hence, Harry hires acquaintance reporter Paul Verrall(William Holden) to teach her some rudiments of social graces and other knowledge so that she might receive congressman's wives socially. Paul takes her sightseeing around Washington and explains the significance of some of the historic documents and the men behind them, and gives her books to read. Surprisingly, she gradually warms up to the idea. They kiss at one point, but he declines an invitation to share her bed, on moral grounds. At first, she is hurt, but later recognizes that this is a good trait in a future husband. Later, he asks her to marry him, but she declines, saying she can't believe that he could find her an adequate wife. But, in the end, she changes her mind, while rejecting Harry's sudden demand that she marry him(based on advice by his lawyer, so that she can't legally testify against him).Some of Harry' holdings have been signed over to her to hide the fact that he is a kingpin of an illegal cartel.

Judy won the Oscar for her portrayal of Billie. However, we should ask how realistic is her portrayal? Most women who approach her extreme state of ignorance are immigrants, with little command of the English language. However, she doesn't appear to fit that category. I question whether, at a subliminal level, Billie might represent an extreme perception of women in general, being relatively powerless even in 1950. The point then would be that, given an adequate chance, most women could adequately perform in roles traditionally assumed exclusively or nearly so by men.

We might also wonder whether it is plausible to expect a supremely well educated intellectual, such as Paul, to marry a woman such as Billie because he feels sorry for her, or thinks he can gradually mold her into his ideal woman. He's made some progress in educating her, but it's not clear how much more he can accomplish with her... Again, we might ask if there is a subliminal intent to apply Billie's extreme case to women in general? At this time, women in general had less formal education than men and were much less likely to have employment outside of the home, save for certain roles. The message would be that women could still be lovable and adequate marriage partners even if they were poorly educated and had limited contacts outside of their home and social groups.

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