Death decides to take a holiday from his usual business to see what it is like to be a mortal. Posing as Prince Sirki, he spends 3 days with Duke Lambert and his guests at his dukal estate.... See full summary »
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Death decides to take a holiday from his usual business to see what it is like to be a mortal. Posing as Prince Sirki, he spends 3 days with Duke Lambert and his guests at his dukal estate. Several of the women are attracted to the mysterious prince, but shy away from him when they sense his true nature. But Grazia, the beautiful young woman whom the Duke thought was to marry his son, loves him even when she knows who he is. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In one of the opening scenes, Grazia is praying in a Catholic Church. She makes the Sign of the Cross and is meditating when Corrado joins her. When leaving, she fails to genuflect and make another Sign of the Cross, something they both would have done in real life. See more »
He is the one whom all men dread! He is... DEATH! His Majesty Death, amusing himself on a holiday... amusing himself with love!
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Adapted from a play by Alberto Casella, Death Takes a Holiday is a more charming film that one might imagine. Death, using the name Prince Sirki, comes to earth in human form to learn a thing or two about life and human nature. He gets more than he bargained for. This is one of the first directorial jobs Mitchell Leisen had at Paramount, and he makes the most of it. He manages to make the film at various moments gloomy and romantic, lighthearted and very serious. At no time is the movie depressing, and the ending surprisingly uplifting.
Fredric March makes a handsome, almost soulful Prince Sirki, and delivers a fine performance. I only wish that he had used the same restraint in his later, flashier character-acting roles. Offering strong support are Evelyn Venable, Guy Standing and Henry Travers (later to play an angel of mercy in It's a Wonderful Life). There's a lot of good luck on the side of this film. Paramount was the right studio to make it. They tended to bring a light touch to nearly everything they did in those days, and it is most appreciated here. I highly recommend this movie to pessimistic know-it-alls who think they have everything figured out.
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