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Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

Unrated | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 30 March 1934 (USA)
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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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Grazia
Guy Standing ...
Duke Lambert (as Sir Guy Standing)
Katharine Alexander ...
Alda
Gail Patrick ...
Helen Westley ...
Kathleen Howard ...
...
Corrado
...
G.P. Huntley ...
Eric (as G.P. Huntley Jr.)
Otto Hoffman ...
Fedele (as Otto Hoffmann)
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Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prince | guest | love | holiday | death | See All (49) »

Taglines:

HE LIVED FOR THREE DAYS...AND LOVED FOREVER! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Holiday  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward Van Sloan was in studio records/casting call lists for the role of "Doctor Valle," but he never appears in the movie. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Death: There is something about me that men fear and that makes them cling to their existence. I must find out what it is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Bonds of Steele (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet In G Minor, Op.10: III
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Claude Debussy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Death Takes A Holiday (1934) ***1/2
14 April 2005 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Despite some stilted dialogue and acting, this is an exquisitely opulent fantasy about the meaning of life which seamlessly mixes elements of comedy, romance and horror and emerges as an unjustly neglected minor classic - so much so that dear old Universal has deemed it fit to only give it a DVD release by proxy, unceremoniously slapping it onto their "Ultimate Edition" DVD of its overblown and unnecessary remake, MEET JOE BLACK (1998). Fredric March is superb in the lead and only confirms his position as one of Hollywood's finest, most versatile and consistent character actors (despite being blessed with matinée idol looks); March himself considers this to be one of his favorite roles. This was only Mitchell Leisen's second film as director, and his production designer past is still much in evidence, but he would go on to make several accomplished films - particularly EASY LIVING (1937), MIDNIGHT (1939), ARISE, MY LOVE (1940) and KITTY (1945) - before his career gradually petered out in the late 40s. A strikingly similar film to DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY which I also would love to watch is Harold S. Bucquet's ON BORROWED TIME (1939) with Sir Cedric Hardwicke playing Death and Lionel Barrymore as his unwilling "client" - but it never seems to get shown on TV in my neck of the woods!


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