MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 134 this week

Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Romance  |  30 March 1934 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,144 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 11 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 05 Mar 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 03 May 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 23 Aug 2012
 
a list of 344 titles
created 31 Mar 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

Death Takes a Holiday (1934) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Death Takes a Holiday.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth and in the process he falls in love with his guide's daughter.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A loafer and a manicurist, both planning to marry money, meet and form an uneasy alliance.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy
Midnight (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A chorus girl, stranded in Paris, is "set up" by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Edward Everett Horton
We Live Again (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Nekhlyudov, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for ... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Anna Sten, Fredric March, Jane Baxter
Bolero (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

This is the story of an egotistical nightclub dance performer named Raoul, his determination to succeed at all costs, and the only woman in his life that truly matters to him, a dancing ... See full summary »

Directors: Wesley Ruggles, Mitchell Leisen
Stars: George Raft, Carole Lombard, Sally Rand
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Stopped in Mexico by U.S. Immigration, Georges Iscovescu hopes to get into the country by marrying a citizen.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Panama, Maggie King meets soldier Skid Johnson on his last day in the army and reluctantly agrees to a date to celebrate. The two become involved in a nightclub brawl which causes Maggie... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Charles Butterworth
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Kitty Vane, Alan Trent, and Gerald Shannon have been inseparable friends since childhood. Kitty has always known she would marry one of them, but has waited until the beginning of World War... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Fredric March, Merle Oberon, Herbert Marshall
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A dashing pilot and a vivacious reporter have romantic and dramatic adventures in Europe as World War II begins.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Ray Milland, Dennis O'Keefe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A detective who has "four hours to kill" before delivering his prisoner, an escaped killer, spends the time in the lobby of a Broadway theater where a musical is playing. The film focuses ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Joe Morrison, Gertrude Michael
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Julie Cavendish comes from a family of great Broadway actors. Her mother Fanny staunchly continues acting. Her boisterous brother Tony is fleeing a breach of promise suit in Hollywood. Her ... See full summary »

Directors: George Cukor, Cyril Gardner
Stars: Ina Claire, Fredric March, Henrietta Crosman
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Evelyn Venable ...
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)
Edit

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:

No one can die - while he makes love! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Holiday  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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: I wish that we may never meet when you are less beautiful, and I must be less kind.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Death Takes a Holiday (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse Triste
(1903) (uncredited)
from "Kuolema, Op.44"
Music by Jean Sibelius
Performed offscreen by an orchestra, and also during the end credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Little Dance With Death
30 March 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Based on an Italian play that performed on Broadway in 1929, the 1934 DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY would be the inspiration for the 1998 Brad Pitt film MEET JOE BLACK--but whereas MEET JOE BLACK proved a highly literal interpretation of the theme, DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY is unexpectedly lyric in tone.

The story is a fantasy. Death has grown weary of the fear he inspires in human beings, and in an effort to understand the tenacity to which they cling to life he decides to take a three day "holiday." He accordingly presents himself at the house of an Italian nobleman as "Prince Sirki," and soon discovers that human beings pass their lives in games, none of them of any great importance or interest. But there is one "game" he has yet to play: love.

Like many films of the early 1930s, the script is a bit talky and the cinematography a bit static; with the exception of Evelyn Venable (as Grazia) and Henry Travers (as Baron Cesarea) the cast, including the usually subtle Frederic March, tend to play in a somewhat theatrical manner. Even so, the overall tone of the film is unexpectedly touching, lyrical, and strangely lovely. It is also, on occasion, gently humorous. And before Death resumes his true identity and returns to the business of mortality, we receive unexpected food for thought.

The film is not widely available on either DVD or VHS, nor is it frequently televised. That is unfortunate, for fans of 1930s cinema will find it darkly charming. Worth seeking out!

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
On DVD? vintagekeo
Was this movie based on a book or play? bgelean-1
'I am a great power, and yet I am humble before you.' wbailey906
Discuss Death Takes a Holiday (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?