IMDb > Death Takes a Holiday (1934)
Death Takes a Holiday
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Death Takes a Holiday (1934) More at IMDbPro »

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7.2/10   1,300 votes »
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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Maxwell Anderson (screenplay) and
Gladys Lehman (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Death Takes a Holiday on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 March 1934 (USA) See more »
HE LIVED FOR THREE DAYS...AND LOVED FOREVER! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
The Grim Reaper takes the form of a prince in an attempt to relate to humans and, along the way, also learns what it is to love. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Holiday Affair See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fredric March ... Prince Sirki / Death

Evelyn Venable ... Grazia

Guy Standing ... Duke Lambert (as Sir Guy Standing)

Katharine Alexander ... Alda

Gail Patrick ... Rhoda

Helen Westley ... Stephanie

Kathleen Howard ... Princess Maria

Kent Taylor ... Corrado

Henry Travers ... Baron Cesarea
G.P. Huntley ... Eric (as G.P. Huntley Jr.)

Otto Hoffman ... Fedele (as Otto Hoffmann)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anna De Linsky ... Cora - the Maid (uncredited)
Hector V. Sarno ... Pietro - the Gardener (uncredited)

Phillips Smalley ... Manager of Casino (uncredited)
Frank Yaconelli ... Flower Vendor (uncredited)

Directed by
Mitchell Leisen 
Writing credits
Maxwell Anderson (screenplay) and
Gladys Lehman (screenplay)

Alberto Casella (play "La Morte in vacanza")

Walter Ferris (english adaptation)

Produced by
Emanuel Cohen .... associate producer (uncredited)
E. Lloyd Sheldon .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
John Leipold (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Charles Lang (photographed by)
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier (uncredited)
Ernst Fegté (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (uncredited)
Edith Head (uncredited)
Sound Department
Harold Lewis .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Gordon Jennings .... technical effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Karl Hajos .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
W. Franke Harling .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Fernando Castillo Díaz .... spanish subtitles (uncredited)
Fernando Castillo Díaz .... spanish translation for dubbing (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
UK:A | USA:Unrated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Katharine Hepburn was fired from the film.See more »
Factual errors: 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 , something they both would have done in real life.See more »
Death:Perhaps you can tell me what I have been doing.
Grazia:I think I can, almost.
Death:Tell me.
Grazia:I think you've been holding life in your hands, as I do some times. I think you've been a little afraid of its beauty.
Death:Oh, you do know.
See more »
Movie Connections:
String Quartet In G Minor, Op.10: IIISee more »


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25 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Holiday Affair, 13 May 2002
Author: telegonus from brighton, ma

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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