Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 September 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,081 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 10 critic

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


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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Francen ...
Curt Bois ...
Rosemary DeCamp ...
Eric Feldary ...
Nestor Paiva ...
Eva Puig ...
Micheline Cheirel ...
Madeleine Lebeau ...
Billy Lee ...
Mikhail Rasumny ...
Charles Arnt ...
Mr. John MacAdams


Told in flashback from a preface in which the main character visits Paramount to sell his story! Romanian-French gigolo Georges Iscovescu wishes to enter the USA. Stopped in Mexico by the quota system, he decides to marry an American, then desert her and join his old partner Anita, who's done likewise. But after sweeping teacher Emmy Brown off her feet, he finds her so sweet that love and jealousy endanger his plans. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

26 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Memo to a Movie Director  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original script included an early scene where Charles Boyer talks to a cockroach in his room. Boyer dismissed the scene as idiotic and convinced director Mitchell Leisen to delete it; screenwriters Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett were so incensed at Leisen for giving in they resolved to direct and produce their own movies from then on. See more »


Anita Dixon: If you carry a torch long enough, it burns out... my hands are scorched.
See more »


References I Wanted Wings (1941) See more »


California, Here I Come
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
Played by the band during the celebration near the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Bit of a tearjerker
28 November 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

A fabulous film with an all star cast of Charles Boyer, Olivia De Havilland and Paulette Goddard. Boyer plays a man who is trying to get US citizenship, the only way by which turns out to be, marrying De Havilland's character. There is a sweet scene between the two when they set off on honeymoon and they play beautifully together throughout. Paulette Goddard is wonderful as the scheming other half and it's nice to see at the end that she gets what she's after!! Clever start to the film too - look out for Veronica Lake making a movie - and a lovely ending that really couldn't get any better.

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