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Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 September 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,074 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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Title: Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Hold Back the Dawn (1941) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 win. 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 <>

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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mitchell Leisen joined the Screen Actors Guild so he could play the part of the director of I Wanted Wings (1941), but he donated his acting wages to charity. The scene depicted from that movie was reshot specifically for inclusion in this movie. See more »


Georges Iscovescu: Your husband?
Anita Dixon: No. No, Shaughnessy was a jockey from Caliente. Five foot three. Once over the border, I went to a judge. I said, a woman wants a man, not a radiator cap! Divorce granted, fifty dollars.
See more »


Referenced in You're the One (2000) See more »


My Boy My Boy
Music by Fred Spielman
Written for this movie but not sung; it may have been played in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

They Don't Make 'em like this any more!
22 July 2004 | by (Adelaide Australia) – See all my reviews

It is a sad reflection that many of the movies made so long ago still compare brilliantly with the best of today. "Hold Back the Dawn" is one of those - superbly put together by Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett, and with some of the finest acting of 1941. Outtanding are Charles Boyer, in what I feel is his best acting, and Olivia de Havilland who apparently had to go to Paramount to be appreciated (her two Oscar films were made there, and she was nominated also for this one!) is a standout. Paulette Goddard in a role almost written for her was very good, and the supporting cast was excellent. Migrants trying to get into the United States has always been a hot topic, but here it is treated sympathetically in a very informative way. I have to say the ending was not well done, and one gets the feeling all was not well somewhere.

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