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Uncouth, loud-mouth junkyard tycoon Harry Brock descends upon Washington D.C. to buy himself a congressman or two, bringing with him his mistress, ex-showgirl Billie Dawn. Brock hires newspaperman Paul Verrall to see if he can soften her rough edges and make her more presentable in capital society. But Harry gets more than he bargained for as Billie absorbs Verall's lessons in U.S. history and not only comes to the realization that Harry is nothing but a two-bit, corrupt crook, but in the process also falls in love with her handsome tutor. Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Delightful! Hilarious! How often do we get to see a perfect performance? We're closing in on a century of movies and, as we can see, it's pretty rare. So flawless was Judy Holliday's portrayal of Billie Dawn that, as a relative unknown, she came from behind to beat out two heavyweights for the Oscar in 1950. I'm sure this was due in no small part to her refining the role for nearly three years on stage.
Everything else fell into place as well. Broderick Crawford was just excellent as Harry Brock. Crawford is able to swing you back and forth between anger and sympathy for his character. Not an easy task! William Holden is perfectly calm and reserved as Paul Verrall. His character forms a wonderful opposite to Billie. And, with direction, George Cukor worked his usual magic.
Most of the themes are timeless. A person lives in ignorant bliss until their eyes are opened. They realize that there is a better life for them and begin their struggle for improvement. They discover that their greatest opponents to advancement are not those above them, but those at their current level.
A few of the elements are dated. Particularly Jim's speech about how hard it is to find a corrupt politician in Washington. Wow. Maybe that was the case in 1950. Now it's impossible to find an honest one.
It all comes back to Judy Holliday. This movie is her vehicle. She was a rare talent who we were only able to see for a very short time. I love all of her movies and this one, Born Yesterday, is my favorite.
Thank you Judy!!!!!!
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