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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>
The part of Billie Dawn was written by Garson Kanin for Jean Arthur. A couple of nights before the play was due to open, Arthur abruptly dropped out and Judy Holliday was drafted in. Arthur was briefly considered for the film version, but turned the part down. A move to loan out Lana Turner from MGM for the role of Billie Dawn was later abandoned. See more »
When Barry threatens Billie with a 'bloody nose', the position of her right arm changes between the long shot (holding onto the banister) and the closer shot (holding a handkerchief to her nose). See more »
Because when ya steal from the government, you're stealing from yourself, ya dumb ox.
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"Born Yesterday" is a comedy with some serious ideas behind it. The film does a wonderful job in its subtle take about corruption in high places, the role of the lobbyists and influential people in Washington politics. The movie presents an interesting aspect for today's audiences, as things related to the film have been in the news lately, making the film relevant.
The comedy by Garson Kanin ran for years on the New York stage. Judy Holliday had starred on Broadway opposite Paul Douglas. For the movie version Broderick Crawford was selected. George Cukor directed with his well known style and getting excellent performances of this ideal cast.
The film is the gem it is because the great star turn by Judy Holliday, an actress that was unique in everything she did. Billie Dawn was one of the best achievements in the movies. Ms. Holliday was an intelligent actress who knew what made her character work. She made a wonderful contribution with Billie, who in spite of being supposed to be a girl without brains, Ms. Holliday shows her to be a smart no-nonsense woman with more common sense than anyone could give her credit for.
Broderick Crawford made quite an impression as the ruthless Harry Brock, a man that can't see the goodness in Billie. He constantly belittles her and even goes as far as slapping her on occasion, but that is what someone like him would normally do when he can't get his way, or thinks is being threatened by a woman like Billie. Mr. Crawford was a wonderful actor as proved in his appearances in Fellini's "Il bidone", and in "All the President's Men".
The other good performance was William Holden, who as Paul Verrall, transforms Billie from an abused woman into someone that is not afraid to open her mouth against the bully that has been taken her for granted for a long time. Mr. Holden clearly understood the man he was playing and makes a wonderful match for Ms. Holliday.
"Born Yesterday" is a fun film to watch because all the elements that went into it and the inspired direction George Cukor and the ensemble work of the cast, but especially from its star, Judy Holliday.
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