7.2/10
1,423
36 user 13 critic

Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

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.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Maxwell Anderson (screenplay), Gladys Lehman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Death Takes a Holiday (TV Movie 1971)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Death takes a human form and visits Earth to try to find out why humans want so desperately to cling to life. He unexpectedly falls in love with a beautiful young woman.

Director: Robert Butler
Stars: Yvette Mimieux, Monte Markham, Myrna Loy
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The close relationship between a woman and her two male childhood friends is tested when she accepts a marriage proposal from one of them, while the burgeoning First World War threatens to change their lives forever.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Fredric March, Merle Oberon, Herbert Marshall
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The adoptive father of a young woman is horrified to learn she plans to marry the son of the man who accidentally killed her aunt years before.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drunken newspaperman is rescued from his alcoholic haze by an heiress whose love sobers him up and encourages him to write a play, but he lapses back into dipsomania.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Fredric March, Adrianne Allen
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
We Live Again (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Nekhlyudov, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for ... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Anna Sten, Fredric March, Jane Baxter
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of trench life during World War I through the lives of a French regiment. As men are killed and replaced jaunty Lt. Denet becomes more and more somber. His rival for the affection of nurse Monique is Capt. La Roche.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Fredric March, Warner Baxter, Lionel Barrymore
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins
Anna Karenina (1935)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords.

Directors: John Ford, Leslie Goodwins
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Florence Eldridge
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 G.P. Huntley ... Eric (as G.P. Huntley Jr.)
Otto Hoffman ... Fedele (as Otto Hoffmann)
Edit

Storyline

Death decides to take a holiday from his usual business to see what it is like to be a mortal. Posing as Prince Sirki, he spends 3 days with Duke Lambert and his guests at his dukal estate. Several of the women are attracted to the mysterious prince, but shy away from him when they sense his true nature. But Grazia, the beautiful young woman whom the Duke thought was to marry his son, loves him even when she knows who he is. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prince | guest | love | holiday | death | See All (49) »

Taglines:

No one can die - while he makes love! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 March 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Strange Holiday See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Claudette Colbert was initially slated for the role of Grazia. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Death: I bound myself to life, and with it, to the little rules by which it is lived. And now I must bow to it. What a monstrous comedy!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eerie, Indiana: Reality Takes a Holiday (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Wein, Weib und Gesang (Wine, Women and Song), Op.333
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played as dance music at the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An uneasy blend of fantasy, romance and sophistication
20 April 2004 | by sryder@judson-il.eduSee all my reviews

Many contemporary viewers will find the dialogue here hard going, for the film shows its stage origins; the heightened rhetoric and often extended speeches that have the characters speaking at, rather than to one another, create a rather wooden effect on the screen. This film could not have come from any studio other than Paramount during the 1930s: the only studio that produced what might be called today art films, including this one. From Mae West, W.C. Fields and the Marx Brothers; to the Lubitsch musicals with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette Macdonald and his European-like sophisticated romantic comedies; to an occasional deMille spectacular; Paramount provided the most diversified output of the early studio era. Yet,with the exception of the occasional action costume drama, most Paramount films seem to have been made on a relatively low budget, with only one or two sets, including this film. However, since set design was always done with some elegance, economy is not as noticeable as with the Warner films. (Where a devotee has seen the same apartment set so often that s/he feels right at home).I notice that most IMDB reviewers give positive comments. Perhaps I was just not ready for this one last night (I recall having enjoyed it more years ago); but for me the components never jelled so as to provide a consistent development of plot or characterizations.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed