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Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

Unrated | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 30 March 1934 (USA)
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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Prince Sirki / Death
... Grazia
... Duke Lambert (as Sir Guy Standing)
... Alda
... Rhoda
... Stephanie
... Princess Maria
... Corrado
... Baron Cesarea
G.P. Huntley ... Eric (as G.P. Huntley Jr.)
... Fedele (as Otto Hoffmann)
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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 woman ever had such a lover...the whole world paused...waited breathlessly while he wooed with the ardor of a man tasting love for the first time. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Holiday  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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

Baron Cesarea: [hearing that someone has just narrowly escaped death] Well, it just wasn't time for the Old Man to take him.
Death: [as Prince Sirki]
[offended]
Death: I beg your pardon! The Old Man?
[realizing the humor in the remark]
Death: [as Prince Sirki] Ah yes... the Old Man!
See more »

Connections

Version of Meet Joe Black (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse Triste
(1903) (uncredited)
from "Kuolema, Op.44"
Music by Jean Sibelius
Performed offscreen by an orchestra, and also during the end credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An uneasy blend of fantasy, romance and sophistication
20 April 2004 | by See 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.


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