7.2/10
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36 user 13 critic

Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

Passed | | 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.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Maxwell Anderson (screenplay), Gladys Lehman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 22, 1937 with Fredric March reprising his film role. 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: Grazia - my little love - it was NOT a jest!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Closer: Dobbs Takes a Holiday (1998) 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 »

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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.


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