Romanian gigolo Georges Iscovescu is trying to get into the United States to become a citizen, it the land of opportunity even in his line of work. Because of the visa requirement, he instead travels to Tijuana, Mexico to cross into the States via the land border, not realizing that this situation has its own obstacles, namely the quota system per country, Romanians who have up to an eight year wait. In joining the queue in Tijuana, he ends up at the Hotel Esperanza which houses many of those in his similar situation, some of those others who have their own story in trying to become American citizens. In running into an old colleague he met in Europe, the former Polish-Australian Anita Dixon now divorced US citizen Mrs. Shaughnessy - she a female version of him - he decides to do what she did to become a US citizen: get married to an American, Mr. Shaughnessy who she quickly divorced after getting her citizenship. After a few missteps in finding an American to marry, Georges sets his ...Written by
The original script included an early scene where Charles Boyer talks to a cockroach in his room. Boyer dismissed the scene as idiotic and convinced director Mitchell Leisen to delete it; screenwriters Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett were so incensed at Leisen for giving in they resolved to direct and produce their own movies from then on. See more »
When Anita is sitting on Georges' lap at the typewriter, a moving shadow of the boom microphone can be seen in the mirror behind them. See more »
California, Here I Come
Music by Joseph Meyer
Played by the band during the celebration near the end See more »
They Don't Make 'em like this any more!
It is a sad reflection that many of the movies made so long ago still compare brilliantly with the best of today. "Hold Back the Dawn" is one of those - superbly put together by Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett, and with some of the finest acting of 1941. Outtanding are Charles Boyer, in what I feel is his best acting, and Olivia de Havilland who apparently had to go to Paramount to be appreciated (her two Oscar films were made there, and she was nominated also for this one!) is a standout. Paulette Goddard in a role almost written for her was very good, and the supporting cast was excellent. Migrants trying to get into the United States has always been a hot topic, but here it is treated sympathetically in a very informative way. I have to say the ending was not well done, and one gets the feeling all was not well somewhere.
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