7.4/10
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26 user 26 critic

Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 26 September 1941 (USA)
Stopped in Mexico by U.S. Immigration, Georges Iscovescu hopes to get into the country by marrying a citizen.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Boyer ... Georges Iscovescu
Olivia de Havilland ... Emmy Brown
Paulette Goddard ... Anita Dixon
Victor Francen ... Van Den Luecken
Walter Abel ... Inspector Hammock
Curt Bois ... Bonbois
Rosemary DeCamp ... Berta Kurz
Eric Feldary ... Josef Kurz
Nestor Paiva ... Fred Flores
Eva Puig Eva Puig ... Lupita
Micheline Cheirel ... Christine
Madeleine Lebeau ... Anni
Billy Lee ... Tony
Mikhail Rasumny ... Mechanic
Charles Arnt ... Mr. John MacAdams
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The glorious rapture of a woman's first love for a man of many loves! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Midway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - June 14, 1944) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

American Immigration Official: I see from your questionnaire that you wish to enter the United States permanently.
Georges Iscovescu: Yes sir.
American Immigration Official: That will require a quota number. Do you know what a quota is?
Georges Iscovescu: No.
American Immigration Official: Every year, the United States permits the entrance of about 150,000 immigrants. That number is proportioned among the various European countries. You were born in Bucharest; so, you come under the Romanian quota.
Georges Iscovescu: Yes.
American Immigration Official: The Romanian quota is very small, very crowded.
Georges Iscovescu: Well, that means I have to wait?
American Immigration Official: Between five and eight years, Mr. Iscovescu.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Released prints for the Latin American markets included on-screen credits for technical advisors Padre Canseco, Ernesto A. Romero and assistant director Francisco Alonso. See more »

Connections

References I Wanted Wings (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

California, Here I Come
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
Played by the band during the celebration near the end
See more »

User Reviews

 
They Don't Make 'em like this any more!
22 July 2004 | by dougandwinSee all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Latin | French | German

Release Date:

26 September 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Memo to a Movie Director See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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