7.5/10
1,558
22 user 14 critic

Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Not Rated | | 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

Writers:

Ketti Frings (story "Memo to a Movie Producer"), Charles Brackett | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
Edit

Storyline

Told in flashback from a preface in which the main character visits Paramount to sell his story! Romanian-French gigolo Georges Iscovescu wishes to enter the USA. Stopped in Mexico by the quota system, he decides to marry an American, then desert her and join his old partner Anita, who's done likewise. But after sweeping teacher Emmy Brown off her feet, he finds her so sweet that love and jealousy endanger his plans. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "school bus" is from Azusa, CA, in Los Angeles county. It's 139 miles to Tiajuana (the border city.) even today it's over two hours. Before the interstates, much longer. 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

Georges Iscovescu: It is not this kiss I want, it is *all* your kisses.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
Send these ,the homeless,tempest-tost to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
18 January 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

How can you be French and not love this film? First the lead is French;and in a small supporting part,there is Victor Francen,one of Julien Duvivier's ("La Fin Du Jour ",1939) and Abel Gance's ("J'accuse" 1918 and 1937) favorite actors.Plus "La Marseillaise " in the final sequences.Plus Olivia De Havilland who has been living in Paris for years.Except for Bertrand Tavernier,most of FRench critics do not speak highly of Mitchell Leisen's overlooked gem.

This is the kind of superior melodrama I love.Olivia De Havilland is one of the greatest actresses of all time,one of those who never think twice when it comes to playing demeaning parts.She is so moving,so tender and so endearing that beauty Paulette Goddard almost leaves me indifferent.And I wonder why Boyer...

The very structure of the film is highly original,being a long flashback,the hero telling his story (perhaps too much voice over) to a director to earn money (but we will know why in the last minutes )because he thinks all his trials can make a great film!Truth can be stranger than fiction cause he is in a film himself! The subject of the movie is still topical today when you see so many people leaving their country for the wealthy ones (not only America:in France ,Russians and others are actually fighting to get French citizenship).For that matter,one of the peaks is when Victor Francen declaims Emma Lazarus's poem which is graven on a tablet within the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty stands.There are subplots and Mitchell Leisen's talent manages to make them as interesting as the three leads .You may remember the lady who wants his baby to be an American and the way she makes her dream come true,maybe more than Boyer/Havilland's honeymoon.

A honeymoon that takes them to an old Mexican village where they go to mass,with a candle in their hand.A scene that recalls Murnau's "daybreak" .

Emmy (De Havilland) is a woman who has never known love.She really wants to hold back the dawn ,to make her dream longer than the night.She gave all she had and she 's so altruistic she even returns good for evil.When she realizes that she's through with her pursuit of happiness,she simply puts her glasses.

I had seen Leisen's film when I was still a child.I saw it last night.With the same pleasure.


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