7.5/10
1,517
23 user 13 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
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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 Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 8, 1943 with Charles Boyer reprising his film role. 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

Emmy Brown: Oh, please don't come near.
Georges Iscovescu: You needn't be afraid, Miss Brown. Not of a dead man. I am dead, you see. I've asked myself a thousand times why they shouldn't bury me. Why I should go on breathing and talking and walking - when I was dead. Perhaps I know now. Perhaps it was - to see the sunrise once more, to hear enchantment in a woman's voice, to feel her yearnings, the warmth of her lips.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Lux Video Theatre: Hold Back the Dawn (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played by the band during the celebration near the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Three stars shine in interesting romantic drama...
4 April 2001 | by Neil DoyleSee all my reviews

Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland and Paulette Goddard deserve high praise for their performances in this poignant and touching slice of Americana from Mitchell Leisen (who later directed de Havilland in 'To Each His Own'). Basically the story of a European gigolo (Boyer) who wants to get into the United States without a long wait in Mexico. His girlfriend and ex-dancing partner (Paulette Goddard) convinces him to marry an unsuspecting American schoolteacher (de Havilland)in order to gain fast entry before ditching her. Colorful supporting characters come to life--most notably Walter Abel as an immigration officer and Rosemary de Camp as a pregnant woman who wants her child born in the U.S. Boyer narrates the story to a film director (Mitchell Leisen) and we see the story unfold in flashback from his point of view. Excellent work by all concerned. My only complaint is the abrupt ending--which I understand was a result of trouble with Boyer who wanted certain scenes rewritten--a final scene between him and de Havilland would have been preferable to what seems like a letdown for the finale. As it is, it looks like choppy editing before "The End" flashes on the screen. Still, a romantic drama with an abundant amount of dry humor and some crackling dialogue by Paulette Goddard who sparkles in her role as "the other woman". Her confrontation scene with the schoolteacher is one of the highlights of the film. De Havilland was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this, but lost to her sister, Joan Fontaine, for 'Suspicion'.


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