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Born Yesterday (1950)

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A tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette, with unexpected results.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Garson Kanin (play), Albert Mannheimer (screenplay)
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Popularity
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Garson Kanin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Judy Holliday ... Billie Dawn
Broderick Crawford ... Harry Brock
William Holden ... Paul Verrall
Howard St. John ... Jim Devery
Frank Otto Frank Otto ... Eddie
Larry Oliver Larry Oliver ... Congressman Norval Hedges
Barbara Brown Barbara Brown ... Anna Hedges
Grandon Rhodes ... Sanborn
Claire Carleton ... Helen
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Storyline

Uncouth, loud-mouth junkyard tycoon Harry Brock descends upon Washington D.C. to buy himself a congressman or two, bringing with him his mistress, ex-showgirl Billie Dawn. Brock hires newspaperman Paul Verrall to see if he can soften her rough edges and make her more presentable in capital society. But Harry gets more than he bargained for as Billie absorbs Verall's lessons in U.S. history and not only comes to the realization that Harry is nothing but a two-bit, corrupt crook, but in the process also falls in love with her handsome tutor. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For her performance in the screen's best comedy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nacida ayer See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,000,000, 31 January 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When production ended, Judy Holliday stayed in town for some interviews, then returned to the East where she and her husband, classical musician David Oppenheim, had bought a country home near West Point. See more »

Goofs

While visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, Paul Verral explains to Billie Dawn that the country's whole government is based on "these three pieces of paper." In reality, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were written on vellum, or parchment, which is made of stretched and treated animal skin. See more »

Quotes

Billie Dawn: He always used to say, "Never do nothing you wouldn't want printed on the front page of The New York Times."
See more »

Connections

Featured in Love the Coopers (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Give You Anything but Love
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Sung by Judy Holliday while playing cards
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A good story and incredible performances make this a film not to be missed...
16 September 2000 | by TuckMNSee all my reviews

One of my favourite films of all time, this Broderick Crawford, Judy Holliday, William Holden vehicle was magnificently written by Garson Kanin and superbly directed by George Cukor.

Cukor did something that is seldom done with any film: He decided to rehearse `Born Yesterday' as if it were a play (which it was on Broadway and of which Judy Holliday performed the role of Billie Dawn 1,200 times) and had a complete theater built on one of the studio's soundstages and filled it with an audience so he could perfectly time the laughs and the pauses so the movie-going public wouldn't miss a thing.

This bit of directing genius is part of what is responsible for the remarkable film that is `Born Yesterday.'

The other part of the equation is the casting of Broderick Crawford as the slimy, junk dealer turned multi-millionaire, Harry Brock.

Rita Hayworth was originally slated to star as Billie Dawn but when she married Ally Khan and put her screen career on hold the producers ran through an entire list of potential candidates… It was only with great reluctance that they finally decided to use Judy Holliday in the role she created on Broadway – not believing she was a big enough `name' to pull in audiences.

Lucky break for them: She went on to win the first Oscar ever awarded to an actress for a comedic role.

Her every movement, glance and word is a study in brilliance of the not-so-dumb blonde, Billie Dawn.

Unfortunately Judy Holliday's career was cut short when she died of breast cancer just a few weeks short of her 44th birthday – who knows what kind of work she could have accomplished had she only lived.

`Born Yesterday' went on to receive five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, but the only award went to Judy Holliday for Best Actress; she also won the Golden Globe in the same category that year.

This is a finely crafted tale of greed, corruption and the ultimate price that must be paid by those that believe they can manipulate the law and the government by for and of the people.

It is a brilliant movie and should not be missed.


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