The Golden Age of Hollywood

Born Yesterday (1950)


Judy Holliday, William Holden & Broderick Crawford

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This film is a paradox for me.  I enjoy watching Judy Holliday, William Holden, and Broderick Crawford, but this film more or less leaves me flat.

I never said it was good Mickey! LOL

I think it's a great movie, and I love Judy Holliday's performance. Her character, Billie, starts out a trashy bimbo, but William Holden sees her potential and transforms her. Interestingly, the way her father and her past are referred to gives one the impression that she went downhill when she met Broderick Crawford. That part of it is a timeless story--nice girl gets involved with not-so-nice guy. It can take an extreme intervention to get out of such a relationship, and happily, she is rescued by William Holden. I find it very satisfying to see her grow, not only in knowledge but more importantly in self-respect. In many movies of the time, the message was quite different: the bad man is saved by the unwavering loyalty of the woman, despite what she has to put up with from him. In reality, it doesn't work this way very often.

I've also seen the remake, starring Melanie Griffith. It had a nice addition to the scene where Billie is displaying her new-found knowledge to the snooty Washington know-it-alls. In the remake, Billie has come up with a mnemonic devise to remember all the Constitutional amendments, and it's a song set to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. She ends up teaching it to everyone, and it's a really fun scene.

Device, not devise.


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