Saturday, August 21, 2010

Born Yesterday (1950) (2nd time)

A million dollar tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette. [imdb]

Nominated for 5 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: George Cukor
Best Actress: Judy Holliday (WINNER)
Best Writing, Screenplay
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

Born Yesterday is a mostly relaxing film with two interesting aspects about it, in my opinion. First, there's the acting which is top class with 3 wonderful performances. Then, there's the strange structure of the film, which goes from a silly, standard (but quite great) comedy to a moralistic drama, very talkative but less fun.
Judy Holliday's Oscar win was a bit of an infamous one even in its era considering competition from Bette Davis and critical darling and assumed winner Gloria Swanson. As time went by, the performance drew more and more fans and I myself find to be an excellent comedic demonstration. But the men are just as great: Broderick Crawford should've received a supporting actor nomination for his energetic Tony-Soprano-like performance and William Holden, I dare to say, was maybe nominated for the wrong film, as his acting here is I think better than in Sunset Blvd.
If the film would've kept the same comedy feel for the entire movie or just a bit longer than it did, it would've really been a winner for me. I understand why they shifted to drama, I just wish it hadn't been that fast as the last minutes of the film make you loose interest a bit.
My rating for the film: 8/10. Some scenes, like the Gin Rummy one, are pure gold. And also it should've won Costume Design, as it had weak competition there and fabulous dresses on-screen.


  1. Yeah, I am so glad you liked it. I really love this movie and I totally agree about the Costumes!

  2. I love this but the structural issues you identified are this movies big failing. Frankly th tonal shifts are too much for me and I tend to want it to go in different directions from bout half way.