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Born Yesterday

Born Yesterday (1950)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 4,615

My Rating

Movie Info

Garson Kanin's Broadway hit was transferred to the screen with only a few passing nods to the stricter censorship required by films. Judy Holliday won an Oscar for her portrayal of Billie Dawn, a strident, dim-bulbed ex-chorus girl who is the mistress of millionaire junk tycoon Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford). In Washington to put a few senators and congressmen in his pocket (the better to lay the groundwork for an illegal cartel), the rude-and-crude Brock realizes that the unrefined Billie


Drama, Classics, Comedy

Feb 15, 2000

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (1)

George Cukor directed, a little impersonally for him.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic


June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More firm in its social implications than ever it was on the stage and blessed with a priceless performance by rocketing Judy Holliday, this beautifully integrated compound of character study and farce made a resounding entry at the Victoria yesterday.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lively political comedy.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Judy Holliday steals the show as the dumb blonde whose gangster boyfriend wants her to acquire some culture, so he hires her a tutor.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The highlight of this lively Garson Kanin Broadway comedy is the most delightful 'dumb blonde' to ever grace the screen...

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

By the timer Kanin's play was made into a film, the work has lost some of its political bite, and the last reel is too preachy for a comedy, but make no mistake, as the dumb blonde Judy Holliday is brilliant.

April 10, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Its attack on the political system being corrupted is too mild for today's even more expanded corrupt times.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's full of great ideas about the wonder of the common man.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Fun and funny, with some fabulous verbal sparring.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source:

Speaking in a ditsy, shrill lilt that hints at concealed wisdom, Holliday slyly turns the dumb-blonde stereotype inside out.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Forget the re-make. This is the original!

April 15, 2004

The real chemistry on screen is between [Judy] Holliday and [Michael] Crawford who deftly and wittily explore every nuance of their relationship.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Classic translation of the play that would have been even better with Paul Douglas.

December 29, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A pretty entertaining film.

July 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for Born Yesterday

Delightfully ditzy performance by Judy Holliday.
December 22, 2007

Super Reviewer

Though our heroine may seem impossibly light, and the context of this screwball comedy is as well, there's nothing trivial about this Cukor helmed satire. Judy Holliday steals the entire film from Crawford and Holden as former showgirl Billie, an unimpressed escort for Crawford's crooked business tycoon. Holden is recruited to make her a bit smarter, because Crawford wants to run for office. As he buys out governmental officials Billie learns about government, philosophy, and history and starts making out her own opinions. Billie becomes increasingly aware of her potential, and the film leads with the message that knowledge really is power, and if you use it you too can see through the darkness and forge ahead. The underlying message is a little corny, as it pertains to government being a beautiful practice, and corrupt representatives in government are hard to find. Otherwise it's a very sweet story about a woman who doesn't get many chances in life, and now that she begins critically thinking for herself, she finally sees beauty in the world.
August 22, 2014

Super Reviewer

Judy Holliday steals the show in this very funny and surprisingly thought-provoking romantic comedy about the importance of thinking and seeking knowledge in our society, where, still today, opinions are shaped by a ruling class that wants to conserve its position of power.
May 17, 2014

Super Reviewer

A corrupt businessman enlists a reporter to educate his dumb girlfriend.
On the frontlines of the seductive argument that education makes for more moral human beings is George Cukor's Born Yesterday. Billie's transformation from ditzy blonde to less ditzy blonde is not only philosophically encouraging, but it's also remarkably entertaining. Normally I find character like Billie annoying, and I find it mystifying that otherwise intelligent people can find these people seductive (dare I mention Marilyn Monroe), but just when I'm starting to hate Billie, Judy Holliday either does something so remarkably cute that I have to laugh or Billie says something mildly profound. William Holden is good as always, and Broderick Crawford is both boorish and occasionally likeable. The film's script doesn't vilify Harry until the end because we truly believe that he cares about Billie, and the story is much better as a result.
The pacing of the film is a little off. There is an extended sequence with characters playing gin and a servant interrupting a conversation, which is a gag that doesn't work.
Overall, this is an excellent film, and the strong performances by the leads make this a don't-make-'em-like-this-anymore classic.
July 21, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

    1. Harry Brock: Shut up and do what I'm telling you.
    – Submitted by Oscar L (2 years ago)
    1. Billie Dawn: Wouldja do me a favor, Harry? Drop dead!
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Born Yesterday (1950) (DE)
  • Born Yesterday (1950) (UK)
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