Born Yesterday Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2007
Delightfully ditzy performance by Judy Holliday.
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2015
Years before Women's Lib, or the internet, the crazy wacked out idea that women might possibly have some meager value outside of mere receptacles for sex, transcendently, triumphantly played by Judy Holliday. She's the patsy for a wannabe Napoleon (Broderick Crawford) who thinks his poor Brooklyn bred chorus girl might need some grooming and so assigns good guy William Holden to train her in the better side of life. The blossoming flower that transforms is pretty nice, as well as the underlining message of America being the land of opportunity, and that everyone given love and attention turns into an asset for us all.
The card playing scene alone is solid gold, an orchestrated pas de duex any ballet company would be proud of (and proof that playing the bad guy calls for its own set of special skills).
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
A very funny movie, I loved Holliday's performance, she's great in this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2009
Judy Holliday is a dizzy cutie, but sometimes she grated. I don't think the romance element of this screwball quite worked out, but it's a rather enjoyable experience all the same. Also, Baxter + Davis + Shearer >>>>>>> Holliday. But it's okay. Sometimes it reminded me of a Chaplin silent.
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2008
Another fantastic romantic comedy from the golden age, Born Yesterday is actually rather more sophisticated than most, as it involves social satire and political commentary as well. The sparkling dialogue and seamless direction by George Cukor (the gin rummy scene is comedy gold) is complimented by wonderfully realised characters from Judy Holliday's endearingly child-like rough diamond to William Holden's upstanding scholar who takes her under his wing. It's essentially Pygmalion relocated to contemporary Washington, and the themes still ring true today. My favourite line was "Democratic, you know what that means don't you?" "Yeah, not Republican!" There's a political allegory going on as well, Broderick Crawford's bullying businessman representing selfish corporate interest, either buying off or subjugating those around him by keeping them ignorant of his double dealing. It also works as a charming romance, Holden and Holliday having real chemistry together. Unfortunately it was the subject of a typically charmless remake starring Melanie Griffith that's best forgotten.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2007
judy is great but the movie has dated rather badly
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2007
Funny, funny movie! And smart. Holliday is the ultimate platinum blond ditz without any social grace that all future ones are based on. William Holden is also a favorite of mine. I love the characters he plays including this one.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2007
I can't believe that they remade this with Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. Horrors! I really like William Holden. I wish he would get mentioned alongside the legends of Hollywood once in awhile and he's great here as usual. Judy Holliday is riot in this as well.
Super Reviewer
September 13, 2007
Judy Holliday makes this movie what it is. A smart charmer.
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2008
'Born Yesterday' And Hilarious Today

In the ultimate dumb blonde role, Judy Holliday nailed it. The almost-silent gin rummy sequence between her & Broderick Crawford is a gem. Great script.
November 1, 2013
Rewatched again before realizing I'd seen it before. Holliday and Crawford give great performances. On the rewatch, I found myself not liking Holden's character nearly as much, in many ways he's a pompous, self-righteous little jerk, really. Sure he looks great up against Crawford's character, but not so much individually. The movie starts out pretty cynically, but then tries to really sugarcoat everything (dishonestly imo). And Harry Brock feels very much like the spiritual predecessor to Tony Soprano.
½ May 22, 2013
It starts off as another dumb blonde comedy, but Judy Holliday's Oscar-winning performance makes her dumb blonde Billie Dawn smarter than we assume. It is about a character that is normally submissive who figures out that she can be more than just a pretty face or someone to be thrown around like a rag doll. All she needs is her confidence and a man who respects that.

Grade: B+
February 21, 2012
A criminal businessman (Broderick Crawford) tries to get his "dumb blonde" fiance (Judy Holliday) to wise up via the tutelage of a newspaperman (William Holden), but doesn't bargain for the results. Now this, my friends, is a great movie -- a stunningly unique protagonist in a stunningly unique plot made possible by a wonderfully thoughtful theme. It's comedy with depth, humor that doesn't force itself, but grows naturally out of who these characters are. Judy Holliday's role as the fiance is spot-on perfection -- the voice, the mannerism, the look. The conflict is one-of-a-kind, and the symbolism and allusions send this production soaring over the themeless mill of other romantic comedies. In it, we find the triumph of wisdom and values over tyranny. It's, as Holden's character says, "a revolution"!
September 29, 2011
It's been yrs since I saw this,but it made a lasting,it must be good.Judy was great!
June 6, 2011
As a Blond, I Resemble, I mean resent this Movie, LOL.
Actually,Judy Holliday embodies this role, voice & all.Don Johnson & Melanie Griffith remake it in the 80's (I believe), & it's not nearly as cute
½ July 18, 2010
How d'ya like that?! He could've had a hundred grand. She could've had me. Both wind up with nothin'. Dumb chump! Crazy broad!
July 9, 2009
This is a truly wonderful film, the character development is outstanding, the screenplay sublime, the acting is a dream come true. Judy Holliday is perfectly cast, as is Broderick Crawford. William Holden is appropriately subdued. So many classic scenes, like the gin rummy scene and the red marker and the newspaper. An absolte delight from start to finish., What a year 1950 was for actresses, three of my very favorite performances the same year - Holliday, along with Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. I would have been happy if any of them won that year, as it turned out, it was Holliday for this gem.
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