Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Hold Back the Dawn


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Hold Back the Dawn begins with a shabby immigrant (Charles Boyer) wandering onto a Paramount sound stage and telling his life story to director Mitchell Leisen (who actually directed this film). In flashback, we see that Boyer was once a conscienceless gigolo, desperate to flee Nazi-occupied Europe. He makes it to Mexico, where he pretends to fall in love with shy schoolteacher Olivia de Havilland. It is his plan to marry her, thus be able to enter the United States; then he intends to dump her … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Ketti Frings, Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett
In Theaters:


as Georges Iscovescu

as Anita Dixon

as Prof. Van Den Luecke...

as Inspector Hammock

as Berta Kurz

as Bonbois

as Berta Kurz

as Josef Kurz

as Lupita

as Mr. Saxon

as On-the-Set Film Acto...

as On-the-Set Film Acto...

as On-the-Set Film Acto...

as Young Woman at Clima...

as Mechania

as Mechania

as Mrs. Brown

as Elevator Boy

as Husky Young Mexican ...

as Old Peon's Wife

as Emmy's doctor

as American Consul

as Mexican doctor

as Mexican judge

as Mr. MacAdams

as Hollander

as Mr. MacAdams

as Mr. Spitzer

as Bride

as Vivienne Worthington
Show More Cast

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Hold Back the Dawn

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (4)

You will enjoy it as a straight-away romance, crowded with most engaging characters and smoking with Mr. Boyer's charm.

Full Review… | February 3, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

While Hold Back the Dawn is basically another European refugee yarn, scenarists Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder exercised some ingenuity and imagination and Ketty Frings' original emerges as fine celluloidia.

Full Review… | February 3, 2012
Top Critic

This romantic weepie is both moving and effectively stylish.

Full Review… | February 3, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

A touching and memorable film, this brilliant romance offers evocative performances by Boyer and de Havilland.

Full Review… | February 3, 2012
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Billy Wilder co-wrote but didn't direct this Oscar-nominated border drama, starring Charles Boyer and Olivia de Havilland.

Full Review… | March 11, 2011

Audience Reviews for Hold Back the Dawn

Charles Boyer is very good in this moving melodrama. I think he gets overlooked as an actor sometimes. Nice to see Olivia de Havilland sans hoop dress. Worth tracking down, TCM shows occasionally.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


Lovely drama with some really beautiful acting particularly from Olivia de Havilland. You catch a quick glimpse of an absolutely beautiful Veronica Lake, peekaboo bang firmly in place, filming a scene for her breakthrough movie I Wanted Wings at the very beginning of the film. She shimmers like the sun in her brief seconds on scene.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

a superior melodrama way under the radar. charles boyer is highly effective as a gigolo hoping to enter the u.s. by marrying a citizen. enter innocent schoolteacher olivia de havilland. paulette godard is fun as boyer's partner in crime, but their cynical plans soon go awry. most of the film takes place in mexico with lots of local color

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Hold Back the Dawn Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Hold Back the Dawn on our Movie forum!