Born Yesterday 1950

Born Yesterday

Critics Consensus

Marrying screwball romance with political satire, Born Yesterday is a substantive romp with a ferociously smart performance by Judy Holliday as an uncouth bombshell.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 35

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,781

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Movie Info

Brassy blonde moll Billie Dawn (Judy Holliday) hits Washington, D.C., with her unscrupulous millionaire sugar daddy, Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford), and his sleazy lawyer, Jim Devery (Howard St. John), who has been pressuring Harry to marry Billie by pointing out that a wife cannot be forced to testify against her husband. In an effort to make Billie more socially acceptable, Harry hires journalist Paul Verrall (William Holden) to smarten her up -- and sparks soon fly between the pair.

Cast & Crew

Judy Holliday
Emma "Billie" Dawn
William Holden
Paul Verrall
Larry Oliver
Congressman Norval Hedges
Barbara Brown
Mrs. Hedges
Smoki Whitfield
Bootblack (uncredited)
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News & Interviews for Born Yesterday

Critic Reviews for Born Yesterday

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Born Yesterday

  • Jan 01, 2019
    Both Holden and Holliday are great (no surprises there) but it's also a little too self important for what is a pretty silly plot.
    Alec B 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).
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 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.
    Spencer S 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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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