Born Yesterday - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Born Yesterday Reviews

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February 23, 2017
Fun RomCom. Great characterization by Judy Holliday.
November 6, 2016
What a brutal movie! I hadn't seen it in years, and thought I remembered it as a fluff piece, but it is NOT that! The brutal, venal, Broderick Crawford humiliates and batters his girlfriend (Holliday) all the way through. He is pretty much a match for one of our current high-profile politicians. When Holliday discovers her brain, it's magic. She was an amazing actress and telegraphs the sparks that come from Billie's discovery of a wider world expertly. There are lots of comic parts, but the very realistic portrayals of cynicism, moral conflict and discovery are worth seeing this tough movie over again.
November 4, 2016
100 percent Judy Holliday's best movie
½ August 30, 2016
First time seeing this. LOVED Judy Holliday!! Funny Funny Funny
May 20, 2016
A delightful comedy.
December 13, 2015
What was billed as a political comedy in 1950 has become a grim reminder of how recently domestic violence was an accepted part of our culture. We now cringe at Broderick Crawford's despicable Harry Brock, yet greet the film's intended target, an unethical and politically corrupt Washington, with blissful ambivalence.

Judy Holliday's Oscar winning turn is possibly even more effective, now that we no longer confuse the painful resignation in her eyes with humor.
June 11, 2015
I must start by commenting that although Judy Holliday gave a terrific performance it was a complete injustice to award her over Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard (1950.

The film is entertaining a sort of my modern/contemporary My Fair Lady but had very little music & scenes where often word heavy.

It's interesting to see the sights of Washington DC back then but the film is only so so. It may have worked much better on stage possibly.
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).
March 15, 2015
Judy Holliday as Billie Brown can be placed in the list of most annoying characters on screen, right next to Jar Jar Binks.
February 13, 2015
Superb performance by Judy Holiday and truly Oscar worthy. Initially, the film doesn't view as a significant cinematic achievement, but after seeing the awful remake with Melanie Griffith, it's easy to see what made the original so brilliant - and that is the nuisances delivered by great actors in their zone by a great director.
January 18, 2015
Estupenda comedia , con unas deliciosas actuaciones.
½ December 23, 2014
Judy becomes a one woman show, visually & intellectually.
½ December 19, 2014
When You watch 'Born Yesterday' - You KNOW you're observing two masters at work: Judy Holliday and Broderick Crawford. (Holden gives a good performance, of course, but can't hold a light to his co-stars in this particular project.) Holliday is mesmerizing with every expression, every screechy syllable - and watch those hands during the gin game! Perfection in each gesture. Crawford pulls off a nifty trick by making the viewer simultaneously loathe and feel compassion for his character... Ms. Dawn Goes To Washington--Judy Holliday shines in an Oscar-winning performance... A broad starts to read books!!
November 4, 2014
The plot of Garson Kanin's play doesn't seem too subtle -- a brash tycoon trying to buy influence in Washington DC hires a reporter to teach his "dumb blonde" girlfriend to act more properly -- but, in fact, George Cukor's film pulls it off amusingly. The majority of the credit is due to Judy Holliday who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Billie Dawn, the showgirl who may not be as dumb as she seems. Her delivery is so off-hand and nonchalant that it throws you off your guard and adds a certain naturalism to what is otherwise a tightly scripted affair. William Holden is excellent as the idealistic political reporter who teaches Billie about Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and the workings of democracy -- so much so that she comes to realize that her boyfriend is in the process of bribing members of Congress to get his way. Broderick Crawford is all bluster as the tycoon junk dealer but fulfills his role well. A bit naive perhaps (when seen from the vantage point of 65 years on) but enjoyable all the way through.
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.
June 1, 2014
One of the greatest comedies of its own kind.
Super Reviewer
May 17, 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.
April 1, 2014
Born Yesterday is a movie set in the 1950's. It was remade in the 90's, poorley. This movie can only exist in the 1950's. It is the greatest movie about the 50's ever made. Many people believe that "The Best Years of our Lives" (1946) was the best movie about the 50's (The fifties lasted about twenty years, it was a big decade). Best Years of our Lives deals with the fifties looking backwards, it deals with veterans issues and the switch from farm labor to living in the city and having a career. Born Yesterday deals with sexism (but not racism) and the idea of limiting the power of big corperations.

The film is set in Washington DC. It begins to call into question the role of government. The government itself has always concerned itself with this topic, but it did not enter the popular conciousness until about the 1960's Such as when Kennedy asked voters to vote for a particular ideology, rather than voting for the man or a particular issue.

The social commentary is just a small part of this movie. It is mainly just a fun story about Billie, a Maralyn Monroe type with a Noo Yawk accent. She comes to Washington with her husband, who is conducting, "business". Her husband becomes embarassed by her manarisims, and hires a writer to educate her. The writer is almost insufferably perfect. His only flaw is that he tends to complicate things. He quickly sees his error in light of Billie's Huck Finn-esque straightforward simplicity.

Billie is an intellegent and virtious woman. THe problem is, she doesn't know how virtious and intellegent she is. Hopefully, in the age of the internet, this type of person is dissapearing. With knowledge comes virtue. Once she starts to recieve an education, she begins to see her own virtue. She realizes that she can make this world a better place. Before she was tolerating and even encouraging her husbands behaviour. It seems to me that the only thing is this world more dangerous than an uneducated man is an uneducated woman.

In spite of some of the things I have said, this is an ptomistic movie. It is best summed up with the lawyer's quote, "These guys are honest, sincerly trying to do a job. Once in a while you find a rotten apple like Hedges. Then you can have them, but just once in a while...In a great while"
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.
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