Born Yesterday (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Born Yesterday (1993)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This 1993 remake of the 1950 film Born Yesterday (based on the 1946 Garson Kanin stage play) was retooled as a star vehicle for then-marrieds Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Roughneck self-made millionaire Harry Brock (John Goodman) wants to become a powerful Washington lobbyist. Brock's efforts to hobnob with DC uppercrust are compromised by his brash, embarrassingly vulgar mistress Billie Dawn (Melanie Griffith). He'd like to unload the ex-chorus girl, but he thinks he's in love: besides, she knows too much about his crooked dealings to be running around loose. Thus, Brock hires bookish Paul Verrall (Don Johnson) to educate Billie. Verrall does his job amazingly well, awakening Billie to her responsibilities as a loyal, honest American: along the way, the two fall in love. Featured in the cast are Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and his star reporter (and wife) Sally Quinn, cast as DC power brokers. Also appearing in a small role is 1960s starlet Celeste Yarnell.

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John Goodman
as Harry Brock
Melanie Griffith
as Billie Dawn
Don Johnson
as Paul Verrall
Sally Quinn
as Beatrice
William Frankfather
as Senator Kelley
Fred Dalton Thompson
as Senator Hedges
Celeste Yarnall
as Mrs. Hedges
Nora Dunn
as Cynthia Schreiber
Meg Wittner
as Mrs. Kelley
William Forward
as Senator Duker
Mary Gordon Murray
as Bindy Duker
Rondi Reed
as Victoria Penny
Ted Raimi
as Cynthia's Assistant
Matthew Faison
as Congressman Hulse
Arthur Leeds
as Man at Party
John Wesley
as Senator Welch
Andi Chapman
as Mrs. Welch
Drew Snyder
as Senator Dorn
Terri Hanauer
as Mrs. Dorn
John Achorn
as Senator Banks
Ann Hearn
as Mrs. Banks
Gordon Reinhart
as Jewelry Store Owner
Leroy Perry Jr.
as Dr. Playle
Amanda Hendon
as Manicurist
Aaron Michael Lacey
as College Freshman
Fritz Sperberg
as Jose Perical
Robyn Renner
as Hansom Cab Driver
Paul Guyot
as Bellman
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Critic Reviews for Born Yesterday

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11)

The verdict on the makeover is not all good news.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Top Critic

The gin rummy game with Griffith and Goodman instead of Holliday and Crawford is enough to ruin a night out.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Where Holliday was always too sophisticated a butterfly right from the off, Griffith's copycat performance starts dumb -- but then never takes wing.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There is a fatal disconnection between place and characters who, conceived in one era, are crazily transported into another in which they don't quite fit.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

To the growing list of unnecessary movies, add this remake of the Garson Kanin comedy.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

There's no sense of screwball mayhem in the picture, no topsy-turvy brightness.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Born Yesterday


Melanie Griffith, as Billie Dawn, executes the role with such integrity. So convincing as she makes the film hers. But as a film, it just doesn't fit in well with the era. It feels as though they lifted a 1950 film and forced it to fit into 1993. They tried making a non-90s film but didn't pull out all the stops--or any stops, really. It just felt unexplainably awkward during most scenes. However, the film wasn't intrinsically bad. It was actually quite enjoyable. The characters are likable, the themes are sincere, and the dialogue is snappy. A lot of the time it even overcomes its sloppy direction and confused narrative, but those faults are never forgotten about and a few times distracting. The setup is on the border of boring and the tone is intermittent. It also never fully commits to any of its antagonists, and even slips up a couple of times with Don Johnson's character, Paul. Born Yesterday is one of those films that is enjoyable and possibly forgettable at the same time. It means well, but could have been a better remake. And although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, I wouldn't be against watching it again. Twizard Rating: 73

Ethan Brehm
Ethan Brehm

Melanie Griffith is a total charmer in this but everyone else is just okay.

Sunil Jawahir
Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer



Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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