Death Takes a Holiday - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Death Takes a Holiday Reviews

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jjnxn
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2016
A mite stagy with occasional theatrical performances but still a compelling allegory about the mysteries of life and death.
October 3, 2015
A simple plot line, Death wants to understand life better and decides to live among us for 3 days. He falls in love and finds it to be the real joy of life.

Fredric March has just the right amount of malice in his undertones even if his role is a bit over melodramatic, Evelyn Venable has a suicidal air around her perfect for the role. shame that it was hammed in by the supporting cast yet you really do root for her to make the right choice in the end. A classic that withstood the test of time for a reason!
June 14, 2014
Filmed in 1934 and starring Frederic March in a role that helped make him the greatest actor of the early talkies. Clocking in at 80 minutes, this version is far superior to "Meet Joe Black," with a concise script, strong cast and haunting effects. Essential.
July 21, 2013
A timeless classic that deserves a space in your movie collection.

Death Takes a Holiday is now permanently included in my list of All-Time Favorite Movies. The film is unique, morbidly funny, and every scene is just so delicious to watch. To see Death as a human, tasting emotions, questioning his building feelings for a woman, and his leniency or indulgence of human idiosyncracies - it's truly delightful. Each scene I was engrossed, both by the dialogue and acting, as well as the lavishness of the setting that immediately transports me into that world. I also loved the opening credits, quirky fun.

While I have liked Meet Joe Black despite of its flaws & cop out feel-good ending, Death Takes A Holiday is far more superior in its execution.. the script may be a bit stilted, the plot more straightforward and simple, but what made this film better in my opinion is the cast and its morbid humor. Pitt's pretty boy, slightly insipid Death could never compete with March's sexy-in-a-Cary Grant/Sean Connery-way, charming naivete, & charismatic portrayal as Death.
October 23, 2012
Excellent and. moody fable.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
½ September 16, 2011
starts out great, fascinating conceit and frederic march has the right air of underlying menace but the tone is too melodramatic and lead actress evelyn venable is really kind of annoying. it's got a ways to go to be worse than remake 'meet joe black' with brad pitt and anthony hopkins tho
December 8, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

(1934) Death Takes A Holiday
DRAMA

2 time Oscar winner Fredrich March stars as "Death" taking a leave of absence by taking a form of a human being, and then posing as a prince until he falls in love! Extremely strange and unusual film which does a very good job into debating with specific dilemmas and situations and is self-explanatory! Remade two other times, one in 1971 and then again with Brad Pitt as "Death" in 1988 called "Meet Joe Black"!

3 out of 4
November 9, 2010
Another reviewer wrote that this movie is the definition of stilted. I was thinking the exact same thing when I watched it.
½ July 7, 2010
Death Takes a Holiday (1934) -- [5.0] -- I love the concept, but "Death Takes a Holiday" has a hard time overcoming the theatricality of its source material, a stage play by Alberto Casella. The sets are extravagant and the visual effects used to depict Death are remarkable for the time (double-exposure with a moving camera -- I don't know how they did it without computers). But the film is way too talky -- especially at the end, where the characters beat the subtext to a pulp. Fredric March isn't my first choice for Death. He's neither frightening, likeable, nor humorous enough to make the role sing. Brad Pitt would do a much better job in the also-flawed 1998 remake, "Meet Joe Black."
April 7, 2010
for 30's movie it is awesome! noone can remake it ever! the special effects are great. i found this movie 8yrs ago on vhs, it is number one!
July 13, 2008
IF YOU LOVE MEET JOE BLACK, YOU SHOULD SEE THIS.. THIS IS THE ORGINAL... THE REMAKE WITH BRAD PITT WAS EXCELLENT... SO YOU NEED TO WORK THIS..

IT IS ABOUT WHAT THE TITLE SAYS "DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY" AND DURING THIS HOLIDAY NO ONE AN NOTHING DIES... IT IS VERY MUCH A MYSTERY... THE ENDING IS NOT LIKE THAT IN "MEET JOE BLACK"..

YOU NEED TO SEE THIS..
May 5, 2008
I love tracing things back to the source and the title for this film is so much cooler than 'Meet Joe Black.' It seems to have had very favorable reviews and is said to be haunting and beautiful.
February 25, 2008
You should see this one if you've seen Meet Joe Black with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt, you liked it and would like to see the original version from 1934. I saw this film years before the modern version was made and I liked it. But again I like films from all eras. It is a beautiful film with great actors and it tells you the story in less than 80 minutes (and not the 178 minutes of the 1998 version!). Just have in mind it's from 1934!!
December 30, 2007
Un film tres derangent, qui porte a pensee!
Le remake, "Meet Joe Black" decevant. comparer avec le 1re.
November 23, 2007
The idea is so good but it still could have descended into stinking offal (as the 1998 remake proved handily). Good thing it didn't. Maybe we don't see this film the same way audiences did when it was released because, in 2007, the subject just isn't controversial at all, but I think whatever it lost in the shock department over time it makes up for by capturing a certain era. Plus, for a move that anthropomorphized Death to the extent of giving him a love interest to succeed is just cool.
½ November 19, 2007
I really enjoyed this movie, I think I will watch it again to make sure I still think this highly of it, ist been a while.
November 19, 2007
wow, i missed the beginning of this movie, but it was great, and makes you wonder sometimes
November 7, 2007
Hopefully better than the mindnumbingly slow remake Meet Joe Black
September 12, 2007
This classic film is the basis for the Brad Pitt movie, MEET JOE BLACK. (Classic Hollywood does this story a greater justice though.) It's a wonderful story, and the special effects aren't bad either! :)
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