Hold Back the Dawn 1941

Hold Back the Dawn

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 7

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 508

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Movie Info

Impressionable teacher Emmy (Olivia de Havilland) is swept off her feet when she meets Georges (Charles Boyer) in a Mexican border town. Unaware that Georges is a gigolo looking for a woman who will unwittingly help him get a green card, Emmy marries him after only a few days. While carrying out the charade, Georges begins to fall for Emmy, angering his girlfriend, Anita (Paulette Goddard). As his scheme is jeopardized, Georges learns keeping Emmy may be more important than his green card.

Cast & Crew

Charles Boyer
Georges Iscovescu
Victor Francen
Van Den Luecken
Walter Abel
Inspector Hammock
Eric Feldary
Josef Kurz
Nestor Paiva
Fred Flores
Ketti Frings
Screenwriter
Leo Tover
Cinematographer
Victor Young
Original Music
Hans Dreier
Art Director
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Hold Back the Dawn

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (7)

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

    February 3, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    February 3, 2012 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • This romantic weepie is both moving and effectively stylish.

    February 3, 2012 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A top-drawer melodrama that's only hampered by a rocky start and a rushed finale.

    July 20, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A wonderful film which confounds expectations again and again.

    July 11, 2019 | Full Review…
  • A touching and memorable film, this brilliant romance offers evocative performances by Boyer and de Havilland.

    February 3, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hold Back the Dawn

  • Dec 02, 2019
    An involving script drives this still timely work about immigration and the lengths people would go to to enter the United States. Charles Boyer is aptly our would be slimy immigrant lead, and Olivia DeHavilland his pure-as-the-driven-snow mark, his target, his ticket into the country. While I first disliked the premise, I was eventually won over by the work of the leads. Not bad.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2014
    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 n Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2011
    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 S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 01, 2011
    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 D Super Reviewer

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