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Judy Holliday's Oscar-winning performance is just one of the reasons to watch this terrific 1950 comedy, which is equally acclaimed for its deliciously witty screenplay (based on Garson Kanin's long-running Broadway hit) and George Cukor's silky-smooth direction. Holliday plays Billie Dawn, the floozie fiancée of a junk-dealer millionaire (Broderick Crawford), who is trying to make a good impression among the Washington, D.C., politicos he's hoping to influence. To ensure that Billie gets properly "culturefied," the corrupt Crawford hires a D.C. journalist (William Holden) to give the seemingly dim-witted blonde a crash course in politics, history, literature, and--you guessed it--true love. Billie's not nearly as dumb as she seems, of course, and before long she's graduated from pawn to sassy queen on her husband's political chessboard.
Watching Born Yesterday is a crash course in itself--an object lesson in how low American screen comedy has fallen from these delirious heights. The movie's funny even when there's a pause in the golden dialogue, such as when Holliday tests Crawford's patience in a sublimely comedic round of gin rummy. There's not a single scene in which Holliday (reprising her Broadway role) isn't simply perfect, the cogs turning smoothly behind her dim expressions and coarsely high-pitched squeal. Suave as ever, Holden is her match made in heaven, and Crawford is a brute who's too stupid to be genuinely malevolent. Put 'em all together and you've got a timeless classic, so flawless that a 1993 remake was instantly doomed to pale comparisons. --Jeff Shannon
Judy Holliday 1923-1965(Judith Tuvim) was the greatest comedy-actress in films. No question about it. Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by Henning Sebastian Jahre
From the moment she enters the picture and screeches "Whaaaaattttt??", in a voice that could peel wallpaper, you can't take your eyes off Judy Hollidays "Billie Dawn. Read morePublished on June 1 2002 by F. Gentile
Judy Holiday won an Oscar for this film, and no wonder: her performance of Billie Dawn, a "dumb broad" who suddenly wises up in a most unexpected way, is certainly one of... Read morePublished on Dec 11 2001 by Gary F. Taylor
I highly recommend this film. Judy Holiday and William Holden do a wonderful acting job in it and make a great pair. It's a film well worth seeing.Published on Dec 8 2001 by Rosella Ann Myles
Judy Holliday is the whole show in this story of a crooked junk dealer who hires a tutor to give his chorus girl girlfriend a little culture as he tries to buy his way into... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2001 by James L.
Born Yesterday has to be the only film that has an amazing cast, great dialogue and a history lesson all built into one. Read morePublished on June 13 2001 by A*
I think I over-rate this movie, but it has had a big effect on me and my movie-watching tastes. I first watched this movie in June this past summer, after the American Film... Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2000 by Andrew Gilmore