Born Yesterday

The highlight of this lively Garson Kanin Broadway comedy is the most delightful "dumb blonde" to ever grace the screen, Holliday, in a role she originated on stage and nearly did not get to re-create on screen. As the malaprop-tossing mistress of scrap metal tycoon Crawford, she is unknowingly put in nominal charge of his shady empire so that he can cover...read more

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The highlight of this lively Garson Kanin Broadway comedy is the most delightful "dumb blonde" to ever grace the screen, Holliday, in a role she originated on stage and nearly did not get to re-create on screen. As the malaprop-tossing mistress of scrap metal tycoon Crawford, she is

unknowingly put in nominal charge of his shady empire so that he can cover his tracks. Though no paragon of high culture himself, Crawford is embarrassed by his paramour's lack of social refinement. He hires her a tutor, Holden, who actually plans to write a series of articles exposing Crawford's

slippery operations. The PYGMALION-like process of changing the tasteless yet street-savvy Holliday into a cultured lady is loaded with laughs and inoffensive sexual innuendoes. The situation gets more complicated as Holliday and Holden fall in love.

Crawford is frightening yet funny as the tycoon and Holden is effective in his appealing if low-key role. But Holliday is the film's most enduring treasure. Indeed, she was so effective as a dumb blonde that she was typecast in most of her subsequent films. Holliday's priceless

characterization earned her an Oscar for Best Actress (one of BORN YESTERDAY's five nominations including: Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Best Costume Design), a considerable achievement in light of her stellar competition that year: Gloria Swanson in SUNSET BOULEVARD and

Bette Davis in ALL ABOUT EVE. A sheer delight, even if one only remembers the classic gin rummy scene.

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