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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Movie Review: "Born Yesterday" (1950)


I made some minor tweaks to my blog. I pulled the search bar just beneath the tab bars and I turned the blogathon banners into a moving sidebar - I'm not sure how I feel about the latter, though. I did it to make my sidebar less crowded and give it a neater feel, but the pictures are really tiny and you have to squint to see which blog is hosting what blogathon, and on which dates, and etc. Input on this, dear readers is encouraged. :]

It is finally October! It's nice and cold here in fact, yesterday it dropped into the forties and I spent the day in a leg warmers and a sweater. (You summer lovers must be shaking your head in disdain and wonder. Yeah, my mother can't figure out my affection for the cold weather, either.)

My goodness, I October. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays - it used to be my favorite when I was a little kid, the excitement of trick or treating and dressing up. I've decided my favorite holiday must be Christmas now, because I just adore that time of the year and I don't think you can really grow out of loving Christmas like you can grow out of trick or treating. But ANYWAY, I still really love Halloween and dressing up. And the spookiness. Yess, the more I will start talking about Halloween the more my heart will swell with love and affection for the holiday :]

So since it's October, I think I'm going to try and do some horror movie talk on Frankly, My Dear. I think horror movies are fun but believe it or not, I haven't seen that many. I truthfully don't know why. But now it's just the time of the year to do so, so keep a look out for those sort of films in the following Sundays of October.

Besides that, Frankly, My Dear will turn three months old on the sixteenth of this month! This is exciting and important because then we'll be eligible to join the LAMB (or Large Association of Movie Blogs). Of course, I can imagine it will be quite a while - perhaps a few months or so until we are officially accepted. Still. I was all revved up to join the CMBA (Classic Movie Blog Association), and then I discovered they aren't taking new members for the remainder of the year and I'll have to wait until 2012. :( You see, I'm not a very patient girl.

Anyway, October promises to be an exciting month here (the 60th annviersary of I Love Lucy is coming up, as well... *squeal*!), and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for new followers. Because you followers are lovely people and if I could I think I'd personally thank each of you. Yes. I would. :)

With all this talk of holidays, it's perfectly appropriate that I have a Judy Holliday movie to  review for you today.


Boorish business tycoon Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford) fears that ditsy fiancĂ©e Billie Dawn (Judy Holliday) will prove an embarrassment in the presence of politicos he wants to influence, so he hires a reporter (William Holden) to tutor the ostensibly brainless blonde in the political and social graces. Brock gets more than he bargained for, however, when the journalist transforms Billie into the backroom dealmaker's most formidable foe. [summary from Netflix]

The cast has:
  • Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn
  • William Holden as Paul Verrall
  • Broderick Crawford as Harry Brock.
And, it is directed by the always fabulous George Cukor. (Really. I was always annoyed that Selznick fired him off "Gone With the Wind" -- I mean, I'm not going to criticize Victor Fleming because my dear Ingrid Bergman liked him a WHOLE lot, but Cukor is awesome).

I am going to tell you straight off, I really loved this movie.

It's kind of like a screwball take on "Pygmalion" (like "My Fair Lady" was the musical, British twist on that). Actually, calling this "screwball" may be out of context. When I say "screwball", I usually think of something based on a misunderstanding with a series of pratfalls and physical comedy following it; there wasn't much of that in "Born Yesterday". 

But anyway, I don't care what you call it, just adored this movie. Let's talk Judy Holliday.

This is probably her best known film as it is the one that won her the Oscar. The only other movie I have seen her in is "Adam's Rib", and that was a while ago. So believe it or not, when she opened her mouth and that Lina Lamount voice came out, I was surprised and actually leaned over to ask my father if that was Judy's real voice. Yeah, I'm pretty stupid.

But anyway, her voice was just perfect for this character. And everything she did with the character was lovely and sharp and witty - her comedic timing was perfect. And this is coming from a person who uses Lucy as her standard of perfect comedy, and Judy really was at the Lucy standard here.

Because you see, she plays the character to perfection. She demonstrates quite exactly all the emotions we should feel for her character. I mean, I really loved her character. She was just funny and you wanted everything to land up okay for her in the end and she really was the perfect "dumb blonde" who was "born yesterday", except she wasn't annoying. Lina Lamount esque. (Except Lina came afterwards. So...)

Judy carries the whole movie. William Holden and Broderick Crawford are good, too, but it is her movie. She totally deserves the Oscar. Take this scene, for example, in which she is playing cards with Broderick Crawford. Not a word she says, albeit my father and I were laughing throughout the whole scene. 

She has really good chemistry with William Holden was well. You just want them to get together the whole movie through.

That brings me to Bill Holden. Like I said before, he is good, handsome, and helps Judy carry the movie. He doesn't exactly steal scenes or anything, but for his character and this particular movie that's okay.

Broderick Crawford is really good as Judy's boisterous boyfriend as well. I hated his character, but that was exactly what the role called for. Once again, he doesn't carry the movie off or anything but that is entirely appropriate because you want this to be Judy's movie completely.

In all fairness, it did start off kind of slow but it gets so much better. This review is entirely short, but there isn't much more that I can say, really, besides I loved it!

I'm going to give it a four and a half out of five stars. I encourage you to go and watch this movie right away, and you can do it this instant. It's right here on Youtube:

Just watch it. It's lovely, really.

I'm leaving you with this photo I found of Joan Bennett, from the movie "Scarlet Street", I believe. I LOVE it. It's film noir and spooky-esque, which is perfect for Halloween. I wish I would have found it while researching for my Anatomy of a Film Noir article. 

Au revior!! ♥ 

(Yes, I am in a French mood. And I'm in the mood for hearts, too.)


Irene Palfy said...

Great review.. I LOVE that film. It's one of my all-time favourites! (there are so many but this film will always have a prominent place in it..) Same goes for Judy Holliday who will it always and forever make it into my personal top five female actresses.. ;")

That card play scene is really awesome - she is doing a fantastic job.

Just by the way: I like cold weather much better, too.. ;")

Have a great Sunday, Rianna - and thank you for leaving comments!

Rianna said...

I loved it, too. So funny!! And I am starting to have a real appreciation for Judy. I hope to see more of her films. (She's got the cutest voice!)

Yes, it is and what really cracked me up is when she starts singing, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love"!

Yay, glad to know I'm not alone! Even though my fingers are frozen right now as I'm typing, I still <3 the cold weather.

Thank you. You too! :)

Irene Palfy said...

Gosh! Yes!! Her singing!! That's pure awesomeness!! His reactions a pretty good, too. They are a real good team..

And I LOVE her outfits!

Hope your fingers are "defrosted" by now..

Rianna said...

Yes, it was hilarious! And I loved her outfits. I couldn't wear anything like that, but Judy pulls it off quite well, don't you think? lol :)

It's still freezing, but I think my body is adjusting to it! :)

Irene Palfy said...

oh - that's the best part: When your body is adjusted to the cold.. I love to wear cuffs when it starts to cool down..

And: I adore that Joan Bennett picture..

StanwyckFan said...

Sounds like a good movie, Rianna! I think I'm going to watch this one - I've been wanting to see more Bill Holden movies. :)

Rianna said...

Irene - Same, I'm wild about winter fashion, haha! I know, isn't amazing?

Natalie - It definitely was, you should see it! :)

Jennifer Thompson said...

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