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born-yesterday

BORN YESTERDAY (1950)

Harry Brock is a reckless tycoon descending upon Washington D.C. to purchase a congressman or two.  Along for the ride is his ex-showgirl mistress, Billie Dawn.  Hoping to make her more presentable among the public of the nation's capital, Brock hires newspaperman Paul Verrall to soften Billie's rough-around-the-edges demeanor. But, Harry gets more than he bargains for when Verrall becomes more than just a tutor to Billie, but a potential lover as well.

The cast includes Judy Holliday, William Holden, Broderick Crawford, and Howard St. John.

Judy Holliday won the Best Actress Oscar for her "Born Yesterday" performance.

Director George Cukor's "Born Yesterday" is a funny look at high and low society. Cukor received a nomination for best directing.

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The basic story is set in Washington, D.C. where a loud, uncouth rich junk dealer, Harry Brock, comes to town to buy influence with elected officials, bringing his mistress, Billie Dawn with him.

As he realizes that this ex showgirl needs to lose some of her rough edges in order to be accepted in Washington D.C. society, he hires a reporter, Paul Verrall, to improve and upgrade his low class girlfriend's mind, and teach her proper etiquette. Verrall's tutoring of Billie Dawn not only expands her awareness of subjects like history, she also realizes for the first time what a two-bit, corrupt crook Harry is, and finds herself falling in love with her handsome tutor.

BORN YESTERDAY was considered to be the last, great screw ball comedy, brilliantly directed by the gifted George Cukor, who knew how to put together sparkling comedies, such as THE PHILADELPHIA STORY and ADAM'S RIB.

George Cukor had said, "Give me a good script and I'll be a hundred times better as a director." Well, Garson Kanin, who wrote the original play, and Albert Mannheimer stepped up to the plate and wrote this hilarious screenplay.

The talented cast gave their best performances under the insightful direction by Cukor.

Judy Holliday, as Billie Dawn, who made a name for herself on Broadway playing this role, is delightful as the ultimate dumb blonde. She won an Oscar for her role here.

William Holden, as Paul Verrall, was well cast as the cultured intellectual. His scenes with Holliday are priceless. Garson Kanin wrote the hilarious screenplay.

Broderick Crawford, as Harry Brock, seemed born to play the role of the rude and crude rich junk dealer. His interactions with the educated Paul Verrall, are well one, offering classic examples of "oil and water" types sparking off each other. Crawford won an Oscar for his work in ALL THE KING'S MEN (1949).

The scenes between Holden and Judy Holliday are priceless. The contrasts in style and vocal delivery add much to the fun.

BORN YESTERDAY was remade in 1993 by director, Luis Mandoki, with Melanie Griffith, John Goodman, and Don Johnson. It's not bad, but not really in the same league as the classic original.

If you enjoyed BORN YESTERDAY you may like PAT AND MIKE, MY FAIR LADY, PHFFFT!, OSCAR, WORKING GIRL, and PICNIC.