BORN YESTERDAY (1950) B/W 103m dir: George Cukor
w/Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford, William Holden, Howard St. John, Frank Otto, Larry Oliver, Barbara Brown, Grandon Rhodes, Claire Carlton, Smoki Whitfield
From The Movie Guide: "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 the screen. As the malaprop-tossing mistress of scrap-metal tycoon Crawford, she is unknowing 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 successive films. Holliday's priceless characterization earned her an Oscar for Best Actress ..., 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 game."
From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films: "A typical sophisticated comedy, but also a satire about a woman rebelling against her 'sugar daddy' and his crooked dealings. One of Cukor's best comedies, with a remarkable performance by Judy Holliday."
The picture was also nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (Albert Mannheimer), and Costume Design (Jean Louis).
This original version is superior to the 1993 remake with Melanie Griffith, John Goodman, and Don Johnson.