Thursday, October 29, 2009

I think it's the best thing I ever read... I didn't understand one word!

I revisited a (recent) favorite the other day: Born Yesterday (1950) with Judy Holliday and William Holden. I say recent because I didn't discover Miss Holliday until about 2 years ago and I didn't watch Born Yesterday until about a year and a half ago. I dismissed it, sadly, after the scene where Billie gets smacked (sorry for the small spoiler there) and didn't revisit it again until this past summer. I fell in love with it the second time I saw it and promptly bought it. It's such a wonderful movie. For those of you who haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Upon discovering Judy Holliday, she quickly became a favorite. She is such a genuine actress, giving her characters (particularly Billie Dawn) a brilliant combination of innocence and worldliness, naivety and wisdom. She's adorable and strong at the same time. And William Holden is a wonderful (and beautiful) actor, exuding charm, intelligence, and quiet passion.

Now, this is the scene spotlight segment, but I just wanted to give brief praise to the movie before launching into my discussion of the scene. The scene is one of my favorites in the movie, despite the fact that William Holden is not in it. In this scene, Billie Dawn (Holliday) is playing gin rummy with her boyfriend, the crooked, rich, and abusive Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford). Both hilarious and sad, the scene shows the couple's relationship at the beginning of the movie and also shows Billie's innate intelligence as she strategizes. Billie knows how to work her boyfriend but is still intimidated and affected by his emotional abuse. It's a wonderful testament to Holliday's talents as an actress as she evokes several emotions from her audience with minimal dialogue. I also love the the way Crawford's abuse and affection come through in this short scene - very well done.

So, enjoy it! If you haven't seen the movie, do yourself a favor and check it out. And, what should we say for discussion? Judy Holliday is one of the famous "dumb blondes" in movies. There were several amazing and clever actresses who portrayed dumb blondes. Who is your favorite? Or least favorite? Or is it impossible to choose between them? For myself, I think I'd have to say Judy Holliday and the wonderful Marilyn Monroe would be at the top of the list. I'm not a huge fan of Jean Harlow. If you know of any good movies of hers, please recommend them!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about your favorite "dumb blonds". They have an interesting kind of strength because they seem to be "dumb" but manage to have the last word. Judy Holliday is definitely one of my favorite actresses and this a top movie...another great one with her is the "Solid Gold Cadillac"...cute!


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