Friday movie pick: “DOUBLE NEGATIVE! Right?”*

by chuckofish

Perhaps you can tell from my relatively short blog posts this week that I have had a super busy one. Phew. TGIF.

When the highlight of one’s week is a dental appointment–because I always get high fives all around for my spectacular dental hygiene–you know you are in trouble.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to my weekend!

My movie pick for this weekend is Born Yesterday (1950) starring Judy Holliday as the scatter-brained Billie Dawn.

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Garson Kanin wrote the play for Jean Arthur who played the role of Billie out-of-town but left the role for personal reasons. Kanin then selected Holliday, 20 years younger than Arthur, as her replacement. Judy was a big hit on Broadway in the play, and in one of those Hollywood success stories where everything falls into place, she actually managed to reprise her part in the movie. It was practically unheard of that an unknown should get a big part like this! Then she won the Oscar, beating Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. And Judy deserved it.

Judy Holliday  is perfect as Billie Dawn, the ex-showgirl mistress of the loudmouthed, uncouth crook played by Broderick Crawford, who arrives in Washington D.C. planning to bribe a congressman. He hires a journalist (William Holden’s character) to smooth the rough edges of his girlfriend–you know, teach her some manners and how to make small talk with classy capitol types. His plan backfires, of course, as Billie–reading books on U.S. history–realizes how corrupt her boyfriend is. Hilarity ensues.

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Holliday’s career was set to take off, but her career–and her life–were cut short by cancer. She died in 1965 at 43.

So let us toast Judy Holliday (born Judith Tuvim in Sunnyside, Queens, New York) tomorrow on her birthday and watch Born Yesterday.

*Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday