Born Yesterday is a film from 1950, where an uncouth (and criminal) businessman hires a tutor to educate his ‘dumb broad’ girlfriend.
Broderick Crawford (what a completely quintessential Hollywood name by the way) plays Harry Brock, a mobster type character, who you can tell from the outset is up to no good. He hires William Holden’s character Paul Verrall to educate his ignoramus girlfriend played by Judy Holliday in order for her to fit in with the people of Washington.
Crawford plays this douchebag very well, as he brings to life the sort of old school criminal that you expect to see in the movies.
Judy Holliday played Billie Dawn on Broadway before reprising the role in the movie version of Born yesterday. She wasn’t the first choice though, and through the help of the awesome Katharine Hepburn in Adam’s Rib, she was able to secure the role. Katharine Hepburn leaked stories to the press that Judy outshone herself and Spencer Tracy in the movie.
Billie Dawn is the uneducated girlfriend to Harry Brock.
She was stunning in this role, whenever she was on screen, there might as well have been no one else. She won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for this amazing performance.
William Holden plays Paul Verrall, a tutor hired to educate Billie Dawn. He has perfect movie star looks, but he also had a performance that backed it up.
The plot of the movie sort of sounds like it’s sexist – a mobster with a dimwitted wife blah blah blah. But it actually wasn’t, which was pretty surprising, especially for it’s day (spoiler alert: although there is an unsettling scene where Harry hits Billie across the face). Judy Holliday utters the famous line in this movie “Would you do me a favour Harry? Drop dead.”.
It’s a very good movie that holds up well. Judy Holliday’s performance really makes the movie though.