A tycoon (Broderick Crawford) hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette, with unexpected results.
Brassy blonde moll Billie Dawn (Judy Holliday) hits Washington, D.C., with her unscrupulous millionaire sugar daddy, Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford), and his sleazy lawyer, Jim Devery (Howard St. John), who has been pressuring Harry to marry Billie by pointing out that a wife cannot be forced to testify against her husband. In an effort to make Billie more socially acceptable, Harry hires journalist Paul Verrall (William Holden) to smarten her up — and sparks soon fly between the pair.
Born Yesterday, which was based on a play by Garson Kanin, featured Holliday as Billie Dawn, the dumb mistress of low-class tycoon Harry Brock (played by Broderick Crawford), who comes to Washington to lobby congressmen. He enlists the aid of newspaperman Paul Verrall (William Holden) in polishing the manners and common sense of former showgirl Billie. As she improves her education, she realizes how she has been used by the corrupt Brock, and she begins to exact revenge in amusing ways. Ultimately, her best revenge is falling in love with Verrall.
Although Holliday triumphed in the stage version of Born Yesterday, Hollywood was not initially impressed. It was only after studio officials failed to sign other actresses for the lead role, including first-choice Rita Hayworth, that they relented and gave the part to Holliday, who went on to win an Oscar for her performance. The part relegated her to “dumb blonde” roles in future films, though she reportedly had an IQ of 172.
Judy Holliday was an American actress, comedian, and singer. She began her career as part of a nightclub act before working in Broadway plays and musicals. Wikipedia
William Holden was an American actor who was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950s. He won the Oscar for Best Actor for the film Stalag 17, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for the television film The Blue Knight. Wikipedia
Theatrical trailer for the 1950 film version of Garson Kanin’s “Born Yesterday” starring Best Actress Oscar winner Judy Holliday, William Holden and Broderick Crawford. Directed by George Cukor. Pygmalionesque story about a disreputable business tycoon who sends his kept woman to be socially educated by a former journalist.