A Tale of Two Born Yesterdays

August 26, 2014 | By

BornYesterday1950_BRTwilight Time’s release of the Born Yesterday (1950) on Blu-ray kind of mandated a need to check out both George Cukor’s original film and Luis Mandoki’s 1993 version (from Buena Vista / Disney) starring Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, and John Goodman in the roles previously inhabited by Judy Holliday, William Holden, and Broderick Crawford.

The 1993 isn’t especially good – it’s a big steaming misfire packed with miscalculations – and in the long & windy review I try to address why it fumbles so badly right from the start, whereas the 1950 film remains so potent.

I would love to see Kanin’s own 1956 live TV version, but that’s perhaps an impossibility. Apparently this episode of the Halmark Hall of Fame was broadcast in colour, but perhaps a B&W kinescope survives somewhere in the vaults of the Paley Center for Media.

A review of Brick Mansions will follow shortly, but here’s a short gallery of the posters designed to sell Born Yesterday to 1950s audiences, plus some snarky editorial quips:



U.S. poster, with an emphasis (sigh…) on big actor heads.


Literal translation from French: “How the Spirit Comes to Women:”


Red means sexy in this Italian poster. Billie in a red dress means super-sexy, especially with big actor heads peering through giant glasses.


Literal translation from German: “She is not from Yesterday.” Okay! I Got it!





Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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