The Info List - Death Takes A Holiday

Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
is a 1934 American Pre-Code
romantic drama starring Fredric March, Evelyn Venable
Evelyn Venable
and Guy Standing. It is based on the 1924 Italian play La Morte in Vacanza by Alberto Casella, as adapted in English for Broadway in 1929 by Walter Ferris.


1 Synopsis 2 Cast 3 Releases 4 Reception 5 Remakes and adaptations 6 Further reading 7 References 8 External links

Synopsis[edit] After years of questioning why people fear him, Death takes on human form (Fredric March) for three days so that he can mingle among mortals and find an answer. He finds a host in Duke Lambert (Guy Standing) after revealing himself and his intentions to the Duke, and takes up temporary residence in the Duke's villa. However, events soon spiral out of control as Death falls in love with the beautiful young Grazia (Evelyn Venable). As he does so, Duke Lambert, the father of Grazia's mortal lover Corrado (Kent Taylor), begs him to give Grazia up and leave her among the living. Death must decide whether to seek his own happiness, or sacrifice it so that Grazia may live. Cast[edit]

Fredric March
Fredric March
- Prince Sirki/Death Evelyn Venable
Evelyn Venable
- Grazia Guy Standing
Guy Standing
- Duke Lambert Katherine Alexander - Alda Gail Patrick
Gail Patrick
- Rhoda Kent Taylor - Corrado Helen Westley
Helen Westley
- Stephanie Henry Travers
Henry Travers
- Baron Cesarea Kathleen Howard
Kathleen Howard
- Princess Maria

Releases[edit] The theatrical premiere of the film was on February 23, 1934 at the Paramount Theatre in New York City.[1] The home video releases have been:

Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
(VHS). Universal Studios. March 8, 1999.  Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
(DVD). Universal Studios. January 9, 2007.  (as part of the Meet Joe Black
Meet Joe Black
Ultimate Edition) Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
(DVD). Universal Studios. January 11, 2010. 

Reception[edit] The film was an enormous critical success.[2] Time called it "thoughtful and delicately morbid", while Mordaunt Hall for The New York Times wrote that "it is an impressive picture, each scene of which calls for close attention". Richard Watts, Jr, for the New York Herald Tribune, described it as "An interesting, frequently striking and occasionally beautiful dramatic fantasy", while the Chicago Daily Tribune said that March was "completely submerged in probably the greatest role he has ever played."[3] Variety called it "the kind of story and picture that beckons the thinker, and for this reason is likely to have greater appeal among the intelligensia." It praised March's performance as "skillful".[4] John Mosher of The New Yorker
The New Yorker
wrote that the film was "nicely done", although he suggested it was "a little obnoxious with all its talk of being in love with death."[5] The film was a box office disappointment for Paramount.[6] The American Film Institute
American Film Institute
recognized the film with a nomination in its 2002 list, AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions.[7] Remakes and adaptations[edit] It aired as the drama of the week on Cecil B. DeMille's Lux Radio Theatre on March 22, 1937, starring Fredric March
Fredric March
as Death and his wife, actress Florence Eldridge, as Grazia. Universal Studios, which acquired the rights to the film in 1962 following a merger with then-owners MCA, made a 1971 television production featuring Yvette Mimieux, Monte Markham, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
and Bert Convy. Loy related in her biography that the production was marred by a decline in filming production standards; she described a frustrated Douglas storming off the set and returning to his home in New York when a tour guide interrupted the filming of one of his dramatic scenes to point out Rock Hudson's dressing room. The film was remade by Universal again in 1998 as Meet Joe Black
Meet Joe Black
starring Brad Pitt, Claire Forlani
Claire Forlani
and Anthony Hopkins.[citation needed] It was adapted into a musical by Maury Yeston with the book by Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan. It began previews Off-Broadway on June 10, and officially opened on July 21, 2011, in a limited engagement through September 4, 2011, at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre in a production by Roundabout Theatre Company.[8] A May 2006 episode of the television drama Medium also builds on the concept of death portrayed as a man. The season 2 episode is similarly called, "Death Takes a Policy." Further reading[edit]

Loy, Myrna and Kotsilibis-Davies, James — Being and Becoming, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1987; ISBN 1-55611-101-0 Quirk, Lawrence J. — The Films of Fredric March, The Citadel Press, 1971; ISBN 0-8065-0413-7


^ a b " Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
(1934)". Toronto Film Society. October 21, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2015.  ^ Churchill, Douglas W. The Year in Hollywood: 1934 May Be Remembered as the Beginning of the Sweetness-and-Light Era (gate locked); New York Times [New York, NY], December 30, 1934: X5; retrieved December 16, 2013. ^ Striner, Richard (2011). Supernatural Romance in Film: Tales of Love, Death and the Afterlife. McFarland and Company. pp. 21–22. ISBN 9780786484874.  ^ "Death Takes a Holiday". Variety. New York: Variety, Inc. February 27, 1934.  ^ Mosher, John C. (March 3, 1934). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker. New York: F-R Publishing: 66.  ^ By, D. W. (1934, Nov 25). TAKING A LOOK AT THE RECORD. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/101193306?accountid=13902 ^ " AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-18.  ^ Jones, Kenneth. Julian Ovenden's Reaper Has a Song in His Heart in Death Takes a Holiday, Premiering in NYC" Archived 2011-06-22 at the Wayback Machine.. Playbill.com, June 10, 2011.

External links[edit]

Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
at AllMovie Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
(1934) on IMDb Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
(1971) on IMDb Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
on Lux Radio Theater: March 22, 1937

v t e

Films directed by Mitchell Leisen

Cradle Song (1933) Death Takes a Holiday
Death Takes a Holiday
(1934) Murder at the Vanities (1934) Behold My Wife! (1934) Four Hours to Kill!
Four Hours to Kill!
(1935) Hands Across the Table
Hands Across the Table
(1935) 13 Hours by Air
13 Hours by Air
(1936) The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936) Swing High, Swing Low (1937) Easy Living (1937) The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938) Artists and Models Abroad
Artists and Models Abroad
(1938) Midnight (1939) Remember the Night
Remember the Night
(1940) Arise, My Love
Arise, My Love
(1940) I Wanted Wings
I Wanted Wings
(1941) Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
(1941) The Lady Is Willing (1942) Take a Letter, Darling
Take a Letter, Darling
(1942) No Time for Love (1943) Lady in the Dark (1944) Frenchman's Creek (1944) Practically Yours
Practically Yours
(1944) Kitty (1945) Masquerade in Mexico (1945) To Each His Own (1946) Suddenly, It's Spring
Suddenly, It's Spring
(1947) Golden Earrings
Golden Earrings
(1947) Dream Girl (1948) Bride of Vengeance (1949) Song of Surrender (1949) No Man of Her Own
No Man of Her Own
(1950) Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950) The Mating Season (1951) Darling, How Could You! (1951) Young Man with Ideas
Young Man with Ideas
(1952) Tonight We Sing (1953) Bedevilled (1955) The Girl Most L