The Info List - Hold Back The Dawn

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Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
is a 1941 romantic film in which a Romanian gigolo marries an American woman in Mexico
in order to gain entry to the United States, but winds up falling in love with her. It stars Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard, Victor Francen, Walter Abel, Curt Bois
Curt Bois
and Rosemary DeCamp. The movie was adapted by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
from the book by Ketti Frings. It was directed by Mitchell Leisen. It was nominated for Academy Awards
Academy Awards
for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Olivia de Havilland), Best Writing, Screenplay, Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Black-and-White, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture.[1]


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Adaptations to other media 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Plot[edit] The story opens with Georges Iscovescu (Boyer) recounting his story to a Hollywood film director at Paramount in an effort to earn some quick cash. Georges is a Romanian-born gigolo who has arrived in a Mexican border town seeking entry to the US. He has to endure a waiting period of up to eight years in order to obtain a quota number, living with other hopeful immigrants in the Esperanza Hotel. After six months he is broke and unhappy. When he runs into his former dancing partner Anita Dixon (Goddard) she explains how she quickly obtained US citizenship by marrying an American, who she then, just as quickly, divorced. Georges resolves on the same plan. He soon targets visiting school teacher Miss Emmy Brown (de Havilland), who is in Mexico
on a day trip with her class of about fifteen young boys. Georges manages to extend the time necessary to repair her broken down automobile. Emmy and her pupils sleep in the lobby of the full-up Esperanza Hotel. This provides Georges the opportunity to quickly and intensively woo Emmy in the early morning hours; she awakens to him sitting nearby and gazing at her lovingly. By claiming she is the exact image of the lost love of his life, his seemingly intense ardor toward a stranger is plausible, and they marry later that same day. However, George must wait some weeks before entering the US, and Emmy returns home with the boys. A few days later, Emmy unexpectedly returns, complicating Georges' plans. Immigration inspector Hammock (Abel) also appears, hunting for con artists such as Georges, and necessitating Georges' and an unwitting Emmy's departure. He drives all night, arriving at dawn in a small village. They participate in a festival of traditional blessings for newlyweds, an event that Emmy assumes has been Georges' destination all along. Georges had not planned on consummating marriage, believing that he could return her to her small town essentially unchanged by the marriage, and fakes a shoulder injury. However, as the trip continues, he is surprised and increasingly enchanted by Emmy. When they stop at the seaside, Emmy bathes in the cool green water and Georges is unable to resist making love to her. However this jeopardizes Anita's plan for she and Georges to meet in New York and work together, to which he had agreed. Anita has long been in love with Georges, and on their return, brutally informs Emmy of the entire scheme reciting the inscription on Emmy's wedding ring, which Georges' said was his mother's. Hammock then asks Emmy to verify the legitimacy of her marriage; she does not turn him in, partially blaming her own naiveté, but nevertheless leaves him. Returning to the US, she drives distractedly, in anguish at Georges' betrayal. When a black lace veil Georges had bought her is blown into her face, she is seriously injured in a car accident. When Georges learns of this, he immediately crosses the border, jeopardizing his visa to go to her. On hearing his voice she awakens; seeing him, her misery relieved and her breathing and heartbeat normalize as he sits with her for hours. However, Hammock is still on his tail, and when Georges sees police arriving, he takes off. He heads to Paramount to try to sell his story to director Dwight Saxon (Mitchell Leisen), in order to get the money for Emmy's care. Hammock catches up with him and returns him to Mexico. Some weeks later Hammock returns to the border town. Anita has a new sugar daddy. Georges has unsurprisingly not heard from Emmy, and believes the worst, sitting dejectedly on a bench writing notes in the sand. Hammock joins him, and tells Georges that he didn't report the illegal entry – Georges' visa has been approved. Georges looks up to see Emmy, in a beautiful hat, happily waving to him in the sun from across the border. He crosses, and they depart. Cast[edit]

Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
as Georges Iscoveu Olivia de Havilland
Olivia de Havilland
as Emmy Brown Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
as Anita Dixon Victor Francen
Victor Francen
as Van Den Luecken Walter Abel
Walter Abel
as Inspector Hammock Curt Bois
Curt Bois
as Bonbois Rosemary DeCamp
Rosemary DeCamp
as Berta Kurz Eric Feldary as Josef Kurz Nestor Paiva
Nestor Paiva
as Red Flores Eva Puig as Lupita Micheline Cheirel
Micheline Cheirel
as Christine Madeleine Lebeau
Madeleine Lebeau
as Annie Billy Lee as Tony Mikhail Rasumny
Mikhail Rasumny
as Car Mechanic Charles Arnt as Mr. John MacAdams Arthur Loft as Mr. Elvestad Mitchell Leisen
Mitchell Leisen
as Mr. Saxon

Adaptations to other media[edit] Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
was adapted as a radio play on the November 10, 1941 episode of Lux Radio Theater
Lux Radio Theater
with Charles Boyer, Paulette Goddard and Susan Hayward, again on the February 8, 1943 episode of The Screen Guild Theater with Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
and Susan Hayward, the July 31, 1946 episode of Academy Award Theater starring Olivia de Havilland
Olivia de Havilland
and Jean Pierre Aumont, the May 31, 1948 episode of Screen Guild Theater
Screen Guild Theater
with Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
and Ida Lupino, the May 14, 1949 episode of Screen Director's Playhouse with Boyer and Vanessa Brown, the May 4, 1950 episode of Screen Guild Theater
Screen Guild Theater
with de Havilland and Boyer and the June 15, 1952 Screen Guild Theater
Screen Guild Theater
with Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
and Jean Pierre Aumont.[2] It was presented on Broadway Playhouse January 14, 1953, with Joseph Cotten starring.[3] See also[edit]

Green Card (later film with a similar theme)


^ "NY Times: Hold Back the Dawn". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-13.  ^ "Hold Back the Dawn". 26 September 1941. Retrieved 3 November 2016 – via IMDb.  ^ Kirby, Walter (January 11, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved June 19, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. 

External links[edit]

Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
on IMDb Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
at AllMovie Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
at the TCM Movie Database Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
at the American Film Institute Catalog

Streaming audio

Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
on Lux Radio Theater: November 10, 1941 Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
on Screen Guild Theater: February 8, 1943 Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
on Academy Award Theater: July 31, 1946 Hold Back the Dawn
Hold Back the Dawn
on Screen Directors Playhouse: May 15, 1949

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