Time: 118 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Won Academy Award for Best Actress. Nominated for Best Costume Design, Screenplay, Director and Best Picture.
SYNOPSIS: A million dollar Tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette.
BOTTOM LINE: There are two reasons why I decided to watch this film. The first is my ever-growing fascination with William Holden. The second is Judy Holliday. She won an Oscar for her role, so I figured it had to worth seeing at least once. I've only ever seen her once before in ADAM'S RIB where she practically steals the show from Hepburn and Tracy. Regrettably, she's the only worthwhile part of this romantic comedy.
She plays Billie, a dumb blond forced by her meathead mafia boyfriend Harry (Crawford) to educate herself so he won't be embarrassed every time she opens her mouth. Harry hires a journalist Paul Verrall (Holden) to make her into a smart and acceptable lady. Not an easy task when the last thing she read was a gum wrapper. It quickly becomes clear, at least to Paul, that Billie isn't as ignorant as she appears. In fact, she takes to learning so well, she quickly becomes an independent thinker, much to Harry's dismay. He wanted her to be presentable, not a pain in his ass.
Things progress exactly as expected: Billie and Paul fall in love and Harry gets his just reward for being a mean bastard. Holliday is amazingly funny and feisty as the blond who finds her brain along with her self-esteem. Everything else about the film falls flat, even the love story angle. Crawford is just too unappealing to be believed and Holden has never been more bland. Therefore, neither coupling has much chemistry. It takes everything they have to keep up with Holliday's energy who puts in a great star turn, despite the uneven story.