Review: ‘Death Takes a Holiday’

Because it has the word 'death' in it, Paramount tested the picture under another title, Strange Holiday, in California. Results showed that the original title meant the most at the box office.

Because it has the word ‘death’ in it, Paramount tested the picture under another title, Strange Holiday, in California. Results showed that the original title meant the most at the box office.

Action of picture [from a play by Alberto Casella] is laid in and around a foreign estate, the grandeur of which at times is singularly Hollywoodian. Fredric March is on top, playing Death. Wanting to take a holiday from that role, he wishes himself on a duke and his guests for three days, with death meanwhile stopping throughout the world.

Though highly fantastic, the pplot provides many interesting situations as Death in the disguise of a prince moves through a strata of love interest which must end after the three-day furlough.

March turns in a skillful performance, here playing a foreigner in an accent from which there is never a break or slip. He has opposite him for main heart interest Evelyn Venable, who screens well.

Death Takes a Holiday

Production

Paramount. Director Mitchell Leisen; Screenplay Maxwell Anderson, Gladys Lehman; Camera Charles Lang; Art Director Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1934. Running time: 79 MIN.

With

Fredric March Evelyn Venable Guy Standing Katherine Alexander Gail Patrick Helen Westley
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