If only real life were as satisfyingly ironic as the plot of “Born Yesterday” (1950) screening at 6:30 p.m., Thursday at Mesa Public Library as part of its Free Film Series.
In the spirit of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” the film features an educated man “remaking” an unrefined woman. However, in this case, it is the woman’s patronizing though even less refined fiance who hires the handsome tutor.
The phrase “you have no one to blame but yourself” has never been more apt, as the loud, brash — but also vulnerable and intelligent — wife (Judy Holliday) immerses herself in study only to realize that her beloved (Broderick Crawford) is an ignorant, selfish, dishonorable creep.
Luckily, the man assigned to enlighten her on Socrates and Abraham Lincoln (William Holden) has been falling in love with her all along.
The film falls prey to some of the gender stereotypes of its day and often gets carried away with “mansplaining,” but Holliday does an amazing job creating a female character that thinks, feels, and desires for herself. She won an Oscar for Best Actress (1951) for her work.
With “Born Yesterday,” director George Cukor found actors up to the challenges of Garson Kanin and Albert Mannheimer’s excellent, fast-paced script and created a classic.
All screenings the Mesa Public Library Free Film Series are free of charge, thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries. The library shows movies to its upstairs meeting-room theater on the first Thursday of nearly every month.
The series will close Dec. 1 with “Paper Moon”.
For more information, call the library at 505.662.8240 or check online at http://www.losalamosnm.us/library/Pages/default.aspx under “Events and Classes.”