Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

As avid readers of this blog probably know, we rarely dip into the vault of Hollywood classic movies. When talking about Meet Joe Black about a week ago, I remembered buying a special edition of MJB that had the original film, Death Takes a Holiday in the bonus features.

At the turn of the century, writers and actors were only beginning to spread their creative wings. One of those out of the box ideas was Death Takes a Holiday. The story featured Death living as a mortal for a few days. Of course, those unfamiliar with the story will learn that Death falls in love with a human and well, the rest is chaos.

I’ve seen this film once or twice before. I barely remembered the story, except that Death takes the place of a handsome prince. The whole angle works because no one really knew who this Prince Sirkiri was and what he looked like.

The short film, 1:19 long, is entertaining because of the period. News is only spread through newspapers, which allows for such a story to unfold. No one believes that Death is real, and all of a sudden, nothing terrible has happened in the world for three days. It is rather odd, but no one puts the pieces together.

The love angle may be the focal point even though that part of the story doesn’t get all the attention it deserves. Since everything happens so quickly, it was hard to be invested in a forbidden love that isn’t as powerful as you would want it to be.

One can only imagine what watching this movie was like back in 1934, but for 2020, I can say it probably achieved what it set out. I think what we were meant to discover here is that humans should appreciate their fate and destiny a little bit more. Also, if you find a love that you are meant to be with, don’t ever give up on it. You just never know when your time will come. 5/10

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