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USA 1938
Directed by
George Cukor
98 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Released the same year as the Howard Hawks' gilt-edged classic Bringing Up Baby which also paired Cary Grant with Katharine Hepburn, Cukor’s comedy, adapted by the director with Donald Ogden Stewart (who had played the Grant part on stage) and Sidney Buchman from a play by Philip Barry who also wrote The Philadelphia Story (which would be filmed in 1940 by Cukor with Grant and Hepburn in the leads) Holiday is a likeable-enough"class" comedy with a familiar "money-can't-buy-happiness' moral.

Grant plays Johnny Case, an unconventional but socially undistinguished young man (he's supposed to be 30) who, after a whirlwind romance, is about to marry a wealthy socialite, Julia Seton (Doris Nolan). She brings him home to meet Father (Henry Kolker) who is not enamoured of the liaison but Julia's feisty younger sister, Linda (Hepburn) who is bored with her privileged life, approves wholeheartedly. The plot has no surprises but the script is sustained by its smart dialogue delivered with characteristic brio by Grant (who also does impressive cart-wheels) and Hepburn along with a solid support cast of stock players including Edward Everett Horton and Binnie Bsrnes.

The resolution of the story springs some rather inconsistent surprises on us regarding Johnny (he turns out to be a canny trader) and Julia (she turns out to be a bitch) in order to bring about the inevitable and modern audiences may think that 30 is a little old for Johnny to be starting on the search for self. Still Holiday, delivers pretty much what it promises - a couple of well-experienced stars cutting loose with their trademark style.




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