- by Zoë
Johnny takes time out
from work to see the world around him. He gets engaged to Julia, who tries
to make him conform. Her sister, Linda, falls in love with Johnny, but hides
her feelings. After several family arguments, Julia and Johnny realize they
should not get married. Linda and Johnny get it together...
- by Aileen
Johnny Case (Grant) is engaged to Julia Seton, a girl he
met at Lake Placid ten days before. He arrives at the address Julia has given him and, on
seeing the size of the house, decides she must be an employee. He enters through the
servants' entrance only to discover that her family really does own the house! Having found
Julia, her sister Linda (Hepburn) discovers them both in the lift.
Julia, Linda, their brother Ned and their father head off
to church where Julia tells her father of her plans to marry Johnny - on the basis that he
can't do much about it at church! Johnny is invited to lunch that day. Arriving back
early, he is sent up to the playroom where he encounters Linda again and a much more cozy room than any of the rest of the house. Linda finds Johnny's outlook on life refreshing.
He doesn't see money as the be-all-and-end-all and hopes that when he has made enough
he'll take time out and enjoy life for a bit.
A huge party is arranged to announce the engagement on new
year's eve, which upsets Linda as she had planned to have a small affair with a few close
friends. Johnny finally realizes that Julia wants him to conform, and just as he is about
to accept being tied down with responsibilities etc., he breaks it off. Linda awakes to
the fact that she is in love with him and not Julia and follows him out the door with one
of my favourite lines: "Someone stop me. Oh please someone try and stop me!"
This really is a must see, if only for Cary
showing off the tumbling skills he learned with the Pender troupe! However
Hepburn and Cary Grant have a great chemistry together, also and it really shows. The
scenes in the playroom are full of sparkling wit. Personally I LOVE it and it has to rate
as one of my favourites. GO AND SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!!
Film Review - May 18, 1938
- by "Flin"
- submitted by Barry Martin
Philip Barry's play, 'Holiday,' which in film form was a smash hit
eight years ago in the depression's depth, rises to box office
heights as a recession remake. George Cukor has given it an
up-to-the-moment directorial treatment, and the starring team of
Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant provide attractive marquee
persuasion. Exhibitors will pencil in some extra days for
this production to their own and Columbia's handsome profit.
Theme of play seems
more timely against the economic and social background of today
than when previously filmed by Edward H Griffith with Ann Harding,
Richard Ames and Mary Astor in the leads. Doris Nolan, from Broadway
legit, plays the sister role in the current production, and is a
standout in a cast which includes Lew Ayres, Edward Everett
Horton, Henry Kolker, Binnie Barnes, Jean Dixon and Henry Daniell.
Futility of riches is
topic of 'Holiday,' and Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney Buchman,
who wrote the screen script, have tossed in a few well-directed
and timely shots which bolster the Barry original. Changes
and interpolations are few, however, which would prove that
'Holiday' is a strong, vital play of American life and manners of
the period. It has fine sentiment, sound logic and a certain
gaiety which fringes a serious problem.
Miss Hepburn, after a
whirl at historical drama and a wild farce in her recent picture
assignments, is back in her best form and type of role in
'Holiday,' which is modern drama. her acting is delightful
and shaded with fine feeling and understanding throughout.
Cary Grant, who has come through a series of frothy roles, plays
this one straight.
Cukor brings out the
best from all the players. Lew Ayres is the despondent
younger brother in the wealthy family who seeks some relief from
the monotony of riches by resorting to strong liquor. His
final scenes are emotionally effective, although played with good
deal of restraint. Comedy by Horton and Miss Dixon is good,
and Henry Kolker's portrait of the father is splendid.
'Holiday' is produced
with so much spirit and spontaneity that the handicap of being a
remake is unlikely to retard its popularity. It is
handsomely mounted and stamped with fine technical work
throughout. Possessing class and superlative entertainment
qualities, it should move smoothly into the best first runs.
York Times Film Review -
June 24, 1938
- by Frank S. Nugent
- submitted by Barry Martin
Ten years after its Broadway
presentation, eight years since Ann Harding was doing it for the
screen, Philip Barry's "Holiday" came to life again
yesterday at the Music Hall in a smooth, workmanlike and
thoroughly entertaining film. A lot of water has spilled over the
dam, and a lot more damns have been spilled, since 1928 when Mr.
Barry first inspected the moneyed Setons of Wall Street and Fifth
Avenue, but they remain an interesting tribe.
Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney
Buchman, who adapted the play for Columbia and Katharine Hepburn,
have brought them up to date a little. Tycoon Edward Seton is
smelling revolution in the air these days. Idealist Johnny Case,
who wanted his holiday and so upset the Seton ménage, talks a bit
(and a bit generally) about new ideas being abroad in the land,
ideas which he wants to think over before resigning himself to a
place in the Seton bank. Their modernization work has not gone too
far, though, they still would have you believe that a place I the
Seton bank is economically desirable.
So it remains Mr. Barry's play,
slight perhaps as to story, but cleverly written and providing in
its framework for a number of amiable characterizations. Columbia,
like Nelson, has expected every man to do his duty and it has
found more than a dutiful cast. Miss Hepburn - the "New
Hepburn," according to the publicity copy - is very mannish
in this one, deep-voiced, grammatically precise (she even
remembers, in moments of stress, to say "this must be
he") and is only a wee bit inclined to hysteria. We can't get
over our feeling that her intensity is apt to grate on a man, even
on so sanguinary a temperament as Cary Grant's Johnny Case.
Mr. Grant's Mr. Case is really the
best role, although it is quite possible that neither Mr. Barry
nor Columbia saw it that way. He - in case you have forgotten the
story - is the terribly impractical young man who meets a Julia
Seton at Lake Placid and only after the proposal discovers she is
one of the Setons. Julia (who is nicely played, within the
contradictions of the part, by Doris Nolan) seems to be a good
sort at first, but it becomes apparent later that she is actually
a fuddy-duddy and that sister Linda (Miss Hepburn) is the girl for
Johnny. Anyway, Mr. Grant steals the show. He turns cartwheels for
one thing, immaculately wears a patient, pained expression, and he
tells the Setons where to go. It gives one a vicarious contempt
for Fifth Avenue millions. Very comforting while it lasts.
All told, what with George Cukor's
sense of directorial balance, good dialogue, the amusing
supporting presence of Edward Everett Horton, Jean Dixon, Lew
Ayres, Binnie Barnes and others, "Holiday" comes
satisfactorily close to being one. In fact, it is, and a pleasant
- by Kathy Fox
HOLIDAY is Cary Grant's
third movie with Katharine Hepburn. He previously starred with her in
SYLVIA SCARLETT in 1936, BRINGING UP BABY, earlier in 1938, and was to make
PHILADELPHIA STORY in 1940 with her. Also this is one of the three
movies in which George Cukor directed Grant and Hepburn, the
above-mentioned, SYLVIA SCARLETT and PHILADELPHIA STORY, being the other
two. I enjoyed this film for numerous reasons. I had seen it
earlier this year during Cary's January birthday celebration-athon on TCM.
So I was not too familiar with it. This is only one a few movies in
which Cary is able to demonstrate his acrobatic ability, and he is quite
fantastic. This man has so many talents!! Cary plays Johnny Case
who meets and falls in love at Lake Placid with Julia Seaton, played by
Doris Nolan. Johnny is invited to her home, but Julia does not tell
him that she is from such a wealthy family. Johnny feels uncomfortable
there, and then he meets Julia's sister, Linda, played by Katharine Hepburn.
All the wealth, Julia's father's high handedness, puts a strain of Julia's
and Johnnie's relationship. Of course, he is growing fond of Linda,
and actually is with Linda on New Year's Eve, before his wedding engagement
is announced to a great many people who have been invited to attend the
engagement party. Finally, Johnny decides that Julia is not for him,
and leaves her to take a boat trip to Europe with his friends, the Potters.
When Linda finds out that Julia is actually relieved that Johnny is sailing
to Europe without her and that Julia no longer loves him because they are
worlds apart in their philosophies, Linda comes to the ship and meets
Johnny. That backward flip-flop at the end of the movie is so darling,
Cary landing on his face, and Linda coming to kiss him. I will watch
this film again and again, because I want to learn more about it.
Hopefully you will do the same.
LOS ANGELS TIMES
Film Review - May 25, 1938
- by Edwin Schallert
- submitted by Renee Klish
Main Attraction in "Holiday"
Tyrannies of riches are both tossed
and thrust aside by hero and heroine in "Holiday,"
revival of a pleasantly human document of the drama, which may be
scanned anew at the R.K.O. Hisstrett and Hollywood Pantages
theaters, where it is offered with much ballyhoo.
Apparently, too, the feature is going to meet with favor at these
showhouses. The attendance was of large proportions at the
downtown theater and, for that matter, at the one on the
boulevard, and the audiences responded particularly to the
Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant,
recently seen together in "Bringing Up Baby," find a far
better milieu for their talents in this new production.
Doris Nolan is reintroduced as the mercenary sister of Miss
Hepburn. Lew Ayres wins a chance at a real role as the
brother, while Henry Kolker is the pater-familias, who exerts a
veritable plutocratic czardom over the lives of the household.
HORTON IN OLD ROLE
Then one views agreeable Edward
Everett Horton in the part he played in the earlier screen version
with Ann Harding, Robert Ames and Mary Astor, while Binnie Barnes,
Jean Dixon and Henry Daniell fill other more prominent
This new interpretation of the
Philip Barry play is perhaps essentially dated, but it offers a
blending of comedy and the serious that hold appeal in spite of
the passé attributes. At the outset the humor of the film
is more flip than really and genuinely gay, and frothiness is the
main result achieved.
Later there is a heartier quality
of humor, especially in that scene where Grant is put on the
grille by the father of his fiancée, and also in the episode that
introduces Horton into the New Year's party.
Moving values there are to the
portrayal of Miss Hepburn when she realizes the depth of her
affection for the man (Grant) betrothed to Julia Seton (Miss
Nolan) and knows that there is naught to be done about it until
her sister relinquishes her hold on the chap.
Miss Hepburn is quite stunning in
this phase of her work, more so than the lighter portions of the
impersonation though at times that is also good.
Grant uses all the excellent and
familiar comedy resources that he has brought to the recent parts
he has played, and they still are for the most part
undimmed. Ayres is excellent indeed, and Kolker thoroughly
Miss Nolan sustains the
requirements of the part she enacts, although she has still to
find the ideal role for herself in the cinema.
DIRECTED BY CUKOR
George Cukor directed the picture,
which evidences class, while Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney
Buchman were responsible for the screen play.
"Holiday" was last
produced about eight years ago, one of the very popular films of
its era. Outside of the players already mentioned in this
review Monroe Owsley undertook the part of Ned Seaton, assumed by
Ayers. Both Ames, the lead and Owsley have since passed
on. "Holiday" is the first picture for Katharine
Hepburn away from R.K.O. and since then she has secured the
abrogation of her contract with that studio.
Film Review - May 16, 1938
- by Philip K Scheuer
- submitted by Renee Klish
In 1930, Philip Barry's
"Holiday" led the procession of sophisticated comedies -
or comedies about sophisticates. It was a fine and important
play; its wisecracks had pincers which bit through the too, too
solid flesh of the well-to-do. The film made from it
launched Ann Harding auspiciously. Whether or not it is true
what "they say" about Katharine Hepburn, the new
"Holiday" relaunches her as a shining dramatic
POOR AND RICH
The present version discards a good
deal of the earlier "brittleness" (which a thousand
follow-ups have worn thin, anyway.) It is straight talkie
drama and less of a motion picture than ever. Cary Grant is
Johnny Case, the poor boy who meets a rich girl (Doris Nolan) and
finds himself up against forces which would "destroy"
him. For he would "retire young and work old;"
have his holiday now, and it isn't in the cards. Not, that
is, until the rich girl's sister, Miss Hepburn, rallies to his
This is still effective
theater. It has been given a "class" (and
class-conscious) production alive, sardonic direction by George
Cukor. The enemy is still "capitalism." It
is only a question if people today, hard-pressed for that contemptible
thing called money, will go the whole way with Johnny Case as they
did eight short years ago.
A LITTLE MAD
Miss Hepburn, once understudy, I
believe, in the stage play, performs intensely and well. Her
Linda is a little mad, of course; that's part of it. Grant
is excellent; repressed, for him, although he turns cartwheels on
occasion. Miss Nolan, Lew Ayres, Edward Horton, Jean Dixon
and the others are very good, and Henry Kolker splendid as the
tycoon. Some of the tense "sotto-voces" come close
to overstepping themselves, however; there is a limit to
There is a matter of opinion.
The same goes for the individual's
acceptance of "Holiday's" argument in the cold, gray
light of 1938.
Film Review - November 26, 1937
- by M.H.
- submitted by Renee Klish
Hepburn and Grant
Score Again in Costellar Roles of Hit
If anyone has had a word to say
against Katharine Hepburn, now is the time to be a sport and
retract. In "Holiday," returned to the Met this
week, she turns in even a finer and more moving performance than
in "Morning Glory," the picture that made her a star.
"Holiday" is by way of
being something of a classic in the cinema. It was first
made by Ann Harding and the late Robert Ames. With due
respect to the Harding beauty and ability, the Hepburn hangs it
all over her in warmth and sensitivity of interpretation. As
for Cary Grant, he's good - but we still remember Robert Ames'
idea of the part as smoother and more ingratiating. But
these are the thoughts of a long-time moviegoer. Be sure
they are just thoughts, not criticism of a rarely
Not so often do a good story and
its proper players meet as in "Holiday." The theme
is that of the girl reared and smothered in gold-plated
surroundings. She's a daisy propagated in a hot house.
Those of us poor people who have been privileged (?) to associate
with some of the less perspective 18-karat population, know that
it's better to live in a piano box on a vacant lot than in the
more stupefying atmosphere of certain gilded homes. This is
the thought that made "Holiday" and gives Kathie Hepburn
the chance (royally lived up to) of being a real and lovable star.
WEALTH vs LEISURE
Reducing it to plot,
"Holiday" is the tale of the Seton family of bankers and
its latest scions, Hepburn, who can't find room to breath; her
sister, Doris Nolan, a natural-born daughter of the family; the
son, Lew Ayres, who takes refuge in alcohol; Cary Grant, who first
falls in love with Doris, then finds that he truly loves the
visionary Katharine. There's nothing like the attraction of
nuts for nuts. For it turns out that Cary isn't really
interested in making money just to get money - the dope just wants
to get money enough to vacation until he makes up his mind about
what he really wants to do. This sacrilegious thought
completely alienates his first true-love, Doris, and completely
attracts Kathie, charming screw-ball that she is. It ends,
you know, with them both doing a happy hand-stand and with the
prospect of children who will all turn out to be acrobats.
For sheer performance Hepburn is
nothing short of grand. Gone is the affectation, the
chirping, the high school dramatics and comes a really human and
lovely creature demanding sympathy and affection. And
there's no guess about Lew Ayres. He has a tough part as the
alcoholic young play-boy, brother of Kathie. You'll like
him, sober or squeegeed. He belongs as a leading man.
Also to be praised are Doris Nolan and Henry Kolker as daughter
and father of the Seton banking family. They're nice people,
too, of the sort that have granite in their souls, and naturally
can't understand such folks and Kathie and Cary.
DAILY TRIBUNE Film Review - May 29, 1938
- by Mae Tinée
- submitted by Renee Klish
'Has Been' Slur with 'Holiday'
That sweet, canary bird replete,
pussy cat smile to be observed on the faces of Columbia executives
is quite likely inspired by Katharine Hepburn's work in
"Holiday." For it is her perfect answer to
"independents" who, a short time ago, dared to class her
as a "has been."
Never has Miss Hepburn given a more
brilliant performance; never a more human one. And if she
has not beauty - what she has, puts ere pulchritude in the
shade. [I feel I'ves said that before - but it still goes.]
"Holiday" is the 1938
version of Philip Barry's fine play presented in 1930 by Pathe,
with Ann Harding, Mary Astor, and the late Robert Ames and Monroe
Owsley in the leads. Both me, you may remember, died
unexpectedly. Mr. Ames in 1931 and Mr. Owsley in 1937.
The former picture was one of the
outstanding talkies of its day. And the current
"Holiday" is as noteworthy in an advanced period.
The story revolves around four
young people who come to grips with the great god, gold.
Johnny Case is a young man who has
the odd idea that he'd like to retire and enjoy life while he's
young, and later, when his blood runs slower and colder, go to
work - if work he must. Julia is the daughter of Seton, a
certain rich man who worships at the shrine of money . . . He
wants it, and the success and position it spells for himself and
his children. Julia is entirely in accord with her father
though she keeps mum about the fact when she agrees to marry
Johnny. Sister Linda is a raging anti-capitalist who looks
at life a lot as Johnny does and has a hideous time adjusting
herself to her surroundings. Ned, the brother, would like to
rebel but hasn't the stamina to stand on his own two feet.
So he drowns his repressed desires in drink and the dreams drink
Into the "Grand Central
Station" [quote Johnny], which is the Seton home, our hero
finds himself a veritable storm center. His love for his fiancée
almost, but not quite, decides him to compromise for two
years. When he discovers that not two years, but a long
future of knuckling down will be his if he gives an inch, well -
thank heaven Linda is still in the picture!
"Holiday" has been
cleverly brought up to the minute as to dialog, settings, and
costumes, so that in no way does it seem dated, unless, perhaps,
certain moneyed conditions depicted seem a bit incongruous in a
day when only the government seems to have a superfluity of wealth
to sling around.
Cary Grant is thoroughly at home,
and most appealing as Johnny. Doris Nolan gives a beautiful
account of herself as Julia. Lew Ayres is believable - and
pitiful - as Ned. Henry Kolker as Papa Croesus, Edward
Everett Horton as Prof. Potter, friend of Johnny [he played the
same part in the former film], Jean Dixon as his wife, and,
indeed, everybody in the cast, give complete satisfaction.
Direction was smooth and intuitive.
SO - if shopping for a fine,
sophisticated, laugh, tear, and thought begetting movie, make a
note for yourselves to -
See "Holiday" - SURE!
Click here to read
Susanna's review of "Holiday"
Click here to read Jenny's Crackpot
Reviews at the Cary Grant Shrine
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