Posted by: absntmindedariel | April 15, 2011

Holiday (1938)

If you like27 Dresses, Just Friends, Something Borrowed

Synopsis– In one of New York’s wealthiest families, the most expected of a daughter is to marry well. Alas! Julia Seaton (Doris Nolan) returns from her holiday in Lake Placid engaged to Johnny Case (Cary Grant)– a middle-class dreamer and idealist. Though the rest of the family is confused and unsupportive, Julia’s high-spirited sister Linda (Katharine Hepburn) is more than happy to welcome a fellow “black sheep” into the family. She even supports his crazy plan to quit business as soon as he makes a little money and have some fun in life (a holiday).  As Julia, Linda and their perpetually drunk brother Ned (Lew Ayres) attempt to acclimate the newcomer into the family, Johnny starts to wonder if he should change his crazy plans (or change his fiancee).

Why it’s better– Katharine Hepburn does a diving somersault off of Cary Grant’s shoulders while HE does a diving somersault. It’s the best part of the movie. (Fun fact: Cary Grant originally ran away school to join the circus! He was an expert juggler, tumbler and stilt-walker.) You can tell this film was originally a play, but– besides the abrupt ending– it transitions well to the big screen. The two are not at the peak they reached earlier that same year in Bringing Up Baby, but they bounce off of each other like rubber balls nonetheless! Drunken Brother Ned also steals many of the scenes, as do Johnny’s mentors The Potters.

(I don’t know why, but my favorite line is when Johnny looks hopelessly at Linda and says, “There’s a conspiracy against you and me, child.”)

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  1. Haven’t seen this in years, but Ned definitely steals a lot of scenes. His character, as I remember, has the most pathos because he’s stuck there.

    As for Bringing Up Baby, I’m not sure anybody’s reached that peak since. 🙂

    What a great idea for a blog, BTW. I can see I’m going to spend a lot of time here.

  2. It’s true: you want so much more for Ned! He’s so talented and funny and honest. I love when Linda calls back to him, “I’ll come back for you, my fine buck-o!”

    so glad you like the blog!

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