Holiday

Ring a Ding Ding

Holiday (1938)

     Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn always make a nice duo on screen and Holiday is no exception. Although the flick takes place around New Year’s Eve, the title of the film refers more to what Grant’s character aspires to do: take a holiday. The trouble is, Grant’s Johnny has proposed to a woman belonging to a wealthy family. He was unaware of her financial standing at the outset and fails to tell her he plans soon to give up working and spend some time living his life. However, fiancée Julia, played by Doris Nolan, plans to make her hardworking beau into a wealthy employee at her father’s company, which sounds less than ideal to Johnny.

     That is the jist of Johnny’s predicament as gradually laid out through the course of the film. I would say Hepburn’s Linda, sister to Julia, complicates matters, but she really doesn’t. The free-spirited older sibling is so fond of Johnny she wants nothing more than to have him as a brother-in-law. It is obvious from the start that Linda and Johnny are better suited for one another with their goofy personalities. Hepburn being a bigger actress than Nolan also makes it a dead giveaway. What I found surprising, however, is that the relationship between the two stars does not necessarily indicate they will end up together. There are no longing or twitterpated glances between the two nor sexually tense moments. Not until late in the picture when at the official ringing in of the new year Grant starts to lean toward Hepburn for a kiss do we get any indication he might be into her. Even after that instance, however, Grant continues to try to make things work with his intended. In the end they do end up together, of course, but I was certainly left doubting that until the final minutes of the picture.

     Holiday is a truly fun movie. Grant shows off his acrobatic talents, and he and Hepburn illustrate how well they mesh by bouncing comical line after line off each other. Lew Ayres also shows up as a loveable drunk brother. He was a different sort of drunk than I am used to seeing on film. Despite his handicap, he was loving to Linda and fond of Johnny. His drinking did not create problems nor was it the butt of jokes. Lastly, Edward Everett Horton plays a long-time friend of Johnny’s in possibly he least nervous role I have ever witnessed. Horton also had many a witty line and offered the humbler, non-wealthy side of the equation, which also happened to fit in perfectly with Linda.  Holiday is surely a fun pick any time of the year, so do not let the title place it on the back burner for next Xmas.

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One Response

  1. I agree that HOLIDAY is a most entertaining film. My wife prefers it slightly over BRINGING UP BABY (while I reverse that order). But they are both terrific movies and allow Cary and Kate to reverse the “showier” roles.

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