Holiday (1938 film)
theatrical release poster
|Directed by||George Cukor|
|Produced by||Everett Riskin|
Donald Ogden Stewart
|Editing by||Al Clark
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||June 15, 1938 (US)|
|Running time||95 minutes|
Holiday is a 1938 film directed by George Cukor, a remake of the 1930 film of the same name. The film is a romantic comedy which tells the story of a man who has risen from humble beginnings only to be torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée's family. The movie was adapted by Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney Buchman from the play by Philip Barry and stars Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and features Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres, and Edward Everett Horton, who played the same role he had played in the 1930 version.
Although Hepburn had been Hope Williams' understudy in the original production of the play on Broadway, she only played the part for one performance. Screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart had also appeared in the original stage version as Nick Potter.
Johnny Case (Cary Grant), a self-made man, is about to marry Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), but then learns that she is rich. He meets her sister Linda (Katharine Hepburn), father (Henry Kolker), and dissolute brother Ned (Lew Ayres). Johnny discusses his possibilities with his more humble friends, Professor (Edward Everett Horton) and Mrs. Potter (Jean Dixon), as he struggles to decide whether to quit work and whether he should marry the "great woman behind every successful man" Julia, or be with his more free spirited "soul-mate" Linda.
- Katharine Hepburn as Linda Seton
- Cary Grant as Johnny Case
- Doris Nolan as Julia Seton
- Lew Ayres as Ned Seton
- Henry Kolker as Edward Seton
- Edward Everett Horton as Professor Nick Potter
- Jean Dixon as Susan Potter
- Cast notes
- The character of Linda Seton, played by Hepburn, was loosely based on socialite Gertrude Sanford Legendre.
- Jean Dixon retired from films after this performance.
In 1936, Columbia Pictures purchased a group of scripts, including the script for Holiday, from RKO for $80,000. Although the film was originally intended to reunite The Awful Truth co-stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, George Cukor decided to cast Hepburn instead, and Columbia borrowed her from RKO, where she had refused the lead role in Mother Carey's Chickens. Joan Bennett and Ginger Rogers were also initially considered to play Hepburn's role, and Rita Hayworth was tested for the role of Julia.
The working titles for the film were "Unconventional Linda" and "Vacation Bound".
A scene that was to come before what is now the first scene of the film was set in the snows of Lake Placid, although it was shot in Bishop, California. The idea was to "open up" the stage play by utilizing an exterior scene, but when director George Cukor saw the scene, he did not like it, and decided to cut it. A few still photographs, one of them on a lobby card that was distributed to theaters, are the only known remnants of this scene.
Although the film was not a financial success, it was well received by critics. Hepburn biographers have speculated that Johnny Case's plans to give up working did not appeal to Great Depression audiences who were struggling to find jobs. Hepburn, at the time, was also considered to be box office poison.
Holiday was the third of four films starring Grant and Hepburn, the others being Sylvia Scarlett (1935), Bringing Up Baby (1938), and The Philadelphia Story (1940). All but Sylvia Scarlett belong to a sub-genre of screwball comedy called the comedy of remarriage described by the philosopher Stanley Cavell as Hollywood's crowning achievement.
- "NY Times: Holiday". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Leaming, Barbara. Katharine Hepburn. (1995). p. 265.
- "Donald Ogden Stewart" on the Internet Broadway Database
- Nemy, Enid. "Gertrude Sanford Legendre, 97, Socialite Turned Hunter and Prisoner of War". New York Times. March 13, 2000.
- "Notes" on TCM.com
- Edwards, pp.164–165
- Holiday DVD, "Deleted Scenes" featurette. Sony. 2006.
- Edwards, p.166.
- Leaming, Barbara. Katharine Hepburn. (1995). p. 352.
- Osborne, Robert. Outro to the TCM presentation of Holiday (December 18, 2011)
- Edwards, Anne. Katharine Hepburn: A Remarkable Woman. (2000)
- Holiday at the Internet Movie Database
- Holiday at the TCM Movie Database
- Classic Film Guide
- Steven D. Greydanus review at Decent Films Guide
- Rotten Tomatoes
- Nick Davis review at Nick's Flick Picks
- Dennis Schwartz review at Ozus' World Movie Reviews
- Time Out Magazine
- Holiday on Screen Guild Theater: November 13, 1944