The Solid Gold Cadillac

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The Solid Gold Cadillac
The Solid Gold Cadillac FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Richard Quine
Produced by Fred Kohlmar
Written by Abe Burrows
George S. Kaufman
Howard Teichmann
Starring Judy Holliday
Narrated by George Burns
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Cinematography Charles Lang
Edited by Charles Nelson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates August 22, 1956 (1956-08-22)
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.4 million (US)[1]

The Solid Gold Cadillac is a 1956 film directed by Richard Quine and written by Abe Burrows, Howard Teichmann and George S. Kaufman. It was adapted from the hit Broadway play of the same name by Teichmann and Kaufman, in which they pillory big business and corrupt businessmen. The film stars Judy Holliday and Paul Douglas.

Plot[edit]

At a shareholders meeting for International Projects, a billion dollar corporation, John T. Blessington (John Williams) announces that he is replacing Edward L. McKeever (Paul Douglas), the company's founder, president and chairman of the board, as McKeever is resigning to go work for the federal government in Washington DC. Laura Partridge (Judy Holliday), a minority stockholder with just ten shares of stock, drives its arrogant, self-serving executives to distraction with her incessant questioning during this and subsequent meetings.

Blessington comes up with the idea of hiring the struggling actress as Director of Shareholder Relations to keep her occupied answering letters from small shareholders. He assigns her a secretary, Amelia Shotgraven (Neva Patterson), with secret instructions to obstruct her as much as possible. The conscientious Miss Partridge, discovering there is nothing for her to do, decides to write the stockholders herself. She gains Amelia's friendship and wholehearted assistance by helping her develop a romantic relationship with office manager Mark Jenkins (Arthur O'Connell).

When the directors find out, they fire Amelia. However, Laura discovers that Blessington's thoroughly unqualified brother-in-law, Harry Harkness (Hiram Sherman), has driven a competitor into bankruptcy, unaware that International Projects owns the unfortunate company. With that as leverage, she gets Amelia rehired.

Still determined to neutralize Laura, the board decides to send her to Washington to persuade McKeever to give them some government contracts. She agrees to go, with the secret intention of trying to convince him to return and take back control from his crooked cronies. However, the company directors recall that he has divested himself of all his shares and is thus powerless, so they brush him off.

McKeever takes them to court, arguing that Laura was an unlicensed, illegal lobbyist, but when she is forced to admit on the stand that she had another, romantic reason for seeing him, the case is dropped. However, Laura has forged a warm relationship with many of the smaller investors while working at the company; they responded and sent in their proxies, giving her the right to vote their shares. McKeever uses these votes to replace the entire board. He later marries Laura. In gratitude for rescuing the company, the shareholders make a gift of a solid gold Cadillac to the happy couple.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times praised Holliday highly, stating, "the invincible Miss Holliday has dared to project her youthful figure and personality into the character shaped by Miss Hull" (Josephene Hull, the elderly actress who played the role in the Broadway play) and is "knocking the role completely dead."[2] However, he felt that the villains of the piece were neither particularly convincing ("not precisely representatives of the workaday financial world"), original ("cut from a fairly familiar stencil of Kaufmanesque farce"), or formidable enough ("The problems set up by the play-wrights are little barriers of cardboard farce").[2] He concluded, "it will give you an entertaining ride, but don't expect it to take you or your intelligence very far."[2] The Film4 reviewer agreed that the story was not particularly convincing ("Yeah – like global capitalism gets overthrown that easily"), but "even so, it's undemanding and amusing."[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Jean Louis won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design Black and White. Ross Bellah, William Kiernan, and Louis Diage were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction Black and White.[4]

Holliday was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, while the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. ^ a b c Bosley Crowther (October 25, 1956). "The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956)". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Solid Gold Cadillac, The". Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "NY Times: The Solid Gold Cadillac". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 

External links[edit]