HOLIDAY (1938) 

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Cary Grant
Katharine Hepburn
Doris Nolan
Lew Ayres
Edward Everett Horton
Henry Kilker
Jean Dixon

George Cukor



Time: 94 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Academy Award nomination for Best Art Direction.

There's no screen couple I'd rather watch than Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. They acted together in three of the best romantic comedies ever made – HOLIDAY being one of the them. They are both creatures of light, attractive but not gorgeous, always playing quirky yet loveable characters. The movies were made better because of their willingness to pull out all the stops in their performances, to be as open and silly as the role called for. HOLIDAY is certainly not one of their more antic films, but it is the sweetest. In the days of the studio system actors had their character to play. Grant was always the charming, up-and-comer and Hepburn the heiress who yearned for personal freedom, who didn't quite fit into her live of privilege. HOLIDAY is no exception to the rule. What this film allows us to explore is more of the heart and souls of these characters instead of laughing at their outrageous behavior. This is more romance than comedy, though it has some funny moments due to the great supporting cast.

Johnnie (Grant) meets Linda (Hepburn) through her sister Julia (Doris Nolan), the woman he met on holiday and wants to marry. Johnnie is a self-made man, having worked all his life, put himself through Harvard to become a successful businessman. He doesn't have much, but he's not afraid of hard work. He's done it all his life and his dream is to make enough cash to live and then quit to find himself, see what he really wants out of life, find his true place in the world. Linda thinks it's a wonderful idea, having been trapped in a gilded cage all her life. She's happy for her sister, but she can't help wondering if she's found the right man. After convincing their father that Johnnie is the only man for her, the engagement is set to be announced. However, during the party Johnnie announces his plans for the future and neither Julia nor her father are amused. Julia likes her life of privilege and doesn't understand Johnnie's dream.

"When I find myself in a position like this, I ask myself what would General Motors do? and then I do the opposite!"

It soon becomes apparent to Johnnie and Linda that Julia is more enamored of money and the life it provides for her than she is of Johnnie. When he asks her to take a chance on their love, she refuses. Linda's not that stupid. Men like Johnnie don't come around very often and she's tired of the restrictions and boredom of her life. When she meets Johnnie on the boat, bound for adventure, they know they've found their perfect soul mate. HOLIDAY is a powerful romance about not only finding true love, but also staying true to oneself and your dreams. Grant and Hepburn are wonderful as these two characters yearning to be free with someone who truly understands them. Lew Ayres gives a touchingly sad, yet funny performance as Linda's younger brother Ned, another soul trapped by circumstances who drinks to break free. He provides much of the comic relief in the film and the banter between Grant and Hepburn is sharp, witty and highly amusing. This is a first rate picture all the way. Watch it on a rainy day. It'll chase the blues right away.

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