Holiday Screen 8 articles

Holiday

1938

Holiday Poster
  • Often underrated by comparison with The Philadelphia Story (both are based on plays by Philip Barry), but even better because its glitteringly polished surface is undermined by veins of real feeling, it is one of Cukor's best films.

  • The light comedy achieves perfection, but beneath it lies Cukor's serious concern for the ways in which we choose to live our lives. There are a thousand nonconformist comedies, but only one Holiday.

  • There's almost no movie that makes me as wistful as "Holiday" does, and I can't figure out exactly why. Even after it's over -- even after I know that disaster's been averted, that Cary Grant didn't futz up and choose the wrong partner -- I still feel unsettled, as if the movie has somehow cut too close for comfort.

  • To see Holiday at all these days, particularly on the big screen, is itself a sort of triumph over adversity. And what a triumph it is! The film is spellbinding without being a mystery, ravishing without being ornate, heartachy despite being a lovely comedy, and full of surprise gestures and unexpected flights of feeling and fancy that are unique even among the superior class of romantic '30s films to which it rightfully belongs.

  • George Cukor directed a number of great movies, but none of them balance humor and pathos as beautifully as HOLIDAY... What starts as screwball comedy becomes something more adult and poignant, colored by what Dave Kehr calls "Cukor's serious concern for the ways in which we choose to live our lives." ...The elegance here, both in image and in spirit, virtually defines Hollywood glamour.

  • A picture that I think Marilyn (MM obsessive that I am) probably loved. And perhaps related to. Freedom! Expression! It's hard not to. Funny, carefree, silly, inspiring and yet, curiously sad -- sad because you get the feeling that all the exploring dreams its lead character (a joyous, lovable Cary Grant) hopes and plans for, well, they may not work out in the real world. Can one be that simple yet complex and happy and live their life that way?

  • Husband-and-wife intellectual scolds are a bit annoying (not the actors' fault; the characters are complacent) and it's true that the sister, "a dull girl", gets duller according to the plot's demands - but the family are sympathetically drawn, screwball-comedy elements linger in the air to colour the drama, and anyone who may not have known that Cary Grant started out as an acrobat ... well, now you know.

  • Cary Grant gets to show off his expertise in tumbling with a series of spectacular back-flips. Katherine Hepburn is more vulnerable than usual, and makes it work. Lew Ayres is, my God, TERRIFIC — the heart and soul of the film, in a way. If the movie isn’t as well-known as the Hepburn-Cukor PHILADELPHIA STORY, also from a play by Philip Barry, it may because Ayres complicates it, makes it less than totally joyous.

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