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Holiday is a 1930 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film which tells the story of a young man who is torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée's famil... Read allHoliday is a 1930 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film which tells the story of a young man who is torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée's family.Holiday is a 1930 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film which tells the story of a young man who is torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée's family.
After a whirlwind ten day courtship following their meeting while on respective vacations in Lake Placid, socialite Julia Seton and Johnny Case, a happy-go-lucky white collar working stiff with some business acumen, decide to get married immediately. It isn't until Julia needs to tell her Manhattan-based family - widowed father Edward Seton, brother Ned Seton and sister Linda Seton - of their engagement that Johnny learns of Julia's upper crust status. Edward is able to check out Johnny's background before giving his approval, he hoping Johnny is like his own father who was self-made. However, free-spirited Linda sees in Johnny the boost of joie de vivre the Seton family desperately needs. Despite being happy for Julia and her approval of Johnny as a prospective member of the family, Linda laments losing in Julia one of her comrades in arms in the battle against the conservative repression within the Seton family, led by their father, and their cousins Seton and Laura Cram. What Johnny confides in Linda is his want to retire temporarily from business life when he is financially able to do so - meaning not off the Seton wealth - so that he can both enjoy life while he's young by taking an extended holiday and so that he can truly find what in life he wants to do, work which he will return to once he's found that thing and his money has run out. He may be able to do so earlier than he expected as some investments are paying off, he who may be able to quit work before the wedding. Linda wholehearted admires Johnny's plan and hopes the best for him in going through with it. When Johnny's plan comes to light within the entire family, it may threaten Johnny and Julia's relationship, and may fully bring into the open the true kindred souls within this new grouping. —Huggo
Quite like the '38, but...
The 1938 remake benefits from a more assured production and, of course, Cukor's direction. And the two are surprisingly close: Whole swatches of dialog from 1930 are lifted more or less bodily (the 1930 version, most likely, did the same with the stage dialog). And it's a rather stagy early talkie, trying, but not very hard, to move the action around and make it more cinematic. What the early version does have is Ann Harding. She's so lovely, and her playing has, I don't know, a stillness, a contemplation to it; she seems to think very hard about what to say before she says it. It lends a certain gravitas to what is already a fairly serious comedy dealing with rather large issues--how to live one's life, and how one's choices affect those around one. Mary Astor is also miles beyond Doris Nolan, creating a multifaceted, complicated character out of what could come across as just a selfish sister. Robert Ames hasn't Cary Grant's polished comedy playing or looks, but he's credible, and Edward Everett Horton is delightful in the same part he played in 1938. It's a mellow, thoughtful movie, marred but hardly ruined by the primitive movie-making. And we're very lucky to have Ann Harding's Oscar-nominated Linda Seton preserved.
- Apr 1, 2014
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