2 May 2018 | SimonJack
Little comedy shows de Havilland's talent
"Call It a Day" is a light comedy about the life of members of a family who catch spring fever. But, rather than much interplay with the whole family, it's more a collection of vignettes about each member of the clan. There's no time when the whole family actually is together. It takes place on the first day of spring. There's nothing exceptional about the screenplay, and the script is just so-so. With more snappy and witty dialog, this could have made a very funny and meatier comedy.
Although she doesn't have the lead role, Olivia de Havilland has first billing in the credits of the film. With just half a dozen movies to her credit, de Havilland already had gained a niche as a top actress. In this film, she plays Catherine Hilton, a supporting role to those of the two leads, Roger and Dorothy Hilton. They are played by Ian Hunter and Frieda Inescourt.
Hunter and Inescourt started their careers in England, and both were good performers. But they never achieved the top level of stardom. Hunter was a leading man during the 1930s and a major supporting actor in many films with big name stars. Inescourt played mostly supporting roles during her career.
Others in the cast will be recognized by movie buffs. Bonita Granville plays Ann Hilton and went on to make many films in supporting roles. Anita Louise was well known in films and TV until her early death at age 55 following a stroke. Roland Young and Una O'Connor need no introduction - they were mainstays in many films until the mid-1950s.
Most of the roles are quite simple and offer little challenge to acting talents. And, that's where de Havilland stands out in her supporting role. She had enough diverse reactions in her role to be able to show a range of emotions most convincingly. This is little more than a fair, standard film with light entertainment. The main reason to watch it is to see the talent of one of the greatest actresses of stage and screen.
Here are the best lines from the movie. For more of the dialog, see the Quotes section under this IMDb Web page of the film.
Dorothy Hilton, "Roger! Roger! Wake up. You'd better shake him, Vera." Vera, the Maid, "Who, me?" Dorothy, "Yes." Vera, "Really, madam?" Dorothy, "Well, someone always has to and I hate getting out of bed until I've had my tea. Well, go on, go on!"
Vera, the Maid, to the cook, "A radish. That's what he said he wanted. Nothing less, and he was quite put out there wasn't one in the house."
Mrs. Elkins, the Cook, "Mrs. Milson, it says here, garlic and parsley is good for blood pressure." Mrs. Milson, the Housekeeper, "Well, it's wrong. You can't season blood pressure. You've got to cure it."
Muriel West, on the phone to Dorothy Hilton, "Oh, darling, darling, isn't it a marvelous day? ...Let's do something different, something utterly different. Let's go shopping."
Dorothy Hilton, "Oh, I don't know, Muriel. I really ought to start my spring house cleaning." Muriel West, "Oh... What does it matter if your house is filthy for another day?"
Frank Haines, "Madam, I will not be pushed about. I'll have you know there are two things a man likes to choose for himself - his wife and his ties."
Paul Francis, to Catherine Hilton, "Now, now, now, now, you go away. If Ann's too old to hug me, you certainly are. Out you go, young lady."
Roger Hilton, "Well, for utter indecency, give me the high minded."