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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Maureen O'Sullivan and Dennis O'Keefe are attractive and sophisticated looking as two working class people who meet by chance at a wedding reception and assume each other is a member of the upper class. She works for a lavish fashion designer, while he works for a travel agency. They are there only on business and meet thanks to the bride's father. Taking an interest in each other for social climbing and romantic reasons, the two go out of their way to keep up their pretense. O'Sullivan's family takes things a step further with her eccentric Aunt Lucy (Jessie Ralph, one of the forgotten gems of the 30's) who utilizes her employer's lavish apartment to entertain O'Keefe at a family dinner party. Of course, both parties are exposed in time to bring the light plot to a happy conclusion.

    While the stars do a good job, they are defeated by a weak plot and a not too funny script. The supporting cast does all they can to add amusement, but it's really only a large St. Bernard that gets any genuine laughs. There's Mickey Rooney as O'Sullivan's younger brother being, well, Mickey Rooney. And Rooney's Andy Hardy ma, Fay Holden, has little to do. Edward Brophy, a typically New Yorkish character actor, has some funny moments as a bookie who is accused of stealing Ralph's employee's silverware. O'Sullivan, too well spoken to seem really a member of this lower middle class family, tries to rise above the material. O'Keefe is all right, but he's not star material in a role that calls for someone like Robert Taylor. This is an example of MGM's factory output that was put together a bit too fast and focuses on style over substance.
  • The major studios which M.G.M. was the biggest, had a stable of contract players that had to be kept occupied. From the heavy-weight Stars like GABLE, LOY, POWELL, SHEARER and TRACY to character actors, all had to be kept busy. Fifty-Two (52) features a year was the standard of the 'majors' plus shorts. From 'A' efforts too 'Bs' like this one, HOLD THAT KISS (1938).

    The plot of these were simple. This comedy is a typical 'Boy meets Girl', both pretending to be of the '400'. Not wishing the other to know of their rather common back-rounds. Neither wanting to admit the truth until the last reel when true love wins out over perceived social prejudices.

    MAUREEN O'SULLIVAN, never a major star was a good filler for this type of film. Something to plug into between TARZANs' and pregnancies. DENNIS O'KEEFE was being groomed for a stardom he would never fulfill, but MICKEY ROONEY would go on to greater things. The rest of the cast, all professional character actors. Who knew their lines, hit their marks and got the picture done on time and under budget. This made them very popular with Louis B. Mayer and the money men back in New York City.
  • bkoganbing23 October 2009
    While watching Hold That Kiss this morning I once again had in mind the famous MGM pecking order. The film was to me obviously something written with Joan Crawford in mind.

    But it went to Maureen O'Sullivan for one reason or another and wound up as a B film with her and Dennis O'Keefe. She's a fashion model in a fancy department store and he's a travel agent. They meet at a society wedding and each thinks the other is worth a few bucks. After that they put on quite interesting campaigns to land the other.

    Hold That Kiss is a pleasant and amusing comedy from MGM's B picture unit. It's got quite a good list of character actors in support. Most prominent however was Mickey Rooney who next year would be the number one box office male star in the nation. He plays O'Sullivan's younger brother and an eager participant in her schemes.

    There's also a nice diverting subplot involving Frank Albertson who's another of O'Sullivan's brothers and Edward Brophy who is O'Keefe's sidekick. Each has an all consuming interest in the sport of kings and not from the society end of owning and improving the breed. I can't really go into too many details, but trust me it's a pip.

    I could easily see Hold That Kiss on an MGM double bill at the Loew's theaters around the nation with Boys Town. Imagine that, a double Mickey.
  • During the Great Depression, audiences liked to see the differences between rich and poor people played for laughs. This frothy romance from 1938 is in that vein. If you like mix-ups, silly situations and innocent fun in the classic Hollywood spirit, this should appeal to you.

    Maureen O'Sullivan and Dennis O'Keefe play working-class folks in the big city who happen to meet under confusing circumstances. They quickly fall in love, but each gets the mistaken impression that the other is rich.

    As the romance heats up, the two try harder and harder to impress each other with bogus details of their "privileged" lives. But each feels ashamed of being a phony, and each dreads the day when the truth comes out.

    The girl's wacky relatives (including a younger brother played by Mickey Rooney) take her wealth charade to extraordinary lengths, and their antics supply most of the comedy in the film. Some of the gags are dated, but a few are still laugh-out-loud funny.

    The main problem is with the leads. While O'Sullivan was perfectly cast in this movie, O'Keefe was not. He was more suited to tough guy roles than to this kind of gentle fluff. But he deserves credit for trying hard. The same could be said for the picture itself.
  • blanche-228 March 2015
    MGM used their second and third tier actors for their B films, making them really more like A-. These movies were used as a training ground for up and coming actors as well. Here, Dennis O'Keefe and Maureen O'Sullivan star with Mickey Rooney, Frank Albertson, and Jesse Ralph, and another young up and coming, Ruth Hussey, in "Hold that Kiss," from 1938.

    June (O'Sullivan) comes from a chaotic family and works in the couturier business; Tommy (O'Keefe) is a travel agent. At a posh wedding, she's helping the bride with her going-away outfit, and he's delivering tickets. Each assumes the other is a guest and therefore a member of the rich, horsey set.

    Both O'Keefe and O'Sullivan were very good, if lightweight actors who never achieved superstardom. O'Sullivan, busy most of the time having her seven children, was very beautiful with a nice Irish lilt to her voice.

    Enjoyable movie, with an upbeat performance by Rooney. I loved the atmosphere in the family especially, with the brothers teasing one another, and June bringing home that giant St. Bernard. Good fun.
  • Average 1930's romantic situation comedy that had a low budget but nevertheless delivered the expected average goods for the genre.Nothing too badly done here and nothing spectacular either.This movie is sure to delight the big fans of the lead stars though as they indeed look good here in all their prime good looks.This movie will also satisfy big fans of romantic situation comedies set in 1938 city life......
  • The worst thing about this charming, well acted comedy is its generic title. Hold what kiss?

    The leads are at their romantic best. The supporting players are delightful.

    I personally would have preferred it sans the Mickey Rooney character but he doubtless helped its box office (if it had any.)

    A few stereotypes are engaged in, too; but otherwise, it is a charming concoction. It's funny: O'Sullivan's boss Monsieur Maurice is written very broadly but the penultimate scene in which a tricked O'Keefe tricks her by making her pose in one gown after another after another -- they now know each other to be in retail and not in society -- is very funny.
  • MartinHafer22 November 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    My summary isn't really meant as an insult, really, as the film has few pretenses and is meant as a light and harmless little love story. It is what it is...and it's enjoyable. It stars the amazingly ordinary looking actor, Dennis O'Keefe, and Maureen O'Sullivan. Again, I really meant no offense--O'Keefe was a fine actor (particularly in film noir) but looked absolutely nothing like a film star. Handsome, perhaps--just not in the Hollywood sort of way.

    The story is a cute little case of mistaken identity. Poor working-class Maureen and Dennis both see each other at a swank party of the elite. They instantly hit it off--and both assume the other is rich! And, at times, each is a bit ashamed of their roots and pretend to be a lot richer and more sophisticated than they really are. This takes on a crazy edge when Maureen convinces her family to help her in the ruse. Although she thinks they did a horrible job and Dennis saw through their plan, he is so worried about making the right impression that he's really oblivious. Can they somehow fall in love AND be happy and poor? Well...what do you think? The film is pretty predictable but the actors and director did a good job with what they had. Despite a light-weight script, it's all good fun and well worth seeing.
  • Jim Tritten5 August 2002
    Surprisingly enjoyable grade B comedy with large cast of solid actors who put on a good (but not great) show. The basic premise is that two ordinary people meet and think that the other has money. Bolstering this premise is a tangled story line that weaves each of the main characters into contact with others without each knowing who the other is relative to the main plot. The viewer has full knowledge of how all these characters relate to each other and is thus always expecting the truth to out.

    A good deal of slapstick comedy and a comedic St. Bernard aid cast members. The film has the same tempo and feel as MGM's 'You Can't Take It With You' – done the same year however with a first rate crew. Lots of uncomplicated comings and goings keep the story moving but not too hard to follow. The rich really do not have it better than just plain folks.

    Maureen O'Sullivan is delightful and perky. Mickey Rooney overacts – but the part calls for it and he steals a number of scenes. Edward Brophy plays Brophy once again. Dennis O'Keefe is plausible. Leonard Carey (uncredited) does a fine job as a comedic elevator operator/butler. Racial slurs typical of the time could be cut for modern audiences. Recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Maureen O'Sullivan (June Evans), Dennis O'Keefe (Tommy Bradford), Mickey Rooney (Chick Evans), George Barbier (Piermont), Jessie Ralph (Aunt Lucy), Edward S. Brophy (Al), Fay Holden (Mrs Evans), Philip Terry (Ted Evans), Ruth Hussey (Nadine Piermont), Barnett Parker (Maurice), Frank Albertson (Steve Evans), Ernie Alexander (Mickey, Maurice's chauffeur), William 'Billy' Benedict (boy delivering suit), Evelyn Beresford (Mrs Thornley), Betty Blythe, Betty Ross Clarke (wedding guests at Piermont's), Leonard Carey (Gibley, Piermont's butler), Edgar Dearing (policeman), Martin Faust (taxi driver), David Horsley (chauffeur), Charles Judels (Otto Schmidt), Eleanor Lynn (theater cashier), Tully Marshall (Mr Lazarus, travel customer), Edwin Maxwell (theater manager), Jack Norton (Mallory, a drunk), Tom O'Grady (bartender), Oscar O'Shea ("Pop"), Brent Sargent (Noel, bridegroom), Hudson Shotwell (attendant), William Carey, Buddy Messinger, Billy Taft (ushers), Ben Taggart (doorman), Ray Turner (Fred, the elevator operator), Monte Vandergrift (policeman), Morgan Wallace (Mr Wood, Tommy's boss), Eric Wilton (Piermont's second butler), Forbes Murray, William Worthington (dog show judges).

    Director: EDWIN L. MARIN. Original screenplay: Stanley Rauh. Uncredited screenplay contributors: Bradbury Foote (dialogue), Ogden Nash, Jane Hall. Photography: George Folsey. Film editor: Ben Lewis. Music: Edward Ward. Supervising art director: Cedric Gibbons. Art director: John S. Detlie. Set decorator: Edwin B. Willis. Costumes: Dolly Tree. Assistant director: Dolph Zimmer. Sound recording: Douglas Shearer. Producer: John W. Considine, Jr.

    Copyright 9 May 1938 by Loew's Inc. Presented by Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer. New York opening at the Rialto, 10 June 1938. U.S. release: 13 May 1938. 8 reels. 79 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: A salesgirl and a travel agent meet at a big society wedding. Each assumes the other is a wealthy guest.

    NOTES: Academy Award, Mickey Rooney, Best Male Juvenile of 1938.

    COMMENT: When MGM made a "B" movie, the same polish and craftsmanship went into the production as in the studio's "A" features. And in the "B" department, Edwin L. Marin was the top of the heap. His other 1938 films were two features with Judy Garland and The Chaser (again starring Dennis O'Keefe).

    This one is a slight but pleasant romantic comedy, in which O'Keefe (taking the lead for the first time in a career that encompassed numerous walk-ons and bit parts) was partnered with the lovely Maureen O'Sullivan.