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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Holiday (1938)

A freethinking financier (Cary Grant) has plans to retire while he's still young and find himself. His wealthy fiancee (Doris Nolan) and her father (Henry Kolker) have other ideas however. But his fiancee's rebellious sister (Katharine Hepburn) encourages him. Based on the Philip Barry (PHILADELPHIA STORY) play and directed by George Cukor. This is actually the second film version of the Barry play which was previously filmed in 1930. But this is the one with the dream cast and directed by Cukor with a deft hand. Rejected by audiences at the time, it's a witty and sparkling comedy with some bite to it that has its share of seriousness and poignancy. Everyone is in peak form and the supporting cast is a treat including Edward Everett Horton and Jean Dixon as an unconventional couple who find themselves fish out of water in posh Manhattan social circles. But the best performance in the film comes from Lew Ayres as Hepburn's brother so miserable that his dreams have been crushed by his father that he's given up and drowns himself in alcohol, too weak to fight back anymore. With Binnie Barnes and Henry Daniell as a pair of smarmy insincere relatives.   

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