Holiday (1938)

93 mins | Comedy-drama, Romance | 15 June 1938

Director:

George Cukor

Producer:

Everett Riskin

Cinematographer:

Frank F. Planer

Editors:

Otto Meyer, Al Clark

Production Designer:

Stephen Goosson

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The film's working titles were Unconventional Linda and Vacation Bound . News items in HR note that Joan Bennett was at one time cast as "Julia Seton" and Ginger Rogers was initially cast as "Linda Seton." Katharine Hepburn states in her autobiography that Columbia borrowed her from RKO for this production after she refused to play the lead in RKO's Mother Carey's Chickens (See Entry). Hepburn, who had just been labeled "box office poison" by independent theater owners following a series of RKO flops, including her previous picture, Bringing Up Baby , left the studio shortly after this production. Modern sources add the following information about the production: Hepburn, who had been the understudy for the role of "Linda" in the Broadway play, had hoped to star in the earlier version of the film, and it was she who convinced studio head Harry Cohn to produce it for Columbia. She also requested George Cukor as director and Cary Grant for the role of "Johnny." Although both Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney Buchman are credited with the screenplay, Cukor claimed that it was entirely Stewart's work. Stewart was one of playwright Philip Barry's best friends and had acted in the stage production of the play. Jean Dixon retired from the screen after this performance. Cukor tested Rita Hayworth for the role of the youngest sister. Art directors Steven Goosson and Lionel Banks were nominated for an Academy Award for their work on the picture.
       Holiday was first filmed by Pathé in 1930, and starred Ann Harding and Mary Astor (see AFI Catalog ... More Less

The film's working titles were Unconventional Linda and Vacation Bound . News items in HR note that Joan Bennett was at one time cast as "Julia Seton" and Ginger Rogers was initially cast as "Linda Seton." Katharine Hepburn states in her autobiography that Columbia borrowed her from RKO for this production after she refused to play the lead in RKO's Mother Carey's Chickens (See Entry). Hepburn, who had just been labeled "box office poison" by independent theater owners following a series of RKO flops, including her previous picture, Bringing Up Baby , left the studio shortly after this production. Modern sources add the following information about the production: Hepburn, who had been the understudy for the role of "Linda" in the Broadway play, had hoped to star in the earlier version of the film, and it was she who convinced studio head Harry Cohn to produce it for Columbia. She also requested George Cukor as director and Cary Grant for the role of "Johnny." Although both Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney Buchman are credited with the screenplay, Cukor claimed that it was entirely Stewart's work. Stewart was one of playwright Philip Barry's best friends and had acted in the stage production of the play. Jean Dixon retired from the screen after this performance. Cukor tested Rita Hayworth for the role of the youngest sister. Art directors Steven Goosson and Lionel Banks were nominated for an Academy Award for their work on the picture.
       Holiday was first filmed by Pathé in 1930, and starred Ann Harding and Mary Astor (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.2550). Edward Everett Horton was also featured as "Nick Potter" in that film. On 15 Jun 1978, a musical version of the play, titled Happy New Year , opened in New York, featuring sixteen Cole Porter songs. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 May 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 May 38
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 38
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 34
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
17 May 38
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
21 May 38
p. 30, 32
New York Times
24 Jun 38
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Jewelry
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Holiday by Philip Barry (New York, 26 Nov 1928).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Unconventional Linda
Vacation Bound
Release Date:
15 June 1938
Production Date:
24 February--22 April 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 May 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8052
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4269
SYNOPSIS

Upon returning to New York from a December holiday in Lake Placid, Johnny Case drops by to see his dear friends, Nick and Susan Potter, and gleefully informs them that he has become engaged to a beautiful woman he met at the resort. When Susan questions Johnny about his bride-to-be, Julia Seton, Johnny confesses that he knows nothing about her background or family life. Later, when he shows up at Julia's Park Avenue address, he is stunned to discover that she is the daughter of Edward Seton, an extremely wealthy banker. While Julia goes to church to break the news of her engagement to her conservative widower father, Johnny spends time with Linda, Julia's unconventional, outspoken sister, and Ned, her alcoholic but charming brother. As he and Linda chat in the playroom, the only "human" room in the Seton mansion, Johnny proudly tells Linda about his dreams and aspirations. The thirty-year-old Johnny reveals that because he has worked hard ever since he was a child, he now feels that he should take a long-term holiday and discover the true meaning of life. In turn, Linda confesses that because of their father's domination over the years, both she and Ned have been unable to find their place in the world. Mr. Seton, meanwhile, is stunned by Julia's announcement and immediately questions her about Johnny's financial standing and background. However, after meeting Johnny and drilling his employer about his competency, Mr. Seton agrees to the marriage. Although Linda, who adores her sister, suggests that they hold a small, informal engagement party, Julia willingly bows to her father's desire to have an enormous New Year's Eve ... +


Upon returning to New York from a December holiday in Lake Placid, Johnny Case drops by to see his dear friends, Nick and Susan Potter, and gleefully informs them that he has become engaged to a beautiful woman he met at the resort. When Susan questions Johnny about his bride-to-be, Julia Seton, Johnny confesses that he knows nothing about her background or family life. Later, when he shows up at Julia's Park Avenue address, he is stunned to discover that she is the daughter of Edward Seton, an extremely wealthy banker. While Julia goes to church to break the news of her engagement to her conservative widower father, Johnny spends time with Linda, Julia's unconventional, outspoken sister, and Ned, her alcoholic but charming brother. As he and Linda chat in the playroom, the only "human" room in the Seton mansion, Johnny proudly tells Linda about his dreams and aspirations. The thirty-year-old Johnny reveals that because he has worked hard ever since he was a child, he now feels that he should take a long-term holiday and discover the true meaning of life. In turn, Linda confesses that because of their father's domination over the years, both she and Ned have been unable to find their place in the world. Mr. Seton, meanwhile, is stunned by Julia's announcement and immediately questions her about Johnny's financial standing and background. However, after meeting Johnny and drilling his employer about his competency, Mr. Seton agrees to the marriage. Although Linda, who adores her sister, suggests that they hold a small, informal engagement party, Julia willingly bows to her father's desire to have an enormous New Year's Eve party. Deeply disappointed, Linda refuses to come down for the lavish affair and holes up in the playroom. The Potters arrive and, while wandering around the mansion, accidentally end up in the playroom with Linda. Embarrassed by Linda's obvious absence from the festivities, Julia sends Johnny to fetch her, and Johnny is delighted to be reunited with his wisecracking friends. At the same time, Julia's snobbish cousins, Seton and Laura Cram, track Linda to the playroom and interrupt the group's fun. Just as Linda and Johnny, who loves to do backflips, are about to demonstrate a tumbling trick they have just perfected, Julia and Mr. Seton burst into the room and insist that Linda join the party. Mr. Seton then offers Johnny a job at his bank, forcing Johnny to reveal his "early retirement" plans. Both Julia and her father are upset by Johnny's pronouncements, and a despondent Johnny sees the New Year in with Linda. Later, Linda tearfully confesses to Ned that she has fallen in love with Johnny but intends to hide her feelings. Immediately after the engagement is announced, Johnny leaves the celebration without saying goodbye. Days later, Linda, anxious to reunite the lovers, visits the Potters and learns that Johnny is planning to sail with them to Europe that night and has asked Julia to join him. When a telegram from Johnny arrives announcing that Julia has turned him down, Linda rushes back home to admonish Julia. After the sisters argue about the situation, Mr. Seton joins the discussion and decries Johnny as "un-American." Julia smugly predicts that Johnny will return to her, and moments later, a contrite Johnny shows up and tells Mr. Seton that he is willing to work at his bank on condition that he can quit after two years if he is unhappy there. When Mr. Seton begins to plan the honeymoon in detail, however, Johnny balks and, after revealing that he loves his freedom more than he loves Julia, leaves for the dock. Linda then senses that Julia is actually relieved by Johnny's departure and forces her to admit that she no longer loves him. Inspired by Johnny's defiance, Linda declares her own independence and rushes from the house. At dockside, the Potters are overjoyed when Johnny boards the ship without Julia, and Johnny is delighted when Linda takes her sister's place by his side. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.