Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962)

116 mins | Comedy | 25 May 1962

Director:

Henry Koster

Producer:

Jerry Wald

Cinematographer:

William C. Mellor

Editor:

Marjorie Fowler

Production Designers:

Jack Martin Smith, Malcolm Brown

Production Company:

Jerry Wald Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

On 7 Sep 1960, DV announced that producer Jerry Wald had purchased screen rights to Edward Streeter’s 1954 novel Mr. Hobbs’ Vacation, but referred to the title as Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. The author’s Father of the Bride (1949) was adapted into a successful film of the same name in 1950 (see entry). Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation was added to Wald’s new twelve-picture, three-year contract at Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., as noted in an 18 Sep 1960 NYT article, and Return to Peyton Place (1961, see entry) was projected to be the first film to go into production. The following month, James Stewart had already been cast as “Mr. Hobbs,” and Wald was pursuing screenwriter Nunnally Johnson to write the adaptation, according to a 12 Oct 1960 DV news item. Confirmation of Johnson’s employment was posted in the 3 Nov 1960 DV. Although Leo McCarey was listed as director at that time, he left the project, and a 28 Dec 1960 DV brief stated that director José Ferrer had offered to step in as his replacement after completing Return to Peyton Place ahead of schedule.
       Principal photography was delayed over the coming year. An initial production start date was planned for 24 Apr 1961, as noted in a 5 Apr 1961 Var column, but the film was still without a director. Two days after the anticipated launch, the 26 Apr 1961 Var stated that Henry Koster was set to direct, and announced the casting of ...

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On 7 Sep 1960, DV announced that producer Jerry Wald had purchased screen rights to Edward Streeter’s 1954 novel Mr. Hobbs’ Vacation, but referred to the title as Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. The author’s Father of the Bride (1949) was adapted into a successful film of the same name in 1950 (see entry). Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation was added to Wald’s new twelve-picture, three-year contract at Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., as noted in an 18 Sep 1960 NYT article, and Return to Peyton Place (1961, see entry) was projected to be the first film to go into production. The following month, James Stewart had already been cast as “Mr. Hobbs,” and Wald was pursuing screenwriter Nunnally Johnson to write the adaptation, according to a 12 Oct 1960 DV news item. Confirmation of Johnson’s employment was posted in the 3 Nov 1960 DV. Although Leo McCarey was listed as director at that time, he left the project, and a 28 Dec 1960 DV brief stated that director José Ferrer had offered to step in as his replacement after completing Return to Peyton Place ahead of schedule.
       Principal photography was delayed over the coming year. An initial production start date was planned for 24 Apr 1961, as noted in a 5 Apr 1961 Var column, but the film was still without a director. Two days after the anticipated launch, the 26 Apr 1961 Var stated that Henry Koster was set to direct, and announced the casting of Maureen O’Hara. By 31 May 1961, Koster was attempting to cast Hayley Mills as young “Katey,” as reported in that day’s DV, and thirty-one-year-old Polly Bergen had turned down the grandmother role, according to the 21 Jun 1961 DV. One week later, Bob Crane was cast as “a yacht club commodore,” as announced in the 29 Jun 1961 DV, but he did not remain with the picture. At that time, production was planned to begin in Oct 1961, and by 8 Aug 1961, Koster was on his way to scout locations in the village of Hyannis Port, MA, as stated in that day’s DV. (Modern sources indicated that the film was shot entirely in CA.) The casting of Mel Blanc was announced in the 9 Oct 1961 DV, but he was not listed on the 1 Dec 1961 DV production chart, which included Arthur Lucker as production manager. Filming began on 21 Nov 1961. The anticipated budget was $3 million, according to a 15 Jun 1961 DV article.
       During production, DV added Gretel Hedger and Doris Packer to the cast on 15 Dec 1961 and 20 Dec 1961, respectively, but neither are credited onscreen. On 27 Dec 1961, DV reported that dancer Roy Clark was choreographing a “twist” scene with nearly 150 performers, and the 29 Dec 1961 DV added that the sequence was accompanied by the rock ‘n’ roll band, The Red Jackets, with front man Mike Adams. The 7 Feb 1962 DV reported the uncredited appearances of Susan Adams and Christopher Bowler.
       Filming was scheduled to end on 14 Jan 1962, according to a 5 Jan 1962 DV news item, but the 24 Jan 1962 edition reported that filming was still underway for “a day or so.”
       A “sneak preview” of Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation screened at New York City’s Paramount Theater on 11 May 1962, and the film opened at the same venue one month later, on 15 Jun 1962, according to the 16 May 1962 DV and the 16 Jun 1962 NYT review. The New York City opening was preceded by the Los Angeles, CA, release on 25 May 1962 at the Fox Wilshire and the Academy Pasadena theaters, as well as the Van Nuys and Gage drive-ins, as stated in the 18 May and 25 May 1962 LAT. On 20 Jun 1962, Var reported that the film had just completed its first week in wide release, and was ranked fifth on the list of highest-grossing films at the box-office.
       The picture screened at the Berlin Film Festival (22 Jun 1962—3 Jul 1962), where it earned a Best Actor award for James Stewart and a nomination for Henry Koster, as noted in the 7 Jul 1962 LAT. Nunnally Johnson was nominated for the “Best Written American Comedy” award from the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Sep 1960
p. 1
Daily Variety
12 Oct 1960
p. 1
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1960
p. 4
Daily Variety
28 Dec 1960
p. 5
Daily Variety
31 May 1961
p. 2
Daily Variety
15 Jun 1961
p. 3
Daily Variety
21 Jun 1961
p. 2
Daily Variety
29 Jun 1961
p. 15
Daily Variety
8 Aug 1961
p. 5
Daily Variety
9 Oct 1961
p. 2
Daily Variety
1 Dec 1961
p. 8
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1961
p. 15
Daily Variety
20 Dec 1961
p. 14
Daily Variety
27 Dec 1961
p. 12
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1961
p. 4
Daily Variety
5 Jan 1962
p. 1
Daily Variety
24 Jan 1962
p. 3
Daily Variety
7 Feb 1962
p. 6
Daily Variety
16 May 1962
p. 4
Los Angeles Times
18 May 1962
Section C, p. 10
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1962
Section C, p. 17
New York Times
18 Sep 1960
Section X, p. 11
New York Times
16 Jun 1962
p. 10
Variety
5 Apr 1961
p. 4
Variety
26 Apr 1961
p. 4
Variety
20 Jun 1962
p. 19
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Orch
Orch
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Mr. Hobbs' Vacation by Edward Streeter (New York, 1954).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Cream Puff," words and music by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, sung by Fabian.
PERFORMED BY
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 May 1962
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 May 1962; New York opening: 15 Jun 1962;
Production Date:
21 Nov 1961--late Jan 1962
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Jerry Wald Productions
25 May 1962
LP22226
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
116
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Roger Hobbs is a banker whose hopes for a quiet summer vacation are dashed when his wife, Peggy, decides that what they need is a little family "togetherness" at a cottage by the seashore. From the very beginning things go wrong. Their rented cottage turns out to be such a dilapidated Gothic eyesore that their cook, Brenda, leaves in a huff; son Danny prefers television to the beach; daughter Katey also refuses to go out because of the braces on her teeth; daughter Susan arrives with her unruly children and has a spat with her unemployed husband, Stan, who promptly leaves; daughter Janie's egghead husband, Byron, becomes the all-too-willing prey of Marika, a bikini-clad siren; and Peggy is openly wooed by Reggie McHugh, a yacht club romeo. But, by steady perseverance, Mr. Hobbs manages to restore family harmony. He conquers the house's rebellious pump, wins Danny's respect and admiration by guiding a small boat through a dense fog, overcomes Katey's shyness by introducing her to a good-looking youngster named Joe, helps Stan get a job by entertaining the privately alcoholic Mr. and Mrs. Turner, steers Byron away from Marika by implying that she is hopelessly schizophrenic, and outromances the pompous Reggie. When their vacation ends, Hobbs greets with something less than enthusiasm his wife's announcement that she has leased the cottage for the following ...

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Roger Hobbs is a banker whose hopes for a quiet summer vacation are dashed when his wife, Peggy, decides that what they need is a little family "togetherness" at a cottage by the seashore. From the very beginning things go wrong. Their rented cottage turns out to be such a dilapidated Gothic eyesore that their cook, Brenda, leaves in a huff; son Danny prefers television to the beach; daughter Katey also refuses to go out because of the braces on her teeth; daughter Susan arrives with her unruly children and has a spat with her unemployed husband, Stan, who promptly leaves; daughter Janie's egghead husband, Byron, becomes the all-too-willing prey of Marika, a bikini-clad siren; and Peggy is openly wooed by Reggie McHugh, a yacht club romeo. But, by steady perseverance, Mr. Hobbs manages to restore family harmony. He conquers the house's rebellious pump, wins Danny's respect and admiration by guiding a small boat through a dense fog, overcomes Katey's shyness by introducing her to a good-looking youngster named Joe, helps Stan get a job by entertaining the privately alcoholic Mr. and Mrs. Turner, steers Byron away from Marika by implying that she is hopelessly schizophrenic, and outromances the pompous Reggie. When their vacation ends, Hobbs greets with something less than enthusiasm his wife's announcement that she has leased the cottage for the following summer.

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GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Domestic


Subject

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

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