Spring of Cary: Holiday

Here we are to another week of Spring of Cary where Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs and I are watching Cary Grant movies for the spring. Katja from Breath of Hallelujah is joining in when she is able to.

I chose the list of movies from the ones of Cary’s I hadn’t watched before.

Our movie this week is Holiday and it was released in 1938, so it was one of Cary’s early films.

The movie kicks off with Johnny Case (Cary) coming back from a visit out of town where he says he has fallen in love with a woman and is going to marry her.

His friends don’t believe him and think he’s going to be destitute with a woman and her family leaching off of him.

They have nothing to worry about because when Johnny goes to the address that the woman he wants to marry gave him he finds out her family is super duper rich and live in a house that looks like, as he describes it, Grand Central Station.

The potential bride-to-be, Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), lets him know she’s from the famous, well-to-do Seton family. She also tells him that her father will expect him to start working with the company and become a businessman and Johnny really isn’t sure that’s something he’s interested in. He just wants to have fun. Like he told his friends at the beginning of the movie:

“She wants the life I want, the home I want, the fun I want.”

But does Julia really want all that? We will have to find out.

After Johnny first arrives at the big, fancy house, Julia tells Johnny she’s going to go to church and tell her father about them, and on their way out the door, in walks Julia’s sister Linda (Katherine Hepburn), who is very intrigued with this man her sister says she’s going to marry. It is clear that Linda has an entirely different spirit than Julia. A much freer spirit.

Linda wants to make sure that Johnny is good enough for the sister she loves. Deep down she doesn’t want Julia to get married. We learn later that one reason she doesn’t want Julia to get married is because she doesn’t want Julia to move out of the house and have a home of her own, This will leave Linda alone to be bored and unsure of her own future. For now, she’s simply rattling around in the big house where the men in the family and their goal of succeeding is the main focus and she is expected to attend business parties.

Early on we learn that Julia and Linda’s mother has died at some point in the past, but she was a fun mother who wanted her children to stay somewhat grounded so she had a playroom built in the house that featured more common furniture and the tools each child needed to explore their passions in life (a drum set, paints, and workout equipment for example).

Johnny isn’t very interested in impressing the patriarch of the family. He wants to work for a bit to save some money and then take several years off of work and go back to work when he learns why he’s been working his whole life. This is what he tells Linda, saying he wants to take a bit of a holiday in between his working years. The term “holiday” is sort of a British term to me but I know he means a type of break or vacation.

Linda likes the sound of that because she’d like to take a holiday from her rather mundane life where she feels like her family has lost touch with – well, each other. She longs for the days when her mother was alive and everything felt more real and wasn’t all about money.

Linda can tell right from the beginning that Johnny is a free spirit and while Julia is nice, she is not a free spirit. She is a “this is the way we’ve always done it and it needs to be done this way still” type of person.

As much as Linda is worried about Johnny ruining Julia’s spirit, she also seems worried that Julia will do the same to Johnny.

It all comes to a head at the New Year’s Eve party where Julia and Linda’s father announces the couple’s engagement but Linda refuses to come to it because she was going to throw a smaller, less public, and more intimate party for her sister instead.

The sisters also have a brother, Ned, who keeps himself liquored up to deal with life.

This was really just a fun movie and I absolutely loved Katherine Hepburn in it. Critics called this her comeback movie after she had developed a reputation with RKO Pictures as being box office poison. I feel that in this movie she really showed them that they made a mistake. One critic in 1938 said the same, writing, “”If she [Hepburn] is slipping, as Independent Theatre Owners claim, then her ‘Linda’ should prove that she can come back–and has.”

She was sweet and touching in this movie and just pulled me into Linda’s world so easily. She and Cary had an amazing chemistry and as much as I liked Cary in this movie, I was mesmerized by her performance and simply impressed with his.

I really enjoyed Cary’s youthful exuberance in this movie. According to Wikipedia, he was 34 when the movie was made. He just seemed more chipper and happy in this movie than the previous movies I’ve seen him in. Since Cary was much younger in this movie, he was able to pull off a lot more of the physical comedy. Katherine got in on some of her own physical comedy during at least one scene.

This was one of four movies that Cary and Katherine were in together. The others were Bringing Up Baby (I absolutely recommend this one), the Philadelphia Story (I also recommend this one), and Sylvia Scarlett which The Husband just realized we have on DVD in a collection of Cary movies.

Incidentally, the director of the movie, George Cukor, almost cast Irene Dunne in the movie, which was the actress who was in The Awful Truth and My Favorite Wife with Cary. In the end, though, he chose Hepburn, which, as I mentioned above, did worry some in the industry.

I enjoyed this movie more than any of the others we have seen so far. To me, Cary and Katherine are simply a winning combination.

To see Erin’s impression of the movie hop on over to her blog (later Thursday for this week. She’s been delayed.)

I don’t know if Kajta will have a post today or not but if she does you can find her blog here.

Next up in our lineup for movies to watch:

Operation Petticoat (May 11)

Suspicion (May 18)

Notorious (May 25)

6 thoughts on “Spring of Cary: Holiday

  1. Pingback: The Spring of Cary Grant: Holiday – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

  2. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: A spring outing, reading mysteries, and new glasses for the youngest | Boondock Ramblings

  3. Pingback: Spring of Cary: Holiday – Breath of Hallelujah

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