Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The elevator is to the rear and right.

Continuing in my list of 100 movies now. To be honest, I've more or less lost track of the point of this list, really. I'd originally intended it to be a sort of AFI list of 100 best films. The problem is, how do you define "best?" Does it mean I'd have to include movies I don't like? Does it mean I ought to stick primarily to movies that are serious and weighty as many people tend to think that serious and weighty movies are superior to light and fluffy ones? Or is it really a list of 100 movies that I like best? In which case, do I even have 100 movies that I like best? As opposed to 100 movies that I like at all? I think I'm beginning to confuse myself with these silly questions so I'll stop. Suffice it to say that this count-up has basically become a list of 100 movies that I like very much. What happens when I get to 100? Well, I'll worry about that when I get there. In the meantime...

#23 Holiday (1938)

The basic plot is as follows: Johnny Case (Cary Grant) has impulsively become engaged to Julia Seton (Doris Nolan). While he wins the affections of Julia's sister, Linda (Katherine Hepburn), and brother, Ned (Lew Ayres), Julia's wealthy father is a harder one to charm. And when Johnny tells them of his plans to take an extended holiday as soon as he has enough saved up, tempers clash. No one understands Johnny's desire to travel and figure out the meaning of life, except Linda.

I'm always forgetting how great this film is until I watch it. That may sound silly, but it's true. I watched this one a good while ago, put it on my wishlist, rated it 5 stars on Netflix, and then forgot about it. When my mom checked it out of the library a few weeks ago, I was able to realize why I loved it so much in the first place. This movie is emotional, funny, and uplifting all at once. I love the romance in it. My sister commented that there isn't much of one and I kind of like that. I find the romance slightly more true to life. I can completely imagine myself in Linda's shoes, being completely in love with someone (especially Cary Grant) and feeling unable to do anything about it. She loves him but never actually tells him. It's easier for me to relate to that then something like a Fred and Ginger sequence - where he loves her at first sight and can't rest until he finds her again. I love that, but have a hard time imagining it actually happening. Same with things like That Funny Feeling which is even slightly more possible - playboy playing around with a pretty girl. But falling in love with someone and quietly doing nothing about it? That I can relate to! Now, please don't get the wrong idea from this, this film is a comedy, a romantic comedy at that. I promise to never post a movie with an unhappy ending without giving you fair warning. I think happy endings are very important. And this film, believe me, has a very, very happy ending!

Sadly, there's very little trivia on this film, (except that Edward Everett Horton reprised his role from the 1930 version - how cool is that?) so instead I'll highlight a couple of my favorite people in the film.

And I won't highlight Grant or Hepburn's characters even though they're completely wonderful.

First, I want to talk about Ned. Ned is one of the coolest characters in the film, if not the best. He's the most discerning, self-reliant, and supportive character. He's the only one who truly understands Julia's character, which is noteworthy because it's a pretty major part of the film. He's a truly sad character because he has to escape his misery through drunkenness but I like to think that Linda is true to her word and comes back for him eventually. Ned is a backbone character. He's truly supportive of Linda through and through, never asking her to compromise and come down to the party, always validating her (which is something she needs), and the only one who believes she can attain happiness.

The Potters are next. This is probably my favorite Edward Everett Horton role. It's the only one in which he doesn't louse things up or play some foolish jerk. Don't get me wrong, I love Horton. I think he's a delightful character actor and I love the way he responds to things without realizing what he's saying. But in this film, he's intelligent, genuine, and a true friend. His wife, played by Jean Dixon, is also a treat. I spent the entire film trying to figure out where I'd seen her. When I looked it up, I realized it was My Man Godfrey. Phew!

I decided to choose this movie today because I just bought it! Hooray! I had a $15 gift card from my grandparents for Target. I kept saving it and was thinking of being sensible and buying shoes for work. But when I realized that none of the shoes at Target that are completely black are waterproof (which is what I need), I decided to not be sensible and buy what I really wanted. I can't wait until I get it in the mail!!


  1. 100 favorite movies sounds a lot more fun that 100 "best" movies :)

  2. I think you should do a countdown of your favorites! That's so much more unique than what AFI does, which is praise the same movies over and over again.

    I've never seen this, but I really want to now!

  3. I don't like this film much even though I LOVE Cary and George and Kate. I never really liked the play, Linda came off so bitchy to me as a child when I read it first. Still Cary and Kate make anything better, and she looks sooo gorgeous here. Lovely writeup.

  4. I think this is an unusual movie because Grant does not get the glamor girl...we're so used to him getting the leading lady...but in this case the leading lady is not so nice. In the end, he gets the better girl... love both Grant and Hepburn in this movie!!

  5. Okay dont hurt me but Ive never seen this one - love them both so I'll add this to my list of must sees! My problem is I have a group of movies that I watch over and over....and over...well you get the point! Thanks for the reccomendation!

  6. Yay you on buying Holiday! I love it too, in fact I think it's better than Bringing Up Baby. You made me want to watch it now. :-)

  7. I'd say you should do your favorite 100 films...or heck just keep on going past 100. I love Holiday, it's one of my favorites! I used to wish I could be like Linda, kind of spontaneous and a dreamer. Their playroom is the coolest room on earth, I swear. And I love that scene where Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn do a bit of acrobatics. I love Ned too, I felt kind of sad for him at the end because he's kind of stuck. The Potters were hilarious, they said the funniest things! I did a post on the film a few months ago here, but it's not nearly as detailed and wonderful as yours:

  8. Defining the best is so hard even if it's what you think is the best. I admire that you're willing to do it though. Great pick too!


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