Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant light up the screen in George Cukor’s irresistible late '30s comedy of manners.
There are a thousand nonconformist comedies, but only one Holiday.
Two years before The Philadelphia Story (1940) would cement Grant’s fame as a debonair leading man and mark a return to box office form for Hepburn – who already had one Best Actress Oscar on her mantelpiece at this early stage of her career – George Cukor paired Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in an elegantly droll comedy of manners in which both stars positively light up the screen. Cary Grant’s Johnny Case is engaged to Doris Nolan’s Julia Seton, who outranks him in social class. The course of true love (and capitalism) runs bumpy when Johnny shares his plans for his early thirties with his fiancee and her father. Aghast at his perceived lack of ambition, Johnny finds approval – and complicity – from unexpected quarters: his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Linda (Katharine Hepburn).
Grant and Hepburn's undeniable chemistry and talent for physical comedy saw them re-team in Holiday (the third of four films they've starred in together) in the same year they also appeared in Howard Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby. Their seemingly effortless ability to simultaneously deliver pithy dialogue and playful bits of physical comedy add sparkle and verve to Cukor’s breezy adaptation of the acclaimed play by Philip Barry, who also wrote The Philadelphia Story and High Society; likewise famously adapted by Hollywood. Barry’s witty, disarming enterprise is carried along under the deft directorial hand of Cukor (The Women, The Philadelphia Story, Adam’s Rib, My Fair Lady), a titan of Hollywood’s golden era who directed Katharine Hepburn in no less than ten studio films.
Roberta Ciabarra; Curator, Film
See below for additional related events
Read our COVID-safe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.