Now we have the 1930 version of Holiday, starring Ann Harding, Mary Astor and Robert Ames.
Coming Up Shorts! with… A Wolf In Sheik’s Clothing (1948)
(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 3 from Warner Archive Collection)
Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.
(Length: 7 minutes, 46 seconds)
While exploring the desert, Olive expresses a desire to kiss a sheik (and wouldn’t you know it, one just happens to be nearby and tries to take her away from Popeye). Another fun short, admittedly with a few gags recycled from previous Popeye shorts. Still, worth a few good laughs. A short that was originally done in Polacolor (Polaroid’s method of color processing), but part of the color nitrate separation negatives were gone, possibly many years ago. A lot of work was put into restoring this one. It doesn’t look *quite* as good as the others, but it still looks pretty good!
And Now For The Main Feature…
After going on a holiday to Lake Placid, Johnny Case (Robert Ames) comes home engaged to Julia Seton (Mary Astor). He is surprised to find out she is an heiress, the daughter of a rich banker. Her sister, Linda Seton (Ann Harding) takes to him, and blesses the marriage, with her brother Ned Seton (Monroe Owsley) being indifferent. However, her banker father Edward Seton (William Holden) is wary, and looks into Johnny’s prospects. Linda wants to give them a small party to celebrate their engagement on New Year’s Eve, but Edward decides to give a big party for all his society friends. Linda opts not to come to the party, instead staying in the playroom. There, she entertains Nick (Edward Everett Horton) and Susan Potter (Hedda Hopper), along with Johnny, who tells her of his dream to quit work and go on a holiday while he tries to figure life out and enjoy it before returning to work when his money runs out. When Edward and Julia come up, Johnny tells them his dream, except they are both disturbed by it, resulting in Johnny leaving. With Linda developing feelings for Johnny while still trying to support her sister, what will come of all this?
Based on the then-recent Philip Barry play, this movie brings the story to the big screen with an almost entirely different cast, save for Monroe Owsley, who returns as Ned Seton. Having seen the 1938 version previously, I will admit I was curious, and wanted to try out the 1930 film as well (but I’ll try to avoid comparisons here and save that for a later post). Being an early sound era movie, I would say that it suffers a bit for that. Too many of the actors just seem to be giving stiff performances in much the same way a lot of actors did in that time. However, not everybody in this movie is guilty of that. In my own opinion, Mary Astor and Edward Everett Horton give the most natural performances here. Mary Astor provides a great dramatic performance as Julia, and is fascinating to watch. Edward Everett Horton provides the much-needed comedy relief here, and is fun to watch like always (even if this was before he established his own screen persona)! Apart from those two, this is a tough movie to watch, but for them alone, it’s worth recommending seeing at least once!
This movie is available as an extra in the recent release of its 1938 remake from Criterion Collection. For its inclusion, it has been given an HD scan, which looks great most of the time. However, it hasn’t been fully restored, as evidenced by various moments that looks worse, either with tears or scratches or such. However, as I said, it looks pretty good overall, and is likely the best it will look for the time being.
Film Length: 1 hour, 31 minutes
My Rating: 6/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
Edward Everett Horton – Design For Living (1933)