"Holiday" featuring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn takes place during both Christmas and New Years, but what makes it worth watching year round is the biting dialog and terrific acting. Grant plays Johnny Case, a wage slave who takes his first holiday since he started working at age 10. While at Lake Placid he falls for gorgeous blond, Julia Seton, not realizing until he goes to her house on 5th Avenue, she's one of the wealthy Setons who made their fortune during the robber baron era. While Julia plans for Johnny to take a job in her father's bank, Johnny has plans of his own which he shares with Julia's sister Linda, played by Katherine Hepburn. Linda is a better listener, but the outcast eccentric in the family. Hepburn's acting is outstanding, being both strong-willed and lacking confidence, Linda Seton is one of those dichotomies who exist in real life but few actors can pull off. The on-again off-again engagement is enhanced by some of the best character actors ever, including Johnny's best friend, played by Edward Everett Horton (worth watching for his facial expressions alone), Lew Ayers as the drunken brother, and Henry Daniell and Binnie Barnes as the snobbish cousins introduced at one point as "the Witch and Dopey." Based on a play, the film avoids the usual holiday kitsch by mixing jokes in with serious content about what really matters in life. "Holiday" is a special film, not as famous as "Philadelphia Story" or "Bringing Up Baby" but it captures the chemistry between Grant and Hepburn with a theme that will always be relevant. Treat yourself to this one. It's a gift any time of the year.
--Cindy F., Headquarters