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Press Release Criterion Press Release: Holiday (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. usrunnr

    usrunnr Writer

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    Saw this on PBS recently. It was completely delightful from start to finish. Not only was Grant acrobatic, but Hepburn (or a stunt double) also did an acrobatic stunt. I'll watch it again.We were commenting that they can't make movies like this anymore. Well, maybe Bogdonovich could.
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I would have seen Happy New Year if it had played into the summer. I went to NYC every summer back in those days except for summers when I was taking graduate courses and couldn't get away. As I recall, I saw A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine and Barnum that summer.
     
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  3. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    SPOILER ALERT!!!! (just kidding :P )
     
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  4. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    That's Johnny 50 years later, and now he's a working man after taking his early Holiday!
     
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  5. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    For what it's worth, I think it was a terrible title change. The original is so much more evocative (they could have added a Broadway "!" if they wanted to and re-titled it HOLIDAY! If you notice, they don't re-title musicals anymore. They aren't willing to lose any "oh, I know that one" dollars at the box office.
     
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  6. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Criterion hit a home run with their cover for Awful Truth so they seemed to have gone back to the Euro poster well, but come up short.
     
  7. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Screenwriter

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    This publicity still is what was used as the original DVD cover, but it was cropped heavily so you couldn't see the all the different travel posters and see that Cary and Katherine were sitting on their suitcases as well.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Message #28 of 52 Oct 19, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. roxy1927

    roxy1927 Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope you Jean Dixon fans have read Moss Hart's Act One. She plays an important part in turning Once in a Lifetime into a smash hit launching his pretty incredible career. The early talkie movie adaption is surprisingly faithful to the play(including the biggest laugh In the play which would have been cut post code) but why oh why didn't they use Dixon? She was probably the only one with her dry delivery who could make the applesauce line bring down the house. Aline MacMahon is good but she's no Dixon.

    Every single print I've seen of Holiday going back to the 70s in revival houses has been very grainy. It's as if the 35mm prints have all been taken from a 16mm print back in the 60s.

    I saw the revival of the play in the Circle in the Square with Laura Linney and Tony Goldwyn both actors who I like a lot. It went for nothing.
     
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  10. Suzanne.S

    Suzanne.S Stunt Coordinator

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    I love this film! I'm not a big fan of Hepburn, but I love her in this. I try to watch it every New Year's Eve if I can. I adore the Potters, they are a great compliment to Johnny and give more depth to his world since we only see the extravagance of the Setons. Ned is also a great counterpoint to Johnny. Lew Ayres certainly tugs at the heart strings in his portrayal of the man trapped in his unhappiness.

    I am very pleased that they are including the 1930 version. I've never seen it and would like to compare.
     
  11. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    He really does. You can almost SEE Ned's demons on Ayres' face and it's another interesting, underrated performance especially since, at that particular phase of his career, he was usually appearing as a light leading man and didn't really get to play that kind of complicated character. His portrayal of a spiraling but genuinely likable young man adds a lot of heft to Linda's desperation to save him.

    Me neither and I'm really looking forward to it, too! I can't wait to see it with a stronger actor in the part of Julia. As pleasant as Doris Nolan may be in the more well known version, she is the one weak link as she never seems to be at the same level as everyone around her. I don't think there's any real sisterly conflict between she and Hepburn because you never believe, for even a single second, that she stands a chance. I can't imagine Mary Astor would ever have let that happen.

    I "know" (in my head) that January is just around the corner but it FEELS like a long way off!
     
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  12. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    Harding, Astor and Ayres rule!
     
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  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don’t watch Holiday as often as I should, but as a consequence, it still holds fresh sway over me and impressed me and involves me each time. I’m really excited for this one. It’s been a treat to have Sony and Criterion bringing us some of Grant’s best and most interesting work on a semi regular basis.
     
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  14. roxy1927

    roxy1927 Stunt Coordinator

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    It's hard to believe it was an unsuccessful film. It even flopped at Radio City where I would have assumed it would have been a big hit. And then the far inferior Philadelphia Story turns into a roaring long running success. Who can figure these things out? Kazan wrote Cukor when he won the Oscar for MFL he won it for the wrong film. Hardly the way to congratulate someone. I assume he felt he should have won it for TPS but I would have given it to him for Holiday.
     
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  15. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I have to agree with Kazan on this one: MFL is not Cukor's finest film. It would have been ironic, though, if Cukor had snatched the AA from Kazan in 1954 by winning for the complete version of A Star Is Born.
    And I reiterate, Holiday is a better play than The Philadelphia Story; hence, it stands to make for a better film (though this is not always an absolute).
     
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  16. Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    The 1930 version of "Holiday" is on youtube. The print is horrible and I don't recommend viewing it. Hopefully Criterion thru Sony has access to a better source than what is currently on youtube. As its advertised as an extra I wouldn't expect a restoration of the 1930 film.
     
  17. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    The youtube print is an abomination. However, I did see a pristine 35mm print decades ago, when the film became available once more. I'm sure Sony has the elements that would enable them to release something better than the dupey prints that are now available.
     
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  18. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    Most presentations of films on YouTube are an abomination!
     
  19. roxy1927

    roxy1927 Stunt Coordinator

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    Though not consistent there are great sequences in MFL where Cukor earned his Oscar. Specifically the long scene where Eliza first comes to Higgins' home to ask for lessons. Beautiful. And then the Ascot tea small talk. I wish people could do this kind of high comedy today so magnificently. Just look at Elsom's reactions. And yeah not only would I have given Hepburn a nomination I would have I would have given her the Oscar as well. Harris's restoration is an unalloyed joy. I better be good and get back to Holiday. I would have given it to Cukor for the playroom scene alone. Nobody is any longer able to keep this kind of gossamer afloat. This is the kind of talent I truly envy.
     
  20. Message #40 of 52 Oct 21, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    I think it may have been a case of the film being released at the wrong time. Audiences just didn't seem to have any patience with it and we can't discount the really pronounced unpopularity of Katharine Hepburn's screen image at the time. Just a few months earlier BRINGING UP BABY also flopped rather loudly, too.


    Well, as much as I love HOLIDAY, I just can't agree with your assessment of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY being a far inferior movie. As a "movie," I think TPS is a better, more satisfying "journey." I may be biased since a viewing of it at a very young age is what made me fall in love with "the movies" and I've never gotten over it. I've always loved it.

    There are many practical reasons, unrelated to quality, that may have made it more of a success, however, not the least of which is that, by 1938, HOLIDAY was already a ten year old play with seemingly outdated ideas. PHILADELPHIA STORY, on the other hand, was a Broadway smash in the spring of 1939 and, after making the movie in Hollywood, Hepburn toured with it extensively in 1940-1941. It was more immediate and more of a part of the current cultural "zeitgeist" when the movie was released.

    It also served to "redeem" Hepburn's screen persona (which was Philip Barry's goal) via Tracy Lord in an undeniably terrific way. In addition to the fast, brittle dialogue, the audience is in on the joke at Hepburn's expense and allows us to "forgive" her her seeming haughtiness. It makes us want to lift her up and say, "see, just have a little humility Katie and it won't be so bad." It's like catnip. Fear of reversing that is what made MGM re-shoot the ending to WOMAN OF THE YEAR a little later.

    HOLIDAY "is" a better, weightier play (with something to say) while the other is just a comic star vehicle, though a ferociously adept one. They are entirely different beasts even though they both spring from the same playwright's mind. It's why we rarely see revivals of PHILADELPHIA STORY (without Hepburn it doesn't gel, just ask Blythe Danner) but people still take a crack at HOLIDAY. As films go, however, for my money I still think it's PHILADELPHIA STORY by two lengths (but your individual mileage may vary.)
     

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