Jan 132020

1938’s Holiday is a charming enough romance-drama featuring a few great performances, primarily Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Doris Nolan.



— The Criterion Collection —

Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Criterion Collection | NR – 95 min. – $39.95 | January 7, 2020

Date Published: 01/13/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: George Cukor
Writer(s): Philip Barry (stage play); Donald Ogden Stewart and Sidney Buchman (screenplay)
Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres, Edward Everett Horton

Features: Interviews, Gallery
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Full Frame 1.37
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 47.74 GB
Total Bitrate: 40.00 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

The Criterion Collection provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


Johnny (CARY GRANT) seems like a solid match for Julia (DORIS NOLAN), the socialite daughter of Edward Seton (HENRY KOLKER). Assured that Johnny is a worthy suitor, Edward approves of the pairing. But, as Johnny’s wanderlust surfaces — he is more interested in traveling than in business — Edward starts to have doubts. Johnny also begins to wonder if he might not be a better match for Linda (KATHARINE HEPBURN), Julia’s outspoken younger sister, with whom he has much more in common.



Like most Criterions, this single-disc release is housed in a clear HD keep case and inside is a fold-out essay booklet. Features include a Conversation (34:35) between filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and film critic Michael Sragew; Audio Excerpts (21:13) from an American Film Institute oral history with director George Cukor which was recorded in 1970 and ’71; and a Costume Gallery.

Also on this release is the 1930 adaptation (1:31:00) of the Philip Barry play which is in 1080p HD and has a Dolby Digital Mono track.


VIDEO – 4.75/5

The Criterion Collection releases Holiday onto Blu-ray, presented in the original 1.37 aspect ratio and has been given a new 1080p high-definition transfer.  This transfer was taken from the 35mm nitrate duplicate negative and a 35mm nitrate print and then scanned in 4K HDR by Sony Pictures Entertainment. As such, this is a very brilliant looking movie, there is still some minor film damage with a few vertical lines, but otherwise detail is incredibly sharp, the black and white presentation is even and the natural film grain and noise has been retained giving it an authentic look and doubtful this movie has ever looked better.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

The disc includes a monaural track which was also remastered from the original optical soundtrack negative. This does sound great, no major instances of cracking or pops while the dialogue comes through with good clarity throughout.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, 1938’s Holiday is a charming enough romance-drama featuring a few great performances, primarily Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Doris Nolan. Not a favorite of mine perhaps but still worth checking out if you’re a fan of either Hepburn or Grant. This Criterion Collection release does offer up great video and audio transfers, though by Criterion standards, a bit limited in the features department.

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