Cary Grant classics in time for 'Holiday'
Just in time for Valentine's Day, five classic Cary Grant films will be available Feb. 7 in the Cary Grant Box Set (Sony, $60), including the DVD debut of 1938's Holiday, starring Katharine Hepburn. The collection - which also contains Only Angel Have Wings, The Talk of the Town, His Girl Friday and The Awful Truth - features new bonus material on each disc and a set of collectible postcards.
So those who already have the other four films on DVD but want Holiday will be obliged to get the box. Oh, well. It's still probably worth it, because Holiday was one of the most-needed titles among the unreleased "classic" movies: made by the same director (George Cukor), writers (Donald Ogden Stewart adapting a Philip Barry play) and stars (Grant and Hepburn) as The Philadelphia Story two years later, it's a much better movie. It's also continually relevant in its story of a young man who wants to drop out of the corporate rat race and explore the world while he's still young enough to enjoy it. The plight of the bored white-collar worker is a cliché now, but in 1938 it was an unusual subject.
Holiday also has great performances from everyone in the cast, especially Grant as the wannabe bohemian and Lew Ayres as the heroine's brother. This is also one of only two movies where Katharine Hepburn played a character I find sympathetic. The other is Stage Door. (Usually she either played characters who were basically unsympathetic people -- Bringing Up Baby, Philadelphia Story -- or else she was so annoying that I wound up hating the character anyway, as in every performance she gave after 1950 or so.)
Hopefully the new box will have a new transfer for The Awful Truth, which looked rather sub-par in its last (overpriced) DVD outing.