The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
21 Reviews
Sort by:
Great comedy that had the potential to be a very profound drama too
grantss1 July 2017
It is the Annual General Meeting of International Projects, a large listed company. The board of directors are a shady lot but none of the shareholders ever question their decisions or vote against their motions. Until now. Laura Partridge, a minor shareholder, starts to ask some pretty important questions, questions which the directors don't like. In the aftermath of the meeting the directors are worried that she will form a committee of minority shareholders, and exercise some control of the company. In order to keep her quiet and in line, they offer her a job in the company, as Director of Shareholder Relations. The idea is to give her nothing to do, but Laura has other plans...

Great comedy, lead by the irrepressible, effervescent Judy Holliday as Laura Partridge. Some great lines and wonderful comedic timing. A good satire on the corporate world generally.

Had the potential to be a great drama too, and expose on the ethics and machinations of corporate boards. Here it falls a bit short of great, though it started very well. The initial few scenes are a wonderful indictment of company boards, how they're in it for themselves rather than the shareholders, the people they represent and work for.

However, beyond those few scenes the movie loses focus on the subject. The directors become too cartoonish in their villainousness, and some of the schemes seem unlikely and contrived. Does still make a decent point regarding corporate governance and ethics, though this is dampened somewhat by the final scene, which jars with Ms Partridge's Jane Average "looking out for the little guy" ethic.

The romantic angle involving Ms Partridge and Mr McKeever also set the movie back. Due to the obvious large age difference between them, felt very contrived and even creepy. Was also unnecessary and detracted from the message.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Holiday Shines In Bright Comedy
dougdoepke1 September 2016
Hollywood has had a long tradition of dumb blonde performers who could be counted on to produce more than their share of belly-laughs. None, however, was more expert at the trade than Judy Holiday whose untimely death robbed filmdom of one of its most accomplished comediennes. This movie, along with Born Yesterday, is among her very best, and should not be missed. Film fans may want to note that there's a direct line of descent from Holiday in this movie to Reese Witherspoon in the megahit Legally Blonde. Like Witherspoon's character in Blonde, everyone underestimates Holiday's Laura Partridge and with similarly devastating results. In both cases, it's that sweetly scatterbrained exterior that conceals a shrewd and determined inner woman, a combination which proves deadly for those who would happily exploit them.

Here, it's the Board of a soulless corporation ( just then emerging from the 50's decade of growth) that falls into Holiday's trap with hilarious results. The Board itself is a stellar lineup of character actors: from the curmudgeonly Fred Clark, to the cultured John Williams, to the scheming Ray Collins, all familiar faces from the Late Late Show and pompously perfect targets for a womanly comeuppance. Holiday's pixilated exchanges with these smugly officious scofflaws are minor gems.

Those interested in charting the rise of the women's movement might also note an important contrast between the two films. Holiday's character, for all her wiles and willpower, must eventually succumb in typical 50's fashion to her stronger male half as played by the always redoubtable Paul Douglas. On the other hand, Witherspoon's post-Gloria Steinam character discovers a hidden self-sufficiency that requires no Douglas counterpart, producing a typically 90's note of feminist triumph.

But these are merely incidental reflections on an underrated movie that truly sparkles because of the comedic lustre of its star, the unforgettable Judy Holiday, in a role that suits her to the proverbial T.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Kirpianuscus20 June 2016
it is the film of Judy Holliday. seductive, social critic, the unbeatable innocence who change all, the insignificant citizen who destroy Goliath. the rhythm is the key of this fresh air film, not different by many other comedies with same theme but work of inspired team, it preserves its special notes. a film who reminds Frank Capra movies atmosphere and who gives to a play new interesting nuances. a film about justice and love, using in wise manner clichés and , without give to many surprises, but proposing a coherent, nice, provocative story of courage, pure soul, success. short, one of smart films from a lost age of American cinematography, useful as recipes for the role and purpose of film in a different society for who entertainment has a more profound definition than today.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Another fine performance out of Holliday's nine films!
talisencrw1 May 2016
Judy Holliday captivated me greatly, in the few of her only 9 credited films she made in her short life, before breast cancer silenced her at 43. She had a very unique presence in cinema, her voice alone was one-of-a-kind, and her comic timing was nothing short of genius. This was a fine vehicle for her (pardon the pun), in that she plays a friendly but naïve lady who inherits a cat and 10 shares in a corruptly run company, decides to attend a shareholders' meeting, and the rest is history. She fulfills the axiom that if a large company makes personal connections with the small shareholders, the little people behind the scenes who keep large corporations surviving, that the good, honest person can win in big-time American big business. Because of Holliday's splendid personality, she was perfectly cast for the role. Though her character's romance with co-star Paul Douglas' was a minor, but important, feature of the film, I found this screwball comedy in an inexpensive Mill Creek 'Classic Romances' 8-pack, that I only purchased to see another one of Holliday's performances. I think that esteemed and highly of her work.

She was born on June 21, 1921--the summer solstice--and she would be turning 95 this summer, if she was still alive. My only wish is that she was, to at least read this, a love letter, from a truly appreciative fan of her work.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Maybe gold paint
bkoganbing17 March 2016
You'll have to wait until the very end of the film to actually see The Solid Gold Cadillac. Such a vehicle I doubt would run, I rather think this was gold sheeting. Maybe even gold paint.

Paul Douglas is the president of a big conglomerate that he built from the ground up. Now he's getting out to take a big job in Washington, in the Defense Department which is always hiring business executives. More in the Eisenhower administration than in most others for this was the presidency which had Charles E. Wilson who opined during his Senate confirmation hearings that 'what's good for General Motors is good for the USA'. Lots of folks thought that way then.

But as he's taking leave at his last stockholder's meeting 10 shares holder Judy Holliday shows up asking a lot of questions, annoying the rest of the board which has such folks as Ray Collins, John Williams, and Fred Clark on it, but she charms Douglas.

Try as I might I could not wrap my mind around the concept of a man succeeding in business as Douglas does and being such a boy scout. To avoid conflict of interest the normal procedure is to put one's holdings in a blind trust. But the fact that his company specifically does not get government contracts at Douglas's say so at the Defense Department is just off the wall. Who knows, they might actually have the low bid and the right product.

Still Douglas does what he does and would be actress Holliday is actually hired by the company. But our villains are indeed full of tricks.

George S. Kaufman is one of the creators and I find that hard to believe. I think Kaufman was having an off day. Holliday and Douglas do the best they can with limited material as does the rest of the cast.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
She drives him crazy
jarrodmcdonald-11 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Judy Holliday has a license to drive Paul Douglas Crazy in this highly amusing situation comedy from Columbia Pictures. The set-up is rather simple.

Miss Holliday plays a woman stockholder asserting herself in a male-dominated business culture. Of course, this causes all sorts of trouble for a tight-fisted corporate bigwig, played by Mr. Douglas. They have more than one quarrel, and a lot of the humor derives from their constant bickering. But in true screwball fashion, where matters of the heart do not ever make sense, the two soon find themselves falling in love.

The result is a charming romp that goes the distance and never once comes close to running out of gas.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A one of a kind star
jjnxn-116 May 2013
In a role tailor made to her special gifts Judy Holliday is totally captivating and wholly endearing. The sign of a truly unique performer is to watch a film or performance and not be able to envision anyone else in the part. That's what happens watching the magical Judy as Laura Partridge. There are many great comediennes but while Marilyn Monroe was sexier, Lucille Ball wackier and Carole Lombard more stylishly outlandish no one quite had the special sweet radiance and naive intelligence of Miss Holliday.

While she is wondrous she isn't the whole show. Paul Douglas and his gruff charm plays well off of her and they are surrounded by an absolutely great cast of some of the best character actors working in film at the time. The story is a pleasant far fetched little fable, a sort of David versus Goliath reworking. Sit back and enjoy.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
How to Succeed in Business Without Applying For the Job!
mark.waltz24 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
That's what Laura Partridge (Judy Holliday) will find out when she interrupts the annual stockholder's meeting and creates a menace to the bores who get astronomical salaries for doing practically nothing. Before she can object to the passing on the minutes of the previous meetings, she is given a do-nothing executive position to pacify small stockholders like herself, and stirs the whole company's pot into a frenzy. The very funny Broadway play (which starred the very different Josephine Hull) focused on a sweet little old lady, but was intelligently altered as a vehicle for Holliday.

Paul Douglas, Holliday's co-star from the original stage version of "Born Yesterday', is wonderfully witty (and sweet!) as the founder of the company who becomes Holliday's ally in Washington where he now works in a government job. There's no stopping this team against the ruthless idiocy of the likes of Ray Collins, Fred Clark (in a hysterically funny snarky performance!) and John Williams, showing that big business cannot survive without the little people.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Judy Holliday fights corporate greed in a still timely farce...
Neil Doyle9 November 2011
Although all the events that take place in this timely farce are highly improbable, JUDY HOLLIDAY is so adept at making a believable character out of her ditsy blonde that she makes the whole plot seem plausible by the time she steps into her solid gold Cadillac for the final Technicolor scene shot at Rockefeller Plaza. Today's headlines full of corporate greed and big bonuses for men in high places makes the plot more relevant than ever.

She turns up at a stockholders meeting at the start with a whole bunch of seemingly innocuous questions, wondering how much the stuffed shirts who run the huge corporation make when all they have to do is show up at board meetings four times a year. And even though she only owns 10 shares of stock, she upsets the apple cart of some crooked members of the Board of Directors and has them scrambling to find ways to make her disappear. The slimiest one of all (played by FRED CLARK) thinks that murder is a possible option.

But then they set her up in an office (with nothing to do), hoping that she just fades away and giving her secretary strict instructions to keep her nose out of their business. Naturally, Holliday takes charge with her own ideas about contacting the small stock holders with letters she dictates to her secretary--and, well, you can pretty much guess what happens next.

The script has some bright and witty moments, played to the hilt by an expert cast including PAUL DOUGLAS, JOHN WILLIAMS, RAY COLLINS and NEVA PATTERSON, but Richard Quine's direction is rather unimaginative and the film never quite soars into the stratosphere of bright farce that it's striving for. A tighter pace would have helped.

Judy Holliday's perky performance as the naive stockholder seems more like a retread of previous parts than anything else, but she does brighten things up considerably whenever she has a clever line, and Paul Douglas is amusing as the business man she impresses.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Well, what else do you give a girl who has everything?"
moonspinner5522 February 2010
Judy Holliday's best comedy vehicle, a wonderful adaptation of George Kaufman and Howard Teichmann's play, about a struggling actress in New York City who owns ten shares of stock in a large corporation; perplexed as to why the board members do so little and get paid so much, she attends a stockholder's meeting and soon has all the power-suits reeling. Richard Quine directs the proceedings with an assured touch, and teaming Holliday with her "Born Yesterday" stage co-star Paul Douglas was a terrific move (they have a built-in rapport). Douglas gets one of his funniest roles as the former Chairman of the Board who has gone to work in Washington, D.C., setting up a finale which mixes together a touch of Frank Capra with a bit of "Born Yesterday". Some may complain the theme of government--coupled with a wise-beyond-her-own-knowledge heroine--is too close to Judy's previous hit. While that may be true, the actress is so good at playing the innocent gal taking on the corporate sharks, it's not worth quibbling over. Big laughs from start to finish, with a doozy of a tag and fantastic comic support from Fred Clark, John Williams, Neva Patterson, and Madge Blake. ***1/2 from ****
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ahead of its time.
Blueghost19 April 2009
Before the days of S&L scandals, Enron, the Texas billionaire brothers manipulating the precious metals market, and the 2009 bailout of the largest and once most powerful financial institutions in the world by the United States government, Richard Quine helmed a screenplay adaptation of a play sending up corporate manipulation of share holders and deceiving the government by demanding contracts.

A classic comic look look at how things haven't changed in the fifty some odd years since this film was made. Financial gamesmanship and political deceit are as old as pharaohs and kings. To paraphrase Richard Harris playing Oliver Cromwell from "Cromwell", "An immovable parliament is more obnoxious than an immovable king!"... or words to that effect.

"Solid Gold Cadillac" shows us this premise in spades, and gives us the gallant comedienne Judy Holliday sallying forth with womanly earnestness, by asking the most basic and fundamental questions; i.e. why do the boards of directors get paid so much? Her innocence and wide eyed (almost country girl like) innocence throws a monkey wrench into the antagonists' machinations.

We are reminded of some of the pitfalls of automated private bureaucracy. And how if the average share holder (or voter as the case may be) doesn't follow the "Trust but verify" axiom, then they're in for a roller coaster ride as unethical executives play funny with their money.

This is a smart light hearted comedy that plays to a more reserved audience. This isn't the "in your face" 90s nor 2000s. It's the reserved 1950s where sexual intrigue is understood, but not blatantly thrust in the face of the mainstream viewer. It's kind of refreshing.

Although the film is a glimpse into the financial double-dealings of past 1950s America, it's a parable on how not to repeat history. Or, should history repeat itself, then fight it with a repeat of your own; get informed, organize, and take action by mobilizing the stock holders :-) Were this film made today, it would placate strictly to a female audience. It is in some sense a "chick flick" of a bygone era, but it's really more of couples' film.

Some nice entertainment for a lazy afternoon.

Enjoy :-)
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Timeless Solid Gold
pamevans464 June 2007
What can you say about Judy Holliday? Her timing was always absolutely perfect. Her facial expressions frequently making speech unnecessary. In Solid Gold Cadillac she gives a magical portrayal as Laura Partridge, the supposedly, dumb blonde, part time actress with no appreciation of Shakespeare, ("You don't even get to sit down unless you're a king" - a typical Holliday line), but who is nonetheless shrewd enough to see through the corrupt shenanigans of the board of directors of a multi-national company in which she owns just ten shares. The partnering of Judy Holliday and that fine actor, Paul Douglas, as Edward L. McKeever, the upright, down to earth and totally incorruptible founder of the company, who is (according to Laura Partridge) "scared of girls", works like a dream. The film also has excellent support from Ray Collins, Arthur O'Connell, Neva Patterson, John Williams and of course Fred Clark, as Snell, the oily, slippery company treasurer, a real nasty piece of work. I defy anyone not to boo and hiss whenever he appears. In addition to being a delightful romantic comedy, this is also a tale of good fighting to overcome evil, and the little people of this world getting together and refusing to be trampled by a big faceless conglomerate. If you've never seen this picture before, or maybe never seen a Judy Holliday movie, you're in for a treat.
16 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Mr Capra, will you please helm this one?
vostf24 August 2006
Lots of commentators here have been referring to Capra. This is enlightening: this comedy, this story of an honest little woman against the riches and corrupt guys who run a corporation, lacks a great director. And Capra sure would have been the best choice to make this movie more than just marginally good.

Look, the storyline is good because it was rehearsed and played so many times on stage and so are the actors since they were already in the play or had a chance to see it. But the mise en scene is lame. So many important if not climactic scenes are shot on the same level as the rest... it's a pity. The movie's breath is that of a dozing director. No rush, no hush, and certainly no plush nor blush.

Bottom line: a very good play with very good actors unfortunately shot at stage level, not movie level.

Personal: in my opinion: Paul Douglas was a bit too old or too common to be a love interest. If I can daydream of Capra helming this one why not attach Jimmy Stewart?
7 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
cute modern fantasy
MartinHafer19 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a very cute and engaging film--buoyed by Judy Holliday's charming performance as a simple lady who wants answers! Judy is a very insignificant stockholder in a huge corporation. Like most corporations, the bulk of the stocks are controlled by thousands of tiny investors while a few larger investors are in charge of running the day to day operations. While the officers of the corporation own much less than 50% of the stock, the rest of the investors are not united. Judy sees that is a problem when she shows up at an open meeting for stockholders and finds that the board is completely unresponsive to her. She rightly reasons that as a stockholder, she has a right to be heard, but the officers treat her as a nuisance and ignore her. So, instead of just walking away and forgetting it, Judy decides to fight back by organizing the members and getting enough proxy votes to force change. At first, they laugh at the notion, but by the end of the film, it's Judy who has the last laugh! This film is very well-made and great fun to watch--with a lovely comedic tone. Too bad that Ms. Holliday died so young, as she had quite a hand for this style of film.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Holliday and Douglas take on Wall Street
theowinthrop10 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Judy Holliday is one of the lost generation of 1950s stars. She is in that group with Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Grace Kelly, and Shirley Booth who gained stardom in motion pictures, but either died prematurely (Dean, Monroe, Holliday), or made few movies (Dean, Booth, Kelly, and Holliday), or left the motion pictures for other areas of public attention (Booth with her stage and television work, Kelly as Princess of Monaco). Holliday, Booth, and Kelly won the Oscar for best actress (Monroe never did - Dean was nominated but never won). But she is probably the least remembered, although she made as many films as Kelly, and more than either Booth or Dean. Moreover, the elderly Booth never really had a film following (unlike her stage following), and Dean was representative of a new type of film hero like Monty Clift and Marlon Brando. Holliday was more accessible, as a representative of urban, mid-century America.

What was her best film? BORN YESTERDAY (her Oscar performance) is usually the one mentioned, or IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU (as Gladys Glover, the woman who creates her own publicity and fame), or THE MARRYING KIND? To me though, her best performance is THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC. It takes off from where BORN YESTERDAY left. That film dealt with corporate corruption of politics (Billy Dawn's boyfriend Harry buying an influential Congressman). The corruption there is the creation of of a cartel controlling (through garbage dumps) scrap metal sales. In SOLID GOLD CADILLAC, Harry's junk empire is replaced by a major Wall Street corporation created by Paul Douglas. Douglas' McKeever had a strong hand controlling his fellow directors, but he's taken a "dollar-a-year" job in Washington (his fellow directors hope he'll send the corporation valuable government contracts - he doesn't). Once he leaves, the others (John Williams, Fred Clark, Ralph Dumke, and Ray Collins) take over, and as the narrator (George Burns) says - "Did I tell you they were crooks?...Boy were they crooks!"

It would have been smooth sailing but for two problems. Before he left, McKeever attended a final stockholders meeting. One shareholder (who owns only a couple of shares) is Laura Partridge (Holliday). She happens to demand explanations for various of the actions of the firm in the last year. To silence her they make her a secretary - quasi officer. She is used to keep in touch with the shareholders as a public relations figure. The other problem is due to Harry Harkness (Hiram Sherman) the brother-in-law of the firm's President Jack Blessington (John Williams). Harkness has to be given a job at the demand of Blessington's wife (Harkness' sister). He is a total idiot, best used to playing polo. His "abilities" send the firm reeling, and with the antics of Ms Partridge raises the blood pressure of the firm's bosses, particularly the firm's comptroller Clifford Snell (Fred Clark - possibly his best comic performance).

The forces of greed (the corporate officers) and the forces of good (Douglas and Holliday when they join forces) confront each other in the last half hour of the film: who will run the great company. All I will say is that it comes down to who owns more of the company.

As a look at the financial culture of the Eisenhower years (and even now, in the wake of Enron and other scandals) THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC can't be beaten. As a showcase of Judy Holliday's friendly, common sensible urbanite taking on the corrupt it is wonderful. Witness her momentarily getting the upper hand over the villains when she uncovers an particularly stupid action by Sherman regarding a company subsidiary. The four directors silently listen to her lecture and agree to her demands, and at the end are glaring at the embarrassed Sherman. If you want to see Holliday at her best comic performance (my opinion), I recommend this film for that purpose.
28 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Yet Another That Wont Get The Attention it Deserves
bluenotejazz23 May 2004
It is truly rare to come across a movie that does everything so well.

Conversely, it is truly sad that the 'feel good' genre of movies seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur

Every character actor here is on point. And there are plenty of them. The talent particularly of Judy Holliday cant be overstated, as she moves seemingly effortless between comedic and romantic scene changes. Even the pairing of the 'loudmouth' Paul Douglas is great for her, as the two of them trade punches with ease when their voices are turned up a few decibels. The story moves along quickly with no gaps or awkward pauses in the script, and it works up to a very Capra-like ending which practically leaves you on the edge of your seat. It's not an easy one to find, but if you come across this movie, hang on to it.
27 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the last of the Capra-esque well-made movies.
majesty29 April 2003
This is one of the last Capra-esque, indeed Kaufman-esque, well-made movies, even though it's release was well into the fifties. The socio and geo-political ramifications perhaps resonate even more so in our post-Enron and present Halliburton era. Aside from being hilarious and utterly entertaining ( I imagine even more so on the live stage with a raucus audience), the story poses the eternal question of personal integrity, simple honesty, and common decency; and that multinational corporations and super-power governments should be less occupied with "getting away with it" or "not getting caught"; rather more so with "doing the right thing" and producing the best for everyone. This film should be taught. Instead, it's slowly disappearing from the geopolitical landscape; i.e., it's becoming harder to find in video stores.
15 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
If you ever think that your vote doesn't count, see this movie.
Peter2206028 January 2002
I would run out of positive adjectives if I had to write a review. Judy Holliday gives her best performance. If you see this film, you will want to see her other classics. Paul Douglas shines as a scrupulous businessman.
23 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Enrique Sanchez9 March 2001
Wonderful, perfect romp with Judy Holliday doing what she does best...make us laugh, cry and fall in love with her and her characters.

Her acting in Solid Gold is as perfect as can be. The script and wonderful character actors, Paul Douglas, Fred Clark, Paul Collins and Neva Patterson, who support her, do their very best to bring this whimsical story to life.

Judy may not be a household name to most - but to me, she will be one of the inextinguishable shining angels in the celluloid firmament.

Her legacy will live on as long as we want to laugh at ourselves.

This movie is a must-see comedy if you like to feel good.
23 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Let's hear it for the underdog!
Lily-4831 August 2000
I have seen this movie about three times, and each time I am taken aback by the sweetness and honesty of the character Laura Partridge, as played by Judy Holiday. Even though the plot is predictable, I still enjoy watching a woman of character (who first comes across as a dizzy dame) as she continues to outsmart the cynical "opposition." A sweet comedy, and a good escape from the "real world."
21 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the funniest movies ever.
marti6513 August 2000
I taped it several years ago from my local PBS station and several times a year I run it again. It's as fresh today as it was when first viewed. Judy Holliday was a gem. She died much too early. Her fans missed a lot because of her untimely passing. Also, her pairing with Paul Douglas in this movie was inspired
19 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews