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Holiday (1930)

Holiday is a 1930 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film which tells the story of a young man who is torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée's family.


Edward H. Griffith


Philip Barry (stage play), Horace Jackson (photoplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Ann Harding ... Linda Seton
Mary Astor ... Julia Seton
Robert Ames ... Johnny Case
Hallam Cooley ... Seton Cram
Creighton Hale ... Pete Hedges
Elizabeth Forrester Elizabeth Forrester ... Laura Cram
Edward Everett Horton ... Nick Potter
Hedda Hopper ... Susan Potter
William Holden William Holden ... Edward Seton
Mabel Forrest ... Mary Jessup
Monroe Owsley ... Ned Seton


After a whirlwind ten day courtship following their meeting while on respective vacations in Lake Placid, socialite Julia Seton and Johnny Case, a happy-go-lucky white collar working stiff with some business acumen, decide to get married immediately. It isn't until Julia needs to tell her Manhattan-based family - widowed father Edward Seton, brother Ned Seton and sister Linda Seton - of their engagement that Johnny learns of Julia's upper crust status. Edward is able to check out Johnny's background before giving his approval, he hoping Johnny is like his own father who was self-made. However, free-spirited Linda sees in Johnny the boost of joie de vivre the Seton family desperately needs. Despite being happy for Julia and her approval of Johnny as a prospective member of the family, Linda laments losing in Julia one of her comrades in arms in the battle against the conservative repression within the Seton family, led by their father, and their cousins Seton and Laura Cram. What ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

society | based on play | See All (2) »


An astonishing drama of double life and double love!.. See more »


Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

3 July 1930 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pathé Exchange See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remade in 1938 with Katharine Hepburn as Linda Seton, and Cary grant as Johnny Case. See more »


When Julia goes to the window to look for her father, she says, "Here's father," THEN moves the curtains aside and looks out the window. See more »


Linda Seton: Do you realize life walked into this house today?
See more »


Version of Holiday (1938) See more »


That Naughty Waltz
Music by Sol P. Levy
Played on a cabinet-style music box as Linda and Johnny dance
See more »

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User Reviews

The 1938 version is better...but this one is still pretty good.
17 March 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Turner Classic Movies often shows the marvelous old film Holiday-- starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Doris Nolan. It's among the best films either of them made and it's certainly among my favorites. However, I recently learned that the movie is NOT the first version of the Philip Barry play. Back in 1930, the original movie was made which stars Ann Harding, Robert Ames and Mary Astor.

The plots of the two versions are pretty much the same. Julia brings her new fiancé, Johnny, home to meet her family. He's shocked to find out she's loaded...and I mean loaded! Her family has millions and is very prominent socially. This is a far cry from Johnny and his working class roots. However, they are in love and both plan on getting married quite soon regardless of their differences. Through the course of the film, it becomes obvious that Julia has plans to control and mold Johnny---plans which are very different from his plans. Johnny is a bit of a dreamer. He would like to make enough money so that he can then go on an extended break--to see the world, experience life and only then settle down into a routine. Julia, however, sees him working as a banker or financier--stable, dependable and dull. There is absolutely no way both can have their way. One, or both, must bend.

In this same wealthy family are Linda and Ned. Ned is a cynical sort who spends an inordinate amount of time drinking. He knows full well the sort of dreary life he has set before him and spends much of his time intoxicated in order to deal with it. As for Linda, she's much more of a dreamer--a free spirit living within a gilded cage. In so many ways, she seems more compatible with Johnny--though she's too decent a sort to try to come between him and her sister. So what's to happen? Will Johnny allow himself to be emasculated and lose all his dreams or will he and Julia end up living in some bohemian apartment while he 'finds himself'...or is there some other alternative?

As I mentioned above, the plots are virtually the same. What is NOT the same is the entire feel for the two films. The 1930 version is rather stagy and lacks the energy of the 1938 film. Much of it is because back in 1930, they were just learning how to make sound films and often they looked more like plays being recorded on film than a movie as we know of it today. Holiday (1930) definitely is much more stagy. The worst of it is probably with Linda. In the earlier film, Ann Harding (a very popular actress in her day but a mostly forgotten actress today) played EXACTLY like she was standing on a stage addressing the crowd. Her diction and delivery were anything but realistic. In contrast, Katharine Hepburn's Linda was vivacious and exciting. As for the rest, in the 1930 film the performances were generally better than Harding's but still lacked the freshness and quality of the later film. Overall, I'd clearly give the nod to the 1938 production. But, this is not to say the 1930 film is bad....it isn't at all. And, for film nuts like me (and I know there must be more of you out there), a chance to see both films is a real treat. If you are also a lover of old films, I have an exciting suggestion. See BOTH movies.

How can you see the original Holiday? There is a wonderful website called the Internet Archive (archive.org) where you can view or download public domain movies 100% legally and for free. When you go to the site, in the search bar, type HOLIDAY. It will then provide a link to the 1930 film and its download. It's available in a variety of formats and your computer probably will play at least one of them. As for me, I've long used Media Player Classic (not the program that comes with Windows--the free program from mpc- hc.org). I strongly recommend you download it if your video player on your computer doesn't allow you to play the films. Media Player Classic will play a wider variety of formats than the players that come with PCs and MACs. Then, you'll be able to watch just about anything from the Internet Archive--and there are many thousands of films as well as audio recordings and even old video games! All are free and some are amazingly good--too good to have just been abandoned to the public domain.

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