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Call It a Day (1937)

Approved | | Comedy | 17 April 1937 (USA)
The first day of spring has a profound affect on the Hilton family. The father, an accountant, finds himself unable to work, and when he tries to work, he is wooed by an actress whose taxes... See full summary »


Archie Mayo (as Archie L. Mayo)


Casey Robinson (screenplay), Dodie Smith (play)




Complete credited cast:
Olivia de Havilland ... Catherine 'Cath' Hilton
Ian Hunter ... Roger Hilton
Anita Louise ... Joan Collett
Alice Brady ... Muriel West
Roland Young ... Frank Haines
Frieda Inescort ... Dorothy Hilton
Bonita Granville ... Ann Hilton
Peggy Wood ... Ethel Francis
Marcia Ralston ... Beatrice Gwynn
Walter Woolf King ... Paul Francis
Peter Willes ... Martin Hilton
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Milson, the Housekeeper
Beryl Mercer ... Mrs. Elkins, the Cook


The first day of spring has a profound affect on the Hilton family. The father, an accountant, finds himself unable to work, and when he tries to work, he is wooed by an actress whose taxes he is doing. The mother is mistaken by a friend's brother, who thinks she is the woman he is supposed to marry; when he finds out different, he decides to pursue her anyway. The eldest son mopes because he wants to "motor the Continent" and the father won't permit him to. The eldest daughter miserably laments the end of a romance with a married artist twenty years her elder. And the youngest moons dreamily in her morbid teen way about Dante Gabriel Rossetti. All of this in the space of one day. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Call it Spring! Call it Youth! Call it Love! Call it a Hit! (Print Ad- Daily Argus, ((Mount Vernon, NY)) 21 October 1937)




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Based on the Broadway play of the same title which opened at the Morosco Theatre, 217 West 45th St. on Januayr 28, 1936 and ran for 194 performances. See more »


Mrs. Elkins, the Cook: Mrs. Milson, it says here, garlic and parsley is good for blood pressure.
Mrs. Milson, the Housekeeper: Well, it's wrong. You can't season blood pressure. You've got to cure it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title card repeats at the end of the film. See more »


Version of Call It a Day (1956) See more »


Frühlingslied ('Spring Song')
Composed by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Played briefly when Roger boards the bus and later visits the pawnshop
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User Reviews

Be A Dear And Love Me Madly
1 July 2020 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

Its title suggests that the action in this film takes place in a 24-hour period and that its happenings are of little consequence. This adaptation of a Dodie Smith play does occupy only one day, and some of the day's happenings will probably seem like dreams in the reset of another night's sleep.

There is a manic energy in the air as the day begins in the Hilton household. It is the first day of Spring and, much like a troupe of Shakespearian characters, they are greatly influenced by the seasonal airs and the vernal moon. Inspired, they are, to flights of fancy and foolishness.

The narrative is divided into various subplots for the numerous characters, so each actor has limited camera time, but the acting is credible. I especially enjoyed the performance of Roland Young as the older man who instantly falls in love with Mrs. Hilton and---at least for a day-is willing to upend his life for this singular passion. And I found Marcia Ralston charming as an American actress who tempts Mr. Hilton; she has a screen presence reminiscent of Kay Francis.

Though British conventions are bent, they are never broken in this ebullient farce. All's well that ends well. And no one ever misses a tea time.

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Release Date:

17 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Une journée de printemps See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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