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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 »

Director:

Archie Mayo (as Archie L. Mayo)

Writers:

Casey Robinson (screenplay), Dodie Smith (play)
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Cast

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 Peter Willes ... Martin Hilton
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Milson, the Housekeeper
Beryl Mercer ... Mrs. Elkins, the Cook
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Une journée de printemps See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A poster for the Warner Bros. movie _Sing Me a Love Song (1937)_ can be seen on a building. See more »

Quotes

Roger Hilton: Well, for utter indecency, give me the high-minded.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Experience: War of the Worlds (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Isn't It Romantic?
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Performed by Marcia Ralston
Also played as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slice-of-life comedy features good performances but meanders too much
8 July 2016 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

Frieda Inescort and Ian Hunter lead a solid cast in this minor but pleasant comedy about a London family's dreams and adventures over the course of a single day.

A pair of spirited daughters have some good scenes; Olivia de Havilland is obsessed with married painter Walter Woolf King, for whom she is modelling, while 14-year-old Bonita Granville is in love with the poetry and paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Their brother Peter Willes, meanwhile, is planning to run away from home—until he meets new neighbor girl Anita Louise. These young people are all attractive and funny, but their stories pop into the picture sporadically then disappear for long stretches, with the result that we kind of forget about them.

Roland Young is fine as an old bachelor who initially mistakes Inescort for his blind date and then, even after he discovers that she is married, insists that he loves her and attempts to romance her. Meanwhile, Inescort's accountant husband Hunter is pursued by slinky actress Marcia Ralston, who invites him to come up and see her sometime—not, it turns out, to work on her taxes.

The plot is inoffensive if not particularly inspired; the performances are all quite good and the characters too are likable. Still, there's something missing, and it's not just the fact that the whole thing is pretty dated. Possibly there are too many main characters for a 90-minute movie....we just don't get to know any of them well enough. (I would be interested to see sometime if this works better as a play—apparently it had a nice run on the stage.)

Ian Hunter is fine as the male lead but Frieda Inescort has the film's best role....as mother and wife she is alternately bemused, exasperated, challenged, and charmed. She comes closest to being a character we really care about.


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