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Last Holiday (1950)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 13 November 1950 (USA)
When a lonely, unappreciated farm equipment salesman discovers he has only weeks to live, he withdraws his savings for a final holiday at a 'posh' resort.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... George Bird
Beatrice Campbell ... Sheila Rockingham
... Mrs. Poole
... Gambini (as Coco Aslan)
... Daisy Clarence
... Lady Oswington
Brian Worth ... Derek Rockingham
... Miss Fox
... Inspector Wilton
... Joe Clarence
Campbell Cotts ... Bellinghurst
... Sir Robert Kyle
Eveline Kirkwood-Hackett ... Miss Hatfield (as Madam Kirkwood-Hackett)
... Chalfont
Eric Maturin ... Wrexham
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Storyline

George Bird's rather lonely, anonymous existence as an underappreciated seller of farm machinery is jarred when his physician informs him that he is suffering from the rare malady Lampington's Disease and only has a few weeks to live. Believing he has nothing to lose, Bird resigns his position and withdraws his modest life savings in order to spend his remaining time in a "posh" seaside resort. There he keeps his own counsel about his condition and meets people who live in a world he could never have imagined existed. Incredibly he finds personal and professional opportunities now open to him that that he never dreamed would be his, but unfortunately he is no position to take advantage of them... until fate lends a hand. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Guinness...The Great Lover!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vacances sur ordonnance  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Remade in 2006 with Queen Latifah in the title role See more »

Quotes

George Bird: [on learning he has weeks to live] When you come to think of it it's a bit thick isn't it?
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Connections

Remade as Last Holiday (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Beggar's Theme
(uncredited)
Composed by Francis Chagrin
[played on violin by busker]
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User Reviews

 
Micro class-system
15 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

A small-town salesman, George Bird, learns that he is suffering from an incurable condition, leaving him only weeks to live. With no family or friends to care for, he decides to spend his modest savings on his first and last stay in a grand hotel.

The other guests soon notice that he is new to hotel life, and react to him in different ways - some disdainful, some intrigued and friendly. These guests reflect the old English class-system, with its myriad of sub-classes, starting to die out by 1950, largely because of the left-wing postwar government that had been so championed by J.B. Priestley, author of this screenplay.

Before long, Bird's life seems to be opening out, with job-offers, investment opportunities, even a chance of love. A bitter irony of course, as these opportunities will never be enjoyed (or so we are to assume).

The comfortable hotel life gets a jolt when the staff are suddenly called-out on strike, instantly shaking-up the class-system, as all the guests have now got to try to pitch-in and help, as best they can. This provides for a number of accidental meetings that move the plot forward dramatically. And the effect on Bird's humdrum life, suddenly turned roller-coaster, is dramatic indeed.

Interesting to see the yet-undiscovered Sid James as a dodgy gambler, and David McCallum's father (also David) on the violin, beginning and ending the story with a simple but curiously haunting theme.

For a film that has given so much pleasure - check the other IMDb reviews - it may seem spoilsport to suggest that Alec Guinness does not quite carry conviction as such a small and narrow character as Bird. This is someone who just earns his daily pittance and then goes home to read the paper and smoke his pipe. For this role, Guinness simply looks and sounds too cultivated, too sociable, altogether too biddable. (Ironically there was a character actor called Norman Bird, who would have been perfect!)


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