For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
821 Ratings


Directed by George Cukor
United States, 1938
Comedy, Romance


A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée’s eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Holiday Directed by George Cukor

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1939 | Nominee: Best Art Direction

National Board of Review

1938 | Winner: Best Acting

Cary Grant gets to show off his expertise in tumbling with a series of spectacular back-flips. Katherine Hepburn is more vulnerable than usual, and makes it work. Lew Ayres is, my God, TERRIFIC — the heart and soul of the film, in a way. If the movie isn’t as well-known as the Hepburn-Cukor PHILADELPHIA STORY, also from a play by Philip Barry, it may because Ayres complicates it, makes it less than totally joyous.
April 20, 2017
Read full article
Husband-and-wife intellectual scolds are a bit annoying (not the actors’ fault; the characters are complacent) and it’s true that the sister, “a dull girl”, gets duller according to the plot’s demands – but the family are sympathetically drawn, screwball-comedy elements linger in the air to colour the drama, and anyone who may not have known that Cary Grant started out as an acrobat … well, now you know.
September 27, 2014
Read full article
A picture that I think Marilyn (MM obsessive that I am) probably loved. And perhaps related to. Freedom! Expression! It’s hard not to. Funny, carefree, silly, inspiring and yet, curiously sad — sad because you get the feeling that all the exploring dreams its lead character (a joyous, lovable Cary Grant) hopes and plans for, well, they may not work out in the real world. Can one be that simple yet complex and happy and live their life that way?
December 31, 2012
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • nessmj's rating of the film Holiday

    Absolutely lovely. An inspection of the issues regarding extreme wealth and its effects on those it entangles, Grant searches for a life beyond material wealth, while those around him seek to bend him, namely his fiancee and future father-in-law. The script constantly illuminating the role of the house as a visual representation of wealth in its vastness, one room stands out as a symbol of a certain freedom.

  • DK's rating of the film Holiday

    Under-appreciated Philadelphia Story 'prequel' in which Hepburn finds her feet as the socialite with a soul, and Cary Grant plumbs the depths of the working class dreamer James Stewart would mint as Macaulay Connor (and Grant himself would replicate again in Talk of the Town). Even more overlooked perhaps is Lew Ayres, as Hepburn's alcoholic brother, who shows some real Jack Lemmon-esque acting chops.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Holiday

    A comedy just this side of screwball. Certainly there is serviceable comic friction to the clash of classes—who knows? Maybe America's plunge into income inequality will yield sharp movies. But the moments that linger most from Cukor's prescient ode to dropping out are delicate and melancholy, so much so that if you find yourself wondering if Grant and Hepburn will even end up together, you should chase that feeling.

  • ramosbarajas's rating of the film Holiday

    Very well written and acted, but the second act drags. It feels as though the first act is very rushed, which could be said it's a representation of the character's hasty wedding, but then it completely slows downs at the new years party. But overall, Hepburn and Grant are super enjoyable. Very nice.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Holiday

    ***1/2. Now, now, I like this kind of film coming from a country that is revering money as much as its democracy. The actors are perfect with a special mention to Lew Ayres who plays the desperate and alcoholic Seton son. Highly recommended.

  • Howard Fritzson's rating of the film Holiday

    For me, this is one of the top 5 Hepburn performances. She was born to play this role.

  • Ashley Spendlove's rating of the film Holiday

    So many brilliant aspects: the bravura script, a three-dimensional Cary Grant, the pathos of Lew Ayres and Hepburn managing to be simultaneously refined and sophisticated and yet emotionally naked. One can feel a tragic subtext pulsing beneath its crackling wit and energy while the central preoccupations with meaning, conformity and love resonate deeply. Funny, delightful yet also melancholic - very special indeed.

  • dmol's rating of the film Holiday

    Cary Grant, excellent as he is, is not usually to my taste in his comedies, but this was an unexpected gem. Pretty subversive for glamorous Hollywood, insightful and very smart, it balances these qualities with humour and Hepburn doing silly acrobatics. Give up the big, money-making office job to sail the seas with a couple of university professors and the "black ship" of the rich family, what a kickass idea!

Related films