Before and After: A Look at HOLIDAY

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday and another installment in our series of posts comparing the Pre-Code and Under-the-code versions of several classic films. This time we’re covering Holiday, based on Philip Barry’s 1928 play, which was first adapted for the screen in 1930 by Pathé Exchange and remade eight years later by Columbia.


The premise of the 1930 film is as follows, taken from the TCM entry: “Wealthy Julia Seton (Mary Astor) meets Johnny Case (Robert Ames) at Lake Placid and takes him home, introducing him to her family as her future husband. A poor, struggling young lawyer, Johnny is greeted with kindly tolerance by old Seton (William Holden — not the one you’re thinking of though) and his children, Linda (Ann Harding) and Ned (Monroe Owsley). Seton finally agrees to Julia’s plans and arranges an engagement party; but Linda gives a party of her own at which Nick (Edward Everett Horton) and Susan Potter (Hedda Hopper) are the honored guests. Johnny reveals that he has invested in the stock market and plans to quit work after marriage. When Seton learns of this announcement, he is furious, but Linda, who is taken with Johnny, supports him. Johnny and Julia separate, and he plans to go to Europe with Nick and Susan, but he changes his mind and agrees to work for 3 years before going on holiday. However, he revolts at the idea of Seton’s planning his life, and Linda, pleased by his assertion of personal freedom, joins him aboard the steamer.”