Grant and Hepburn Make Holiday

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When Philip Barry's play, Holiday, was adapted for the screen in 1930, Katharine Hepburn wanted the part of Linda very badly, having been the understudy for the role while it was on Broadway. However, it wasn't until it was adapted a second time in 1938 that her dream came true.

Other actresses considered for the role included Ginger Rogers and Irene Dunne, but director George Cukor wanted Hepburn. He had previously worked with her in three other films, including the Oscar-winning Little Women

Working titles included Unconventional Linda and Vacation Bound

1. Kate was “box office poison” at the time.

After Bringing Up Baby (read about that here) didn’t meet studio expectations, Katharine Hepburn was labeled by theater owners as “box office poison.” She said, “They say I’m a has-been. If I weren’t laughing so much, I might cry.” Columbia Pictures played off of the criticism with their Holiday marketing campaign with billboards that asked: “Is it true what they say about Hepburn—that she’s Box Office Poison?”

2. Kate stole the film…

After shooting wrapped, director George Cukor threw a big party, a tradition that he kept after each film he completed. Katharine Hepburn decided to bring something extra special to this party. She said, “I stole the old Holiday test from RKO and ran it for the guests… I led the laughter, and everyone just fell over – Cary [Grant], George, everyone, laughed themselves sick.”

3. There was a deleted scene.

An additional scene was actually shot for the beginning of the film. It showed how Cary Grant first met Doris Nolan at Lake Placid. Since the film was based on a play, the scene was intended to “open up” the script. However, Cukor disliked the opening and decided it wasn’t necessary.