Holiday for Lovers (1959) Poster

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Sao Paulo, Rio, Lima, Trinidad - all without leaving Hollywood!
David-2402 July 1999
This is a fun little film featuring Clifton Webb and Jane Wyman as parents who chase their 2 daughters through South America as the young women find love. Webb is wonderful as always and his drunk scene is a classic. Wyman isn't given much to do but calm her exasperated spouse but Carol Lynley is impressive as the younger daughter (although her choice of chubby Gary Crosby as lover is a bit hard to understand). Jill St John is awfully wet as the older daughter - you could never believe she was an accomplished sculptor. But as her lover Nico Minardos is very funny and very sexy - as a "Brazilian beatnik". Paul Henreid is suave as his father.

There are some funny scenes - the strip search is good - and dialogue and there is great music, including a fabulous flamenco dance sequence with Jose Greco. But why oh why didn't they take the actors on location? The production is a high budget cinemascope movie so why not spend that little bit more? Instead we get lots of second unit travelogue type footage of Sao Paulo, Rio, Lima and Trinidad and the actors standing in front of obvious rear projections. This almost ruins the film.
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Remake of "Take Her, She's Mine"?
walbonyc10 December 2011
Just to correct a previous comment, "Holiday for Lovers" was not remade as "Take Her, She's Mine." Although thematically similar, these two stories come from different source material, although both started out as Broadway plays.

The play "Holiday for Lovers" was written by Ronald Alexander, who also wrote "Time Out for Ginger", which was made into a Patty Duke movie, "Billie." "Holiday for Lovers" ran for 100 performances at the Longacre Theater from Feb. 14, 1957 to May 11, 1957. The biggest name star in the cast was Don Ameche playing the father. The setting of the play was hotels in New York, Paris, Seville, and Rome. One can only speculate why the film version re-set the story in South America. Given the year, 1959, it might have been at the urging of some agency of the U.S. Governent to support the "Good Neighbor Policy," which was meant to keep Communism out of Latin America.

The play "Take Her, She's Mine" was written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron, inspired by the adventures of their then-22 year old daughter, Nora Ephron. The play ran for 404 performances at the Biltmore Theater from Dec. 21, 1961 to Dec. 8, 1962. The play was set in Southern California and New England. Among the luminaries in the cast were Art Carney and Phyllis Thaxter, playing the parents; Elizabeth Ashley, playing the older daughter (for which role she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play); and Richard Jordan. Karen Black was an understudy in this production!
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funnier than expected
lefebvre1-272-36917622 January 2012
My husband and I have seen this twice. He is not usually an older movie fan, but watches it with me. He laughed often all the way through. Perhaps if you are a parent you see it as being a bit more realistic in how a parent would respond to their children growing up. I thought it was very good, but I knew it was good for us because of the father's, Clifton Webb's, reactions. Jane Wyman was the peacekeeping mother, which I think is still more common than we admit. And to the person who complained they did not recognize Jill St. John because she did not have red hair, please. She was on her third movie, I believe, and many actors and actress change looks, hair color included and sometimes a minor part of the change, for the screen. The story line was a fairly natural progression of a young woman's family meeting her intended's family, but in a foreign country and with some mix ups, and the differences both sides may have in a bit of a culture clash. The addition of the younger daughter, played by Carol Lynley, was done very well, and the awareness of the parents in confirming they had two adult daughters reminded me especially of my father as his daughters grew up. My father had three, along with three sons, and was protective also, but brought us up to think for ourselves, sometimes to his chagrin. The scenery was beautiful and I think the producers really tried to give you the feeling that you were seeing some of Brazil at that time period. The sandwiches at the bullfight, and the American reaction to what they thought they wanted to see, is a good example, along with more obvious landmark views. Enjoy!
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Diverting movie
tforbes-214 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
On the surface, "Holiday For Lovers" is a superficial piece of fluff shot on a Hollywood back lot, using plenty of green screen technology of that era. But if this movie is a relative potboiler shot in a year of great films, 1959, much worse movies have been made.

And it is a fun watch!

This is one rare movie in which we see Jill St. John with dark brown hair, not her trademark red hair. No matter: She is very lovely looking in this movie. Carol Lynley makes an early appearance, as Ms. St. John's sister; they had appeared two years before on "The Dupont Show Of The Month." Both they and their co-performers do a fine job here.

If Fox cut corners on this movie, as well as some others made during this period (such as 1960's "The Lost World"), that is likely because it was preparing for the shoot of "Cleopatra," which would be a MAJOR financial drain.

Just do not put your expectations high. While 1959 was one of the most notable years for movies, and while this movie would not rank alongside the greats of that year ("Anatomy Of A Murder," "Ben Hur," "North By Northwest"), this movie has much to offer. You get to see some footage of South America from 1959. Also, almost one hour into the film, one hears Carol Lynley utter the word "groovy."

Overall, a fascinating movie that reflects its era well.
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Not worth it
ctomvelu112 March 2011
Mostly dreary vacation movie filmed on Hollywood back lots standing in for various South American locales, with lots of travel footage sandwiched in between the studio stuff. Why the studio didn't have the cast go on location is beyond me. The year was 1959 and the film is in color, and it is all too apparent when the actors are performing on sound stages. Clifton Webb and Jane Wyman take daughters Carol Lynley and Jill St. John on vacation only to have the girls fall in love with total strangers (Gary Crosby as a military man for Lynley and a Latin actor playing a playboy for St. John). Webb is funny as always while Wyman is strictly window dressing. Paul Henreid does a nice turn as the playboy's dad. Badly dated.
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"I trust our daughter to the ends of the earth." ... "That's approximately where she is!"
moonspinner5530 May 2009
College lass from Boston takes a summer tour of Brazil to study art, decides to stay on in São Paulo where she has become the latest protégé of a debonair older man, a famous architect and sculptor known for his nudes; Dad, Mom, and Sis fly out, too, once they get the news. Extremely weak travelogue-cum-romantic comedy from Fox, featuring the requisite sight-seeing bits and landmark stops yet far too much back-projection and set-bound stints. At first, the parents (Jane Wyman and fussy Clifton Webb) appear to be excited about spending some time together down South America way--but after their happy, smiling daughter meets them at the airport, all Pop does is grouse (he seems jealous of the student-teacher relationship between Jill St. John and Paul Henreid, a sidebar which may have been worth exploring under different circumstances). The cinematography is mediocre, making everyone look short and stumpy (even leggy St. John), and the romantic shenanigans which ensue are not breezy or funny enough to pump much life into this narrative, which covers all-too familiar territory. ** from ****
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With Clifton Web and Paul Henreid, you'd think this would be a lot better.
MartinHafer23 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Clifton Webb is one of my favorite actors and I try to see everything he's been in--which isn't that hard because he didn't make that many films. Unfortunately, this is one of the least interesting films and performances he's given. Instead of the usually smug and erudite man (such as in his "Belvedere" films or "Laura") or this befuddled man (such as "Mr. Scoutmaster"), here is is amazingly bland--too bland and as a result the film was a pleasant bu rather bland affair.

In addition to Webb, the film has a couple other stars that it fails to make the most of in the film--Paul Henreid and Jane Wyman. Henreid does the most of his role and was actually pretty convincing as a Brazilian. As for Wyman, the blandness of her role made the blandness of Webb's seem not as bad by comparison. Frankly, I think anyone could have played her part.

The film begins with a college student (Jill St. John) leaving to go on a tour of South America to hone her sculpting skills. Her parents (Webb and Wyman) decide to see her and they bring their youngest (Carol Lynley) along for the ride. There they find that their oldest is planning on getting married--and they think it's to Henreid (who is way too old for her). But, when they find that she's marrying Henreid's son, Webb is even less pleased, as the young man is a rather obnoxious bohemian. He also learns that his youngest just met an airman (Gary Crosby) and wants to marry him! With both daughters wanting to so impulsively marry men they hardly know, Webb is worried....and Wyman just sits there. In fact, she plays the part of a zombie very well, as she seems to have almost no personality--at least until near the end of the film.

The bottom line is that this is a beautiful and glossy film with hardly any substance. While it's very watchable, it sure should have been a lot better and more interesting...and it could have used a serious infusion of humor. In many ways it reminds me of "Three Coins in a Fountain" (a similar Webb film) but far less interesting.

Oh, and at first I didn't even recognize St. John--as here she has dark brown hair and not her usual red.
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Husband hunting in South America
bkoganbing26 September 2011
In Holiday For Lovers Clifton Webb plays a psychiatrist who practices in Boston and is married to Jane Wyman and is trying to raise two daughters played by Jill St. John and Carol Lynley. Jill is studying architecture in Sao Paulo with renowned leader of the field Paul Henreid. A letter from her makes her parents rather suspicious that architecture is not all that Henreid has in mind. So all three decide to take an immediate vacation in South America. All without ever leaving the 20th Century back lot.

The problem isn't Henreid who just sees St. John as a talented student, but Henreid's son Nico Minardos who is a Brazilian beatnik and really does not want to work. Both Webb and Henreid have real concerns.

In addition Carol Lynley is swept off her feet by Air Force enlistee Gary Crosby. They have a whirlwind courtship of their own while Webb, Wyman, and Henreid are dealing the other children.

Webb and Wyman really don't have great chemistry as a married couple, their scenes seem forced. Doing better in that department are Wally Brown and Henny Backus playing a pair of crass American tourists who get Webb and his family in some interesting trouble with customs officials in Lima, Peru.

The South American holiday does feature some nice second unit cinematography which serve as rather obvious backgrounds that the studio bound cast steps in front of. Nobody got a trip to Sao Paulo, Rio De Janiero or Lima out of this except cameramen. This was because Clifton Webb's career as a star was winding down, his rather unique appeal was waning by 1959. He would do one more film and that one, Satan Never Sleeps would make this rather average family comedy look like Citizen Kane.
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From such a different time
sherilcarey8 January 2019
This one won't be for everyone but I enjoyed the gentle, quiet side of it as well as its comedy. There are parts that move slowly and parts that may not make sense to some in a modern audience. I watched them as a slice of life, and for the most part I liked them.
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It should have been better
oneillrobyn15 February 2011
I'm fascinated by the few movies of this era I haven't seen, and this was one of them. First, it should have been more tightly directed, it seems to wander loosely all over the place and I started to count the sets (or studio backdrops?) and I ran out of patience. Having Clifton Webb play somebody's father defies logic and Jane Wyman always leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of her Reagan association (I never understood their mutual attraction) and even though she ditched him it was too late. I don't like to look at her profile -- it makes my nose hurt. Her hairstyle changes during the film, from 50s back and top flatness and early 60s teasing. How long did it take to make this film? I always wanted to look like Carol Lynley and her sometimes heavy-handed delivery was acceptable. The director should have taken everyone aside and warned them of their deadly performances. Paul Henreid: how did he end up in this? Jill St. John was the only joy of this film. It took me a while to figure out just who the actress was. She looked absolutely gorgeous in her 1959 flowered dresses, the ones I wished then I was old enough to wear. The plot is so obvious and the additional "local color" scenes (bullfight and flamenco) are completely unnecessary. Trinidad bagpipes, goatskin wine, and plane flight after plane flight! Everyone leaves the table before they can eat. Fuzzy old travelogue films of old cars and "modern" hotels. And what is the US Air Force (referred to once as "The Army") doing in it? What a mess! Any film student should see this picture, just to see how not to make a movie and how not to put together a script. At least Bob Hope or Bing Crosby and Lucille Ball or Maureen O'Hara weren't the "parents".
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Holiday is A Misery for these Lovers **
edwagreen31 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After the film performances that Clifton Webb, Jane Wyman and Paul Henreid gave us, it was so disappointing to see them in this terrible off-beat comedy. It's the only generation gap as the usual erudite Clifton Webb has to be subjected to with his two daughters. Jane Wyman is really the passive wife who agrees with the daughters when both find love in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Henried is along for the ride. For a part of the picture, we're led to believe that he courting the older daughter, much younger than him. Then we discover that it's his adopted son who is vying for the love of the daughter. As the younger daughter, Carol Lynley is largely deprived of her usual emotional outbursts. To me, she was always the younger version of a Joanne Woodward in emotional entanglements in movies. Here she falls for army man Gary Crosby. He looks so much like his famous crooner father in this film.

Webb proves at the end that he too is a vulnerable person, but by then you get the drift where the movie is going,and it's just as well that the screen lights up with the end.
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The remake was much, much better
kindred19649 December 2006
While I love Clifton Webb, he's one of my favorite actors. However, this movie was just okay. The remake, "Take Her, She's Mine" with James Stewart and Sandra Dee was considerably more entertaining.

In "Take Her, She's Mine" James Stewart's character keeps getting mistaken for the "actor" James Stewart. This is also one of the first movies that Sandra Dee transformed from the "cute, sweet little Gidget" type girl to "showing" that she was a fully grown woman.

There are also appearances by very young Bob Denver (Gilligan from Gilligan's Island), Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.), and James Brolin (Marcus Welby, M.D., The Amityville Horror - 1979 version, and Westworld.)
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Maybe a holiday for lovers, but a chore for everyone else!
JohnHowardReid17 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Copyright 1959 by 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. New York opening at the Paramount: 24 July 1959. U.S. release: July 1959. U.K. release: September 1959. Australian release: 1 October 1959. 103 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: A Boston man's daughters fall in love with South America.

NOTES: The stage play opened on Broadway at the Longacre on 14 February 1957 and ran exactly 100 performances. Don Ameche starred in his Broadway debut opposite Carmen Mathews, while Ann Flood and Sandra Church played the girls.

CinemaScope was now losing its box-office appeal. Notice the small prominence given the process in contemporary advertising. However, this de-emphasis has not deterred the producer from using the widescreen as a travelogue, with location lensing in both Lima and Rio de Janeiro.

COMMENT: Every bit as awful as you might expect from the credits and synopsis. A lot of witless, boring dialogue carried over from the original play that is as humorless as it is trite and dated and pandering (the one promising plot point when teenager seems to be romancing a middle-aged architect turns into a dud when it turns out to be the archie's beardless son she is really interested in).

Yes, this is a film for "youth" — even Jose Greco allows himself to be upstaged by a kid. Clifton Webb is just a robot delivering witless lines, and Jane Wyman is just along for the ride. Paul Henreid deserves no better and Crosby is about as welcome as a bazooka in a tank factory. Carol Lynley looks adoringly soppy and Jill St John is unattractively brash and know-it-all.

The photography is often extremely grainy and despite all the travelogue inserts of CinemaScope locations, the process screen is very obviously employed when there is any lensing in of the players to be done.

Levin's direction is as dull and disinterested as ever. He just plonks the camera down in front of his players and lets them slowly act out the tedious script. The sound recording is crisp and the music — when we hear it, often dialogue scenes are played in a dead vacuum — has a bit of mediocre sparkle, but the film is a dead bore. Even Clifton Webb cannot save this one. He or his agent should sue.
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