Summer Holiday

Overview

Summer Holiday is a musical remake of the 1935 MGM comedy-drama Ah, Wilderness!, which in turn was adapted from the play by Eugene O'Neill. Mickey Rooney (who played a supporting role in the 1935 film) stars as O'Neill's alter ego Richard Miller, a young man coming of age in early 20th century New England. Anxious to live life to the fullest, Richard ignores the cautionary admonitions of his father Nat (Walter Huston), preferring instead to follow the example of Uncle Sid (Frank Morgan), the family's "black ...
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Overview

Summer Holiday is a musical remake of the 1935 MGM comedy-drama Ah, Wilderness!, which in turn was adapted from the play by Eugene O'Neill. Mickey Rooney (who played a supporting role in the 1935 film) stars as O'Neill's alter ego Richard Miller, a young man coming of age in early 20th century New England. Anxious to live life to the fullest, Richard ignores the cautionary admonitions of his father Nat (Walter Huston), preferring instead to follow the example of Uncle Sid (Frank Morgan), the family's "black sheep." In his ongoing quest for wine, women and song (he gets precious little of the first two commodities, but plenty of the third!) Richard ignores the fact that the true love of his life, sweet young Muriel (Gloria De Haven), has been under his nose all along. Director Rouben Mamoulien's obsession with cinematic innovations is largely absent here; what emerges is a staid, conventional MGM musical, albeit gorgeously photographed in Technicolor by Charles Schoenbaum. Filmed in 1946 but not released until 1948, Summer Holiday would not be the last musicalized version of Ah, Wilderness!; that honor went to the 1959 Broadway musical Take Me Along, which starred Jackie Gleason as Uncle Sid.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
There's a feeling of schizophrenia in Summer Holiday, the musical adaptation of Ah, Wilderness! As he did in Love Me Tonight, director Rouben Mamoulian is trying to make an integrated musical; more importantly, he's trying to make one that is as subtly observant as the Eugene O'Neill play. Unfortunately, lyricist Ralph Blane is not the gifted collaborator that Lorenz Hart was on Love Me Tonight, and while the team of screenwriters are good, they're not O'Neill. Thus, Mamoulian tugs in one direction while his wordsmiths tug in another, with the result that neither satisfies totally. They're not helped by Harry Warren's uncharacteristically ho-hum score; while some of the tunes are nice, none of them have that little extra something that the project requires. The movie does have a number of things going for it, however, including a solid opener that expertly blends song and dialogue; the opening also is visually interesting, a panorama of greys, beiges and whites that suggest a Currier and Ives print. The barroom sequence between Mickey Rooney and Marilyn Maxwell,, in which both Maxwell and the bar subtly are transformed by the effects of liquor, is also a standout. Rooney gives a fairly understated performance, keeping most of his manic mannerisms under control, and Frank Morgan and Walter Huston make strong contributions. Mamoulian would have more luck with his next screen musical, the less ambitious but better realized Silk Stockings.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/20/2010
  • UPC: 883316271292
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:32:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 50,263

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Alexander Mr. McComber
Mickey Rooney Richard Miller
Gloria de Haven Muriel McComber
Ruth Brady Crystal
Walter Huston Nat Miller
Virginia Brissac Miss Hawley
Frank Morgan Uncle Sid
Agnes Moorehead Cousin Lily
Anne Francis Elsie Rand
Marilyn Maxwell Belle
Howard Freeman Mr. Peabody
Hal Hackett Wint
Butch Jenkins Tommy
Shirley Johns Mildred Miller
Michael Kirby Arthur Miller
Alice MacKenzie Mrs. McComber
Margaret Bert Mrs. Nichols
Oliver Blake Scorekeeper
Wally Cassell Salesman
Mme. Louise Colombet
Margaret Fealy
Budd Fine Farmer
Don Garner Gilbert Ralston
Terry Moore Hatcheck Girl
Emory Parnell Bartender
Blanche Rose
Selena Royle Mrs. Miller
Technical Credits
Rouben Mamoulian Director
Albert Akst Editor
Irving Brecher Screenwriter
Jack Dawn Makeup
Arthur Freed Producer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Frances Goodrich Screenwriter
Albert Hackett Screenwriter
Lennie Hayton Musical Direction/Supervision
Jean Holloway Screenwriter
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard A. Pefferle Set Decoration/Design
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles E. Schoenbaum Cinematographer
Jack Martin Smith Art Director
Charles Walters Choreography
Harry Warren Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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