Solid Gold Cadillac, The (1956)

“Did you hear her when I announced we were voting ourselves bonuses? She practically called us crooks!”

Synopsis:
When a small-time stockholder (Judy Holliday) of a large corporation starts asking too many questions, she’s given a meaningless job by the board of directors (including Fred Clark and John Williams) to keep her quiet. Soon, however, she discovers hidden layers of corruption in the corporation, and is determined to brings its honest CEO (Paul Douglas) back into a position of power.

Genres:

Review:
The Solid Gold Cadillac — based on a hit Broadway play — offered comedic actress Judy Holliday yet another chance to perfect her series of iconic performances as not-so-dumb blondes. Here, she’s perfectly cast as a naive yet persistent woman who dares to take on the corrupt behemoth of International Corporation (how’s that for a blandly descriptive name?), and finds herself falling in love (with Douglas) as a bonus. It’s not Holliday’s best film, but, as all fans of the ill-fated actress (who died far too early at the age of 44) will agree, it’s a treat to see her in nearly anything.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Judy Holliday as Laura Partridge
  • Paul Douglas as Ed McKeever, Holliday’s love interest
  • A clever, often amusing tale of collective action

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended, and definitely must-see viewing for any fans of Judy Holliday.

Links:

One Response to “Solid Gold Cadillac, The (1956)”

  1. Must-see, for Holliday’s radiant comic performance and as an all-around good show.

    First viewing (hard to believe, but true).

    This is a film which, for one reason or another, I’ve always had difficulty getting a chance to watch. But I finally managed it. And so glad I did! (And, now that I have a copy, I will definitely do so again!)

    Holliday’s early death was indeed a real loss to the film world – which is why it’s in the interest of ffs to try to see everything she did on-screen. She is the ultimate comic performer – who also had an innate ability to suddenly become very real and vulnerable (and she was often called on to make this immediate switch). Part of her gift on-screen is her everyman (everywoman?) quality: you just can’t help believing in and siding with her, and her pull is magnetic. She’s an actor you will feel you wish you’d known as a friend – she’s warm and inviting, appealing and funny.

    One must naturally suspend some disbelief in watching this particular film, but not much – and, after all, its farcical elements will remind you that this is simply entertainment. Yet, there’s a valuable lesson on hand here: pay attention in life and never hesitate to question authority (especially when it’s handling your money). The specifics of ‘TSGC’ are actually still relevant to the present day, since it seems greed and corruption on a large scale will always be with us.

    In that regard, Abe Burrows’ screenplay is very knowing (as well as very clever, with lots of delicious throwaway lines). Richard Quine’s direction is admirably sharp.

    The supporting cast of veteran character actors (including Clark, WIlliams, Ray Collins, Arthur O’Connell, Richard Deacon, etc.) all show themselves to be quite dependable here. Neva Patterson is quite touching as Holliday’s co-worker. Douglas proves himself a wonderful match for Holliday, nimbly playing off her every mood. (He is especially good as he recalls his former days as a wanna-be actor by performing a speech for Holliday, complete with charmingly amateurish gestures.)

    All told, however, this (again) is Judy’s show all the way. Your attention throughout will always lead in her direction and with good cause – she’s *that* good! 😉

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.