The Solid Gold Cadillac

  • 1956
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

A charming, often hysterically funny poke at big business, government, and the plight of the underdog. The script was by Abe Burrows, based on the hit Broadway play starring a much older Josephine Hull, written by Kaufman and Teichmann. Burrows would later be involved with another successful comedy on the same general subject entitled HOW TO SUCCEED IN...read more

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A charming, often hysterically funny poke at big business, government, and the plight of the underdog. The script was by Abe Burrows, based on the hit Broadway play starring a much older Josephine Hull, written by Kaufman and Teichmann. Burrows would later be involved with another

successful comedy on the same general subject entitled HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. The original play was to have had a younger woman, but when Hull, who was so delicious in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, became available, she was paged for the part. In the film Holliday has the role,

and a love story was added to fill the romantic gaps. She plays her patented daffy blonde with a heart of gold who owns 10 shares in a massive company. The board of directors of the organization are a panel of stern-visaged prigs including Clark, Williams, Sherman, Collins, and Dumke. Holliday

shows up at a stockholders meeting and protests some of the shenanigans of the board. At first, she is a mere fly in their gargantuan ointment, but her presence is duly noted by the press, and things begin to happen. The former head of the company is Douglas, a hard-driving tycoon who has given up

his role as top man on that totem pole in order to donate his services to the government, for which he is functioning as a "dollar-a-year" man. Holliday meets the bombastic Douglas and enlists him in her quest to secure representation for the small stockholders. When Douglas learns that his former

aides have stabbed him in the back in their running of the company he started and nurtured, he joins with Holliday to get proxy votes from all the little people and to regain his position with the firm. O'Connell is the "don't rock the boat" office manager who is Holliday's boss, and Patterson is

the secretary who aids and abets Holliday's mischief. George Burns handles the narrating chores in the same way Fred Allen did it (pre-recorded) on Broadway. The narration provides a few funny lines and bridges some of the gaps. The title stems from Holliday's fervent wish to own a solid gold

cadillac. At the film's conclusion, with Douglas and Holliday united and running the company, she gets her desire.

The humor in the screenplay seldom derives from one-liners. Rather, it is in the situations, the caricatures that are the targets for its darts, and the unflagging energy of Holliday and Douglas as two utterly different people who find love with each other and blend to defeat the pompous

executives. Kaufman, who was known as the "Great Collaborator," wrote with more people than the average sit-com scribe. His partners included Moss Hart (YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, among others), Edna Ferber (THE ROYAL FAMILY OF BROADWAY), Marc Connelly (MERTON OF THE MOVIES), Morrie Ryskind (A

NIGHT AT THE OPERA), and Ring Lardner, Sr.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A charming, often hysterically funny poke at big business, government, and the plight of the underdog. The script was by Abe Burrows, based on the hit Broadway play starring a much older Josephine Hull, written by Kaufman and Teichmann. Burrows would later… (more)

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