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Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation


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Probably my favorite Jimmy Stewart family comedy. Hobbs' family is kinda annoying though. His daughter with the braces is too disrespectful. I have Henry Mancini's delightful score on CD which is the best thing about the movie...followed by Carbine Williams with Stewart truly tough and hard-biten in that one.

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This was a TCM premiere back in March(?) and it was inn-teresting because, the week(ish) before TCM showed Black Widow (1954?) also written by Nunnally Johnson, also featuring Reginald Gardiner and also done by 20th Century Fox.

 

Black Widow is a terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible film, Mr. Hobbs is not.

 

It's kind of raunchy (the Playboy joke!); it's certainly a departure for Stewart (doesn't he swear in his opening line?) and it's definitely a more straightforward and honest depiction of famile life than anything I can think of from the 1950's.

 

In spite of some odd moments in the plot, I liked it.

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How many categories do you have when you judge a film? It appears only 2 or maybe 3.

 

Black Widow has issues (which were discussed in detail back in March April after it was shown), but I wouldn't say it was terrible (which to me is a 1 out of 5 ranking).

 

 

 

In addition the real Addison would have something more to say in his criticism than just the same old 'it stinks'.

 

 

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}

>

> Black Widow has issues (which were discussed in detail back in March April after it was shown), but I wouldn't say it was terrible (which to me is a 1 out of 5 ranking).

>

>

> In addition the real Addison would have something more to say in his criticism than just the same old 'it stinks'.

>

Yes, the Black Widow: the end of the studio era -titled thread started by Fred C. Dobbes (sp?) was a lengthy, and sometimes contentious, but ultimately quite inn-teresting one.

 

I think though that we were pretty much divided into two camps:

 

1. It f-ing sucked (which sometimes, believe me, is far more apt than three solid pages of articulate criticism)

 

vs.

 

2. It wasn't that bad.

 

I am heartily and unapologetically with the first camp and intend to say no more on the matter.

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This is a slick little movie......nothing heavy....very simple.....Mr Hobbs takes a vacation.....and thats all the movie is about.......the trick is keeping the audience from walking out.....a good script, Henry Mancini giving it that Pink Panther touch with the music light and perfect comedy music....and Jimmy Stewart pulls this off great. Maybe a Fred MacMurray could have done it, or Jack Lemmon, or Tom Hanks......but its hard to imagine it done any better than Jimmy Stewart.

 

I can't think of the actors name at the end. The bird watcher.....of other Jimmy Stewart movies and TV shows and maybe best known for Midnight Cowboy......but his bird watcher character is great comedy stuff, and leads to Jimmy painfully bird watching as he sees a mirage of a beer floating by.

 

very simple....Mr Hobbs Takes A Vacation.....but it is a nice little movie, with Jimmy Stewart keeping it interesting. Mr Smith Goes To Washington, Mr Hobbs Takes A Vacation.....this is a slick little movie and to me it holds up over the years. Very good for the vacation summer days ahead and for parents and kids to have the ups and downs of it all.

 

Might I add that that they also showed the Winchester movie and Flight Of The Phoenix, and these should have left people amazed at Mr Stewart if they had a chance to watch them all. Also I couldn't help thinking that this was done around the time of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and How The West Was Won, and I guess my point is that some actors crank out alot of movies, some good, some not so good, but it just seems like Jimmy Stewart must have always been on the set working because of all the movies, and heres the thing, a wide range of characters, and just about all the movies are very good performances by him. ......As different as Mr Hobbs is to Liberty Valance , he is very believable in both, and he made both pretty close together in the early 60s.....

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 20, 2013 10:50 PM

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 20, 2013 11:00 PM

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All of that shows us, Duck, that Stewart really WAS that good. Believable and likeable in comedy, drama, whether a western or Hitchcock flick. Stewart was probably the most widely respected and talented of the bunch who survived after the end of the "studio era". And anyone who disagrees can take their gripes to their OTHER friends in Al Qaida!

 

 

Incidentally, the "bird watcher" was JOHN McGUIVER, one of my favorite character actors.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Sepiatone, I must disagree. you're forgettin' about that one name that stands out above all the rest.....*JOHN WAYNE!* The greatest american movie star of all time!...and he did it without the luxury afforded all them other studio contract players which Wayne never was...making Duke's stardom all the more impressive.

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John Wayne is far from the greatest American movie star of all time in my book, but I do admit he greatly appealed to a certain US demographic.

 

As for his acting? He was good in movies like Red River and Liberty Valiance but too often for my taste he played John Wayne.

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Perhaps the best Stewart is in the middle of Cheyanne Autumn......not long, but very good......

 

As for John Wayne.......as for John Wayne....???.....Longest Day kind of needs him......but I like to look at a movie like The Quite Man......or as the football coach trying to raise his kid....but to me, The Cowboys doesn't get enough respect, a John Wayne character who is flawed, but has a chance for redemption, even if with kids not his own. Good cast, good movie....THE COWBOYS is all about the old guy failing with his kids, but getting a second chance with other kids....the rest is just movie, this is the guts of it.

 

but why do we mention Jimmy with Duke....Philadelphia Story, Mr Smith, Mr Hobbs, Harvey, Lindburg, Glenn Miller, Hitchcock, Wonderful Life, Liberty, Winchester, and on, and on........

 

anyway, if I was to think about Jimmy, it would be with his good buddy Fonda, or The US Air Force, which he plugged on My Three Sons or any chance he could get.

 

 

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 21, 2013 11:27 PM

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 21, 2013 11:31 PM

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 21, 2013 11:32 PM

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While this is a pleasant enough film it suffers from what lots of other films from this time suffered from and that is it is so 60s. For me these films are more dated then family comedies from the 40s. But a chance to see Maureen O'Hara and Stewart together is reason enough to give it a chance.

 

I don't remember who said it but I agree that Fred MacMurray could have pulled it off. That's not saying he would have been better than Stewart but Fred had a gift for comedy and there are several examples back in the 30s to prove that point.

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I said it, and these were the Flubber Days of Fred in both movies, very funny.....

 

but Jimmy is very good in this......and again.....a slick little film......If you don't get it the first time, maybe watch it again......

 

May I suggest National Lampoon Vacation........less over the top.......of the late 50s, early 60s.......Fabian

 

but.....still.....like the vacation to Wally World.....many parents and kids will discover the horror of the family vacation this summer, which will be some of the best memories of their lives.

 

Oh yes, 40s and 50s and 60s movie are dated, as is 80s Vacation, .......but parents and kids trying to get to know each other on vacation will never get dated...it is timeless... (see this summer )

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 22, 2013 12:12 AM

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 22, 2013 12:14 AM

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Yes, John Wayne did play John Wayne quite often...and that's why once upon a time decades ago this big fat dumb happy country of ours loved him...and still does. Many in Hollywood, San Francisco, Washington DC and NYC might have a problem with the Duke but to 90% of the rest of the country John Wayne was the best actor anyone ever saw. Not because of his skill or lack of it but because of what he played, heroes and americans. John Wayne was not an actor. He was a reactor. He reacted and that was all the difference he needed to achieve unprecedented stardom and leave most of his studio contract contemporaries standing in his immense shadow. *"When I wanna know how to act tough, I just look at the Duke" -Steve McQueen*

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Well, somewhere between blind Nationalism and liberal Hatred is the truth, and that is that John Wayne was pretty good.......

 

Again.....JIMMY STEWART......JIMMY STEWART........JIMMY STEWART.........

 

Mr Smith Goes To Washington.......Mr Hobbs Takes a Vacation.......good stuff......

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Fly, while I'll agree to WAYNE'S greatness to an extent, it largely suffered from typecasting to a degree.

 

 

None of Wayne's movies were COMEDIES, per se, but had comic moments that Wayne was able to pull off. But in small doses. Could anyone have accepted John Wayne as the befuddled and frustrated father in *Take Her, She's Mine* ? Would die hard Duke fans have liked to see him in *Vertigo* ? Could YOU see him as ELWOOD P. DOWD?

 

 

As great as Wayne was at what he did, we never got to see him display as much RANGE as Stewart showed, and many feel he couldn't have pulled it off.

 

 

Maybe in real life, Wayne actually DID read "War and Peace", as Stewart's Hobbs was doing in "Vacation". I suppose we'll never know. But the movie going PUBLIC would have found it hard to swallow.

 

 

Sepiatone Oh, and thank you for the correction on McGiver.

 

 

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I hesitated to respond to this thread, because after reading it, I saw that some of my favourite people here in TCM MessageBoardLand really like *Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation*, and I didn't want to strongly disagree with them.

But then I thought...I still like those people, I don't care if they really like a movie I can't stand, and presumeably and hopefully it's the same with them. As in, they won't suddenly take a dislike to me because I don't have the same opinion of a film that they do. As has so often been discussed before on these forums, it's ok to disagree. People can like and dislike different things, and still remain on amiable terms.

 

So, with that out of the way, I want to say, I could not stand this movie *Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation*. I could not stand it to the point where I decided to stop watching it, about halfway through. Then, after about half an hour, I returned to it and found that I still disliked it as much as ever.

Part of it is not the film's fault. I tend to intensely dislike most movies made in the early 60s era, especially the comedies, which I find to be forced and unfunny.

I wanted to like *Mr. Hobbs*, I was looking forward to it. With a cast that stars James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara, what's not to like?

Quite a lot, I decided. Sorry to all those who enjoyed the film, but I found it had that depressing un-funny early 60s type comedy (as mentioned above) that not only does not make me laugh, but worse, it bores me.

Everyone here has commented on how "realistic" the portrayal of the family is. Well, yes, if they mean it depicts problems within the family dynamic rarely shown in earlier "family" films. And that is admirable, yes. But it still doesn't ring true to me; somehow the "issues" the family has to deal with feel like they were contrived by the scriptwriter, for that very purpose, to demonstrate that they were writing about "real" families with "real" problems. Maybe it was the actors who played the adult children - didn't like them.

And all those scenes with James Stewart hanging around the beach, looking uncomfortable (both physically and emotionally) ! James, get out of there and go ride a horse or something ! (Maybe he did-weren't they staying at some kind of "resort" that provided all kinds of vacation activities?)

 

I also felt the scene in which the other couple, the "square" husband and wife, is introduced, was more sad than funny. Stewart's disdain for them, especially the admittedly dull man, seemed so obvious to me, I felt sorry for them, boring though they were.

 

 

I dunno, maybe I need to watch it again. (although that would be quite a chore.) As I said, quite a few people I respect here liked it, so maybe it's me. ( It's not you, Jimmy S., it's me...)

 

 

Over and out.

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Sorry but John Wayne was an actor. People may wish to make him into some type of hero (which I find silly as it relates to ALL actors, sport figures, politicians). At a forum related to movies and thus actors, I judge actors base on, well, their acting!

 

Like I said he played some good (very good), roles and was OK at his craft (that craft would be acting), but overall I don't feel Wayne was as good at his craft as other in his profession like Steward (in the 50s especially), Tracy, Bogart, etc...

 

Oh, and when I discuss Jane Fonda I focus on her craft as well (that would be acting).

 

 

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I agree. Duke's range was limited BUT within that western range Wayne was supreme. Only guy to ever come close to it was Eastwood. Clint asked Duke to star in something once but Duke didn't like the rape scene in High Plans Drifter so he ignored Eastwood's offer. I think Duke shoulda been more receptive. Billy Curtis offering a cigar to Eastwood after he comes outta that barn is priceless. So yeah, Wayne had a limited range but lets be fair. Wayne pulled it off without any studio contract status. That says something. Stewart, Bogart, Tracy and the rest were contract players which was an edge. Wayne never had that edge so give him his due. Stalin never put a bounty on those other guys heads but Wayne was a target. There was a reason for that. Wayne and the roles he excelled at. Again I say, give the man his due. Now about Hobbs. His adult kids are too morose which weighs down the overall feeling of the movie. Light moments are when Hobbs tries to establish a rapport with the two younger kids, his daughter with the braces (Lauri Peters, Jon Voight's ex-wife) and the TV watcher (Michael Burns, Blue Boy from Dragnet '66) It is also amusing to hear Roger Hobbs admit to buying Playboy mags for Danny. But it is funny to watch Jimmy try to get into bird watching. He gets pointers from Turner (McGiver) about imported custom shoes and walking and spots a great blue heron. :D:D:D

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