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Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation is a 1962 American comedy film directed by Henry Koster and starring James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara.[2] The film is based on the novel Mr. Hobbs' Vacation by Edward Streeter[3] and features a popular singer of the time, Fabian.

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation
Mr. Hobbs Take a Vacation cinema poster.jpg
Original cinema poster
Directed byHenry Koster
Produced byMarvin A. Gluck
Jerry Wald
Screenplay byNunnally Johnson
Based onMr. Hobbs' Vacation
1954 novel
by Edward Streeter
StarringJames Stewart
Maureen O'Hara
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyWilliam C. Mellor
Edited byMarjorie Fowler
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • June 15, 1962 (1962-06-15) (US)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2,000,000Template:Estimated by IMBD
Box office$4 million (US & Canada)[1]



Roger Hobbs is an overworked banker whose wife Peggy plans a quiet seaside vacation with their family, including the grown daughters, teenage son, family cook, sons-in-law and grandchildren.

What he finds upon reaching their vacation destination is a very dilapidated beach house.

Complications mount up. His teenage son Danny only wants to watch television. His youngest daughter Katey, embarrassed by a new set of dental braces, refuses to leave the beach house; and his grandchildren do not want to have anything to do with him.

Furthermore, one of his sons-in-law, Stan, is unemployed and Mr. Hobbs must entertain Stan's snooty potential employer on a boring bird-watching jaunt. An older daughter is married to the aloof professor Byron, who has unorthodox ideas about both disciplining children and the family dynamic.

One by one, Mr. Hobbs tries to solve each problem. After the television breaks, he finds time to take Danny on a boating trip, where they get very lost in the fog but bond as father and son. He also manages to take Katey to a dance, where he bribes a handsome young man named Joe to pay attention to her.

The bird-watcher and his prim wife don't turn out to be what they seem to be and chaos reigns for a while. But in time Mr. Hobbs and his wife sort out everybody's personal crisis, Joe turns out to be a suitable suitor for Katey, and the family is almost sad to leave the beach and return home.



Nunnally Johnson wrote the screenplay for Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation based on Edward Streeter's novel of the same name. Streeter had previously written the novel Father of the Bride, which was filmed in 1950 and remade in 1991.[4]

Johnson had just finished directing a series of films and wanted to focus on writing. He agreed to do Hobbs because he liked the story "and I knew something about it."[5]

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation was filmed in California at Laguna Beach and Dana Point.[6] The film was shot using CinemaScope wide screen formatting, with color by DeLuxe. It marked the first time James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara starred together in a film. They would co-star again in the 1966 western The Rare Breed.[7] During the scene where Mr. Hobbs escorts his daughter Katey to a dance at the yacht club, Herb Alpert is the trumpet player in the band.[8]

The movie was the first of two James Stewart made with Fabian. "If anybody’s ever blessed, you have to be blessed to work with Jimmy Stewart," recalled Fabian. "He was the most congenial, helpful person I ever worked with."[9]


The film was relatively successful in the United States and Canada upon its release on June 15, 1962, earning $4 million with an estimated budget of $2 million, but found even greater success when released overseas.[10][11]

James Stewart won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 12th Berlin International Film Festival for his performance,[12] and director Henry Koster was nominated for Best Director. Stewart was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy. The screenplay by Nunnally Johnson was nominated for Best Written Comedy by the Writers Guild of America. Stewart and Maureen O'Hara were also nominated for their performances by the Laurel Awards.[13]

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation's success inspired a series of light-hearted family comedies written by Johnson. Two of these also starred Stewart and were directed by Koster: Take Her, She's Mine (1963) and Dear Brigitte (1965).[7][14]

This was the final feature film for actress Marie Wilson.

Critical reactionEdit

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times writes in his review: "EDWARD STREETER'S genial thesis that the family unit is perhaps the most anomalous and irritating social arrangement ever devised by so-called civilized man is given amusing illustration in Jerry Wald's film version of "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation," which arrived at the Paramount yesterday. Right off the bat it is suggested in this wacky domestic report that togetherness is strictly for the birds and that sensible parents, especially elders, should write it out of their books. The Mr. Hobbs of the title, played beguilingly by James Stewart, is very much of this opinion as far as his own brood is concerned."[15]


  1. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  2. ^ "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Streeter, Edward (1954). Mr. Hobbs' Vacation. Harper & Brothers. OCLC 1391704.
  4. ^ "Internet Movie Database, Edward Streeter". Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  5. ^ Johnson p 134
  6. ^ "Internet Movie Database, Filming locations for Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation". Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  7. ^ a b "Internet Movie Database, James Stewart". Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  8. ^ "Internet Movie Database, Trivia for Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation". Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  9. ^ Jack Neary, "Interview with Fabian" Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine accessed 18 January 2014
  10. ^ "Internet Movie Database, Box office/business for Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation". Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  11. ^ "Internet Movie Database, Release dates for Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation". Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  12. ^ "Berlinale 1962: Prize Winners". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  13. ^ "Internet Movie Database, Awards for Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation". Retrieved 2007-08-26.
  14. ^ Johnson p 136
  15. ^ Crowther, Bosley (June 16, 1962). "Screen: 'Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation':Edward Streeter Book Twits Family Life". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 8, 2016.


External linksEdit