Cast & Crew
Edwin L. Marin
Tommy Bradford, a travel agency clerk, dreams of going on all of the romantic trips he sells. June Evans, a model at Maurice's exclusive dress shop, also has dreams of travel and riches. When they meet at the wedding of millionaire J. Westley Piermont's daughter Nadine, because both doing are doing special errands, each thinks that the other is rich and cultured. Piermont, who is very forgetful, doesn't remember where he has met Tommy or June, and thus can't dispute Tommy's claim to be a foreign correspondent, or June's indication that she is a debutante. At home that evening, June, who lives with her mother and three brothers in a small apartment, decides to call Tommy, and he asks her out, after first pretending to be a Chinese butler. Because Tommy is broke, his roommate Al suggests that a dog show would be the perfect date, because it is "social," and also cheap. At the show, they run into Piermont, who has two dogs entered, one a St. Bernard. Because Tommy has memorized a lot of information on St. Bernards to sell tour packages to Switzerland, he impresses June, as well as Piermont, who says that if the St. Bernard wins instead of the other dog, then Tommy can have him. When the St. Bernard does win, Piermont insists on giving the dog to Tommy who, in turn, gives the dog to June. Something that Tommy says that evening makes June think that he is the son of a millionaire horse breeder, and when he mentions that Ebony Star is a good bet, she passes on the information to her horse-playing brother Steve. At the bookie parlor, Al, who coincidentally is a crony of Steve's, bets two dollars for Steve, and twenty for himself at eighten-to-one odds. When the horse wins, a joyous Al calls Tommy to say that he will buy opera tickets so that Tommy can show June a classy time. Waiting in the bookie's, though, Al loses everything on other bets. Meanwhile, to help her niece, June's Aunt Lucy, a cook for a Park Avenue family on vacation, agrees to let June's family stay at the apartment, dog and all. Following various additional complications to their respective shams, June and Tommy fall in love and June invites him to dinner at the swank apartment, the same day that Steve decides to pawn the rich family's silver. During dinner, while everyone tries to outdo one another with tales of wealth and accomplishment, the police arrive with the silverware and the suspected thief, Al. A bewildered Al then says that Steve gave him to silverware to pawn, and Lucy, who now recognizes Tommy as an employee of the travel agency that her employers use, realizes what has happened. After the police become convinced that Steve is just a kleptomaniac, Tommy tells June that he is really just a working man and they live in different worlds. Rather than believing him and confessing her own fraud, though, June thinks that he is just trying to drop her and tells him to leave. Both June and Tommy are miserable until Aunt Lucy goes to Tommy and convinces him that June is just a model at Maurice's. After going to Maurice's and having her model clothes "for his fiancé," Tommy waits for June in the delivery van and they begin a new, more honest relationship.
Edwin L. Marin
Edward S. Brophy
E. Alyn Warren
David Alison Horsley
John W. Considine Jr.
Edwin B. Willis
Hold That Kiss
Production began on March 28th and ended on April 23, 1938, with a screenplay by Stanley Rauh, based on his original story. The poet Ogden Nash, along with Jane Hall and Bradbury Foote contributed to the script. Although the film was a "B" picture, it did benefit from having an "A" list crew such as art director Cedric Gibbons and costumer Dolly Tree.
When Hold That Kiss was released on May 13, 1938, Variety wrote "[i]ts drawing ability is limited to the pull in the names of Maureen O'Sullivan, Mickey Rooney and Dennis O'Keefe, who impressed recently in The Bad Man of Brimstone ...It's all been done before with variations but Edwin Marin in his direction carries the thin thread of plot to a satisfactory finish. Good supporting performances by George Barbier, Jessie Ralph and Frank Albertson hold up the interest over the weak spots. Film could have profited with more of Mickey Rooney, who is coming along fast with each succeeding appearance. Boy has something for the customers and knows how to sell it....Hold That Kiss will get by with audiences that like light entertainment." The New York Times called it "a likely candidate for the best "B" film of the year." Mickey Rooney was seventeen and cranking out films at MGM. As he wrote in his autobiography, "...I was making movies, the quicker the better. Hold That Kiss, with Maureen O'Sullivan and Dennis O'Keefe, took twenty-one days to shoot. I played Maureen's kid brother. She works in a dress shop, O'Keefe in a tourist bureau. They meet at a fashionable wedding and, attracted to each other, try to beef up their résumés. Comic complications ensue, of course, but, as in all Hollywood movies of the time, the characters unravel the knots and live happily ever after. I sometimes wonder whether, seeing and playing in these idealized versions of life, I didn't start thinking this was life. Don't ask me why. I guess we were giving the public what it wanted. And, on the eve of another terrible war, what it apparently wanted was more of Mickey Rooney, a name that was becoming synonymous with energy, optimism, and schmaltzly good feelings. I was about to float into my golden years. I was almost eighteen."
Producer: John W. Considine, Jr.
Director: Edwin L. Marin
Screenplay: Stanley Rauh (screenplay and story); Jane Hall, Ogden Nash (both uncredited); Bradbury Foote (dialogue, uncredited)
Cinematography: George Folsey
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Music: Edward Ward
Film Editing: Ben Lewis
Cast: Maureen O'Sullivan (June 'Junie' Evans), Dennis O'Keefe (Tommy 'Tom' Bradford), Mickey Rooney (Chick Evans), George Barbier (Mr. J. Westley Piermont), Jessie Ralph (Aunt Lucy McCaffey), Edward S. Brophy (Al), Fay Holden (Mrs. Emily Evans), Frank Albertson (Steven 'Steve' Evans), Phillip Terry (Ted Evans), Ruth Hussey (Nadine Piermont Kent), Barnett Parker (Marcel Maurice - Couturier).
by Lorraine LoBianco
The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1940
Rooney, Mickey, Life is Too Short
"Hold That Kiss", Variety 10 May 38
Hold That Kiss
Although the surname of George Barbier and Ruth Hussey's characters is "Piermont" in the film, Variety and some other sources incorrectly listed the name as "Pierpont." According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter on March 25, 1938, Bradbury Foote, Ogden Nash and Jane Hall were polishing the script for the picture, which was scheduled to start three days later. Nash and Hall were included in preliminary credits, dated April 18, 1938, in the Screen Achievements Bulletin for contributions to the screenplay, and Foote was credited with contributions to the dialogue. In the final Screen Achievements Bulletin credits, only Foote's name was retained in addition to the onscreen credit for original story and screenplay for Stanley Raub.