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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962)



Reviews and Comments

This family vacation comedy has some interesting pieces to it, but never builds up enough steam to sustain a full length feature. Jimmy Stewart and Maureen O'Hara are relatively new (and young) grandparents, who take their kids (from adult to child in age) for a summer vacation on the coast. The predictable mishaps, especially those involving the rundown state of the place they stay in, occur, but most of the focus is on the relationships between the parents and their kids.

Unfortunately, only a few scant moments (such as the bathroom scene and bird watching scene) generate any real humor. Much of the rest is light and superficial drama, and only a few of those (like the sailboat episode) have any real tenderness to them. The worst part are the argument scenes, which are supposed to be funny but come off irritating.

Maureen O'Hara, alas, is wasted, but it is Jimmy Stewart who tips the balance of the film in its favor. Stewart is an amazing talent -- that, combined with his effortless charisma, can singlehandedly turn dull material into something fun to watch. That's precisely what he does in Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation.