Monday, March 4, 2024

Judy Holliday and Paul Douglas drive away in “The Solid Gold Cadillac”

The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) is an American comedy directed by Richard Quine and starring Judy Holliday and Paul Douglas. The supporting cast includes Fred Clark, John Williams, Ray Collins, Neva Patterson, and Arthur O’Connell.

Laura Patridge (Holliday) attends the board meeting for International Projects, a billion-dollar corporation. John T. Blessington (Williams) announces that he is replacing Edward L. McKeever (Douglas) who founded the company and served as president and chairman of the board. McKeever is resigning to serve as Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C. Laura is a stockholder with just ten shares who frustrates the arrogant and dishonest executives by asking them questions during the meeting which is her right as a stockholder.

To get Laura out of their hair, Blessington hires her for the position of director of shareholder relations. The job has no real duties, but to make sure Laura stays in check, Blessington assigns her a private secretary named Amelia (Patterson) to keep an eye on things. With nothing to do, Laura writes letter to the stockholders. She and Amelia become friends and Laura helps her in her romance with the office manager (O’Connell).

The board of International Projects is distraught because they’ve received no government contracts. McKeever is a straight-shooter and refuses to give preference to his former company. In a move to help them get business, Blessington sends Laura to Washington, outfitted in a new wardrobe to try and convince McKeever to throw some business their way. 

When Laura tells McKeever what’s been happening at International Projects, he decides to return to his old position, but there’s only one catch. He has no controlling stock in the company which leaves him powerless to act.  

Will Laura and McKeever come up with a plan to take the company back and run it honestly and honorably?


Richard Quine (1920 – 1989) was an American director, actor, and singer. As a child, he had roles in several films throughout the 1930s including Cavalcade (1933), Dames (1934), and Dog of Flanders (1935). Quine transitioned to adult roles but his career as an actor began to wane after World War II. He decided to switch to directing and producing and became a very successful director during the 1960s and 1970s. Some of his films as director include Bell, Book and Candle (1958), The World of Suzie Wong (1960), Paris When it Sizzles (1964), How to Murder Your Wife (1965), and The Prisoner of Zenda (1979).

Judy Holliday (1921 – 1965) was an American actress, comedian, and singer. She started out in show business playing nightclubs before making her way to Broadway. Her role as Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday in 1946 made her an “overnight” sensation. When she recreated the role for the film version, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress of the Year. Other films include The Marrying Kind  (1952), It Should Happen to You (1954), Phffft (1954), The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956), Full of Life (1956), and Bells Are Ringing (1960), recreating her Tony Award-winning performance. Holliday died of breast cancer in 1965 at the age of 43. 

Paul Douglas (1907 – 1959) was an American actor. Douglas starred on Broadways as in film. He is mostly known for his comedic performances in films like It Happens Every Spring (1949), Angels in the Outfield (1951), and Never Wave at a WAC (1953). Other Douglas films include A Letter to Three Wives (1949), The Big Lift (1950), Love That Brute (1951), and Clash by Night (1952). Douglas was set to play the role of Mr. Sheldrake in The Apartment (1960) but died of a heart attack right before production was to start. He was replaced by Fred MacMurray.


Paul Douglas and Judy Holliday

The Solid Gold Cadillac trivia

  • The final scene was filmed in color to show of the “solid gold” Cadillac.
  • Holliday and Douglas starred together in Born Yesterday on Broadway.
  • Producer Hal Wallis tried to purchase the film rights as a vehicle for Shirley Booth.
  • The $225 sheer black nightgown would cost about $2500 today.


Click HERE to watch the film on YouTube.



Click HERE to join the discussion on March 11, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. Central Time. Once you RSVP, you will receive an invitation via email with a link to the discussion on Zoom.


Discussion questions

  1. Do you think the film had a serious message underneath the comedy?
  2. Was this role similar to Holliday’s role in Born Yesterday?
  3. Did Holliday and Douglas have good screen chemistry?
  4. Would you have liked to have been on the board of International Projects?
  5. Does the film remind you of any other films you’ve seen?
  6. Did you have a favorite scene or piece of dialogue?


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