Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Starring Jimmy Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, Fabian, Laurie Peters. 1962.
If It's a Wonderful Life has a sequel, then that sequel is Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation.
Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation is full of references to It’s a Wonderful Life. There are so many of these references, that the film is almost an homage to the classic, or a sequel that looks at the question, “what happened next to the Bailey family?” While the film concerns the Hobbs family, and not the Baileys, the connections are still there.
Mr. Hobbs and George Bailey both have daughters named Janie. Another daughter is named Suzie. While not an exact match, the similarity to the name Zuzu is close enough to make one pause to consider the connection.
The house even has a mansard roof and a troublesome newel post, which served in It’s a Wonderful Life as both a tool to break the tension of several scenes, and as a symbol of George Bailey’s growing frustration. In Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, the newel post is a light-hearted tribute to the older film. The joke is extended when Mr. Hobbs attempts to climb the stairs and one of the steps breaks.
In It’s a Wonderful Life, just before Sam Wainwright offers George the job, Sam tells him of an idea for a factory that he wants to build in Rochester, New York. In Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Mr. Hobbs tells his down-on-his-luck, unemployed son-in-law to look for a job in Rochester.
During a social event at a yacht club, Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs become concerned about their youngest daughter Katey (Lauri Peters). Mr. Hobbs becomes so concerned that his wife becomes worried about him. He tells her, “Don’t worry. I’m not gonna’ jump.” This is a reference George Bailey’s perceived solution to his funding shortage problem in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Mr. Hobbs goes bird watching with a visitor to the summer home. Every time he sees a bird, he asks what kind it is, only to learn that it is always the same species. Every time he sees the bird, thinking it is a new species, he comments, “well, what do you know about that,” which is one of George Bailey’s favorite phrases.
Mr. Hobbs is more cynical than George Bailey, but the children are older. He looks through travel brochures for the Caribbean, France, Britain, and Hawaii. This reminds one of the travel brochures George Bailey carries with him.
In a connection that hits closer to real life, Mr. Hobbs refers to being buried in Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. In real life, Stewart is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Los Angeles, CA. There is a real Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica, CA.
4 out of 5 stars.
4 out of 5 stars.