Johnny Case: Classic Movie Characters with Kickass Confidence

Johnny Case in Holiday, played by Cary Grant

Let me be clear—Cary Grant, for me, was, is, and will always be, the king of confidence. The way he talks, walks, and acts with such ease and enjoyment is pure classic movie gold. (I think he’s the only actor, besides Fred Astaire, who looks fabulous—not hilarious—in tails.)

In Holiday, Grant plays Johnny Case, a man with a plan: make enough money, then quit working and see the world while he’s still young enough and healthy enough to enjoy the ride. Johnny also has a fiancée—snooty, rich Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), who, with her stuffed-shirted father, tries to control our hero’s future, so that Johnny’s dream is turned into the one nightmare he’s trying to avoid: compromising freedom for fortune.

Cary Grant as Johnny Case in HolidayPhoto: Cary Grant as Johnny Case in Holiday (1938, George Cukor director)

Johnny Case has kickass confidence on so many levels, but what grabs my heart most is his dead-on clarity about what he wants, and his strong determination to get it.  That kind of quality of focus is a rare and beautiful thing, and usually takes you places you thought you’d never go.

Johnny gets his dream, and goes for the ride of his life. I can hear him now…“oh, c’mon darling, let’s not let the fun get out of it!”…and he never does.

–Michelle Kerrigan for Classic Movie Hub


Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace performance who helps clients achieve success by developing the skills they need to increase their confidence. She shares “Classic Movie Characters with Kickass Confidence” because each of them has inspired her. She hopes that they inspire you too. For more about Michelle, visit



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One Response to Johnny Case: Classic Movie Characters with Kickass Confidence

  1. Pingback: Classic lessons in kickass confidence. | Workplace Confidence

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