When George Bird (Guinness) is informed he only has a few months to live, the lonely man wonders how he can die when he hasn't yet truly lived. He gathers up his life's savings and checks himself into a fancy resort populated by a cast of upper-class eccentrics and the staff who cater to their whims. Ill at ease, Byrd befriends Mrs. Poole (Walsh), the housekeeper, but also finds himself drawn to the beautiful Sheila Rockingham (Campbell). Soon George's luck changes — he wins more money, is accepted into society and offered opportunities he could scarcely have imagined just days prior — making the irony of his impending demise all the more bittersweet.
The prodigious talents of Alec Guinness are on full display in "Last Holiday", a film which gives the acting giant room for quick-witted verbal comedy as well as deep, wordless pathos. This divine British entry from the famed Ealing Studios still registers as a moving drama about mortality and life choices, all the while poking sly fun at the British upper class. Beyond Guinness and his ship-shape female co-stars, credit goes to J.B Priestley's smart and knowing script. An underrated gem.