Farm equipment salesman George Bird (Alec Guinness) – a meek and ordinary bachelor – is told by his doctor that he has just six weeks to live.
Since he feels well, he decides to give up his job, withdraw his modest savings, cash in his insurance policy and splash the lot on a holiday in an expensive luxury seaside hotel on the south coast of England to try and get as much enjoyment as possible in the short time he has left.
At the hotel, his natural reticence is misunderstood (he has told no one about his illness), and he becomes a man of mystery, dispensing good turns with understandable nonchalance. George has never been so happy before, and to top things off, he falls in love for the first time.
Housekeeper Mrs Poole (Kay Walsh) knows that George is not really a member of the upper crust, but the other wealthy guests think he is a man of money.
He is offered several jobs by his newly-made acquaintances – including a Cabinet Minister (Campbell Cotts), an inventor (Wilfrid Hyde-White), and a well-to-do Cockney (Sid James) who offers George a partnership in his business.
Almost inevitably, of course, George discovers that his doctor had made a mistake and that he is, in fact, perfectly healthy. But all the same, the holiday does turn out to be his last, for the film has an unexpectedly tragic ending.
Last Holiday was specially written for the screen by J B Priestly
Grégoire Aslan (as Coco Aslan)
Sir Robert Kyle
Trade Union Man
Sir Trevor Lampington