"You have to be the leading lady of your own life," has always been our biggest takeway from the modern rom-com mainstay The Holiday. In the film, Kate Winslet's character Iris Simpkins is advised by storied Hollywood producer Arthur Abbott that it all begins with having gumption. He gives her list of classic films with female characters who have just that. Here, we've rounded up our favorite classic films —two of which were featured in The Holiday — that have fierce female leads.
Back in the day, Rosalind Russell's character Hildy Johnson was one of the most sensational roles written for a women at the time, as it was treated as an equal to the male lead. Johnson portrays a loquacious, whip-smart newspaper reporter, whose editor also happened to be her ex-husband (Carey Grant). She had more smarts and wit than all her male counterparts combined — making her an inspiration to aspiring career women of the time. The rapid-fire dialogue and comic brio between Russell and Grant make this movie an absolute must-see.
Barbara Stanwyck stars as Elizabeth Lane, a famous columnist who writes about her domestic life at her farm in Connecticut for Smart Housekeeping, a magazine for aspiring homemakers. Funny thing is, none of it's true — it's a product of her imagination as a means of forwarding her career. Lane ends up having to put on a charade convincing everyone from her love interest (played by Dennis Morgan) to her boss that she is a domestic goddess, without blowing her cover. You'll fall in love with her quick wit and cunning intelligence.