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Holiday Affair (1949)


pandorainmay
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I was quite charmed by the low key quality of this Christmas movie on TCM last night, which I'd never seen, called Holiday Affair (1949). I found that the little boy, Gordon Gebert*, gave a remarkably un-mawkish performance. It was so nice to see a Holiday movie that wasn't trying to knock your eye out with some ersatz idea of perfection, but did an exceedingly nice job of weaving a quiet spell through the good script by Isobel Lennart and genuine performances by one and all, particularly Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh and Wendell Corey. I liked the way that the director (Don Hartman) and the script allowed each character some time to develop and even those in small parts, such as Henry O'Neill as the department store boss, Griff Barnett and Esther Dale as Leigh's parents, and Harry Morgan as a cop, all had their moments.

 

It was fun to read in a TCM article about this movie that Mitchum, who was at his best in this movie playing against type, became genuine friends with relatively new actress, Janet Leigh. According to the article, "During a tense dinner scene, (Mitchum) and co-star Wendell Corey each slipped a hand onto her knee under the table. She started fidgeting in response, which turned out to be the perfect reaction for the scene." Naughty boys! She was very good in that particular scene, as she was in the scene when in the car with Corey, when they make a mutual, surprisingly mature decision together. Corey was exceptionally expressive in this movie, though the poor guy was always getting jilted in his career, wasn't he?--even his partner John Hodiak wanted to ditch him in Desert Fury (Corey's very good premiere performance on film)!

 

If you're interested in seeing Holiday Affair, it's on again on TCM at 1:45pm ET today.

 

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* Say, here's a little article from the Des Moines Register about the boy who played Timmy. Believe it or not, it's a success story about a former child actor!

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Hi Moira, I've always been a HUGE fan of this little movie and keep hoping for its eventual dvd release. I can watch it over

and over and frequently do. Somehow, Janet and Mitchum really make a believable couple and

Wendell Corey an equally believable "also ran" (as he often did---I love the reaction of the in-laws

to the news that Janet is to marry Corey, "Carl!" Poor schnook!)

 

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I have to admit that when I first saw this years ago, I was a bit put off, even frightened, by the "noir-ish" Mitchum playing against type, because to me his character was still very edgy and unconventional.

 

I initially would have preferred the "safety" of Carl and the status quo but, like Nick Cage says to Cher in MOONSTRUCK, "Playing it safe is about the riskiest thing a woman like you can do".

 

Of course it was inferred that Janet didn't feel any "chemistry" with Carl.

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Carl is a really nice guy and it's not really possible to dislike him, poor thing. I hope he found his frowsy blonde who will feed him on canned beans. I don't know why but I keep picturing Gloria Grahame as she was in Crossfire. Or maybe Barbara Nichols.

 

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  • 8 months later...

_Holiday Affair_ (1949)

 

Comes to DVD: November 11, 2008

 

*A new group of timeless film favorites will bring extra sparkle to*

*the holidays with the introduction of _Warner Bros. Classic Holiday_*

*_Collection Volume 2_. This latest group of highly requested titles*

*which are finally making their DVD debut includes _All Mine to Give_,*

*_Holiday Affair_ and _It Happened on 5th Avenue_ along with a special*

*bonus disc _Blossoms in the Dust_. The films will be available both as a*

*festive boxed gift set for $29.98 SRP and individually for $19.97*

 

*(Blossoms in the Dust will only be included as part of the collection).*

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

> {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

> I have to admit that when I first saw this years ago, I was a bit put off, even frightened, by the "noir-ish" Mitchum playing against type, because to me his character was still very edgy and unconventional.

>

> I initially would have preferred the "safety" of Carl and the status quo but, like Nick Cage says to Cher in MOONSTRUCK, "Playing it safe is about the riskiest thing a woman like you can do".

>

> Of course it was inferred that Janet didn't feel any "chemistry" with Carl.

 

Funny, me first reaction to Mitchum's character when I saw this a few years back, was that he was way too mean to a war widow. I did like the rest of the movie though, and that boy(shoot, can't see the name right now) was one of the best child actors ever!

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