In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip's ... See full summary »
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While waiting at a train station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder from a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since there's no body... See full summary »
Now that their parents are back together, the Craig girls think life is going to be easy. It is, until Kay falls in love with Joan's fiance! Complications arise when youngest sister Penny ... See full summary »
A group of French soldiers during WWII are captured by Nazis troops and sent to a military prison. There they will have to make use of his best resources to keep alive... and sane, while at the same time scheming a way out.
A perfumed but poisoned Christmas card from Siodmak, Durbin
Christmas Holiday, one of Robert Siodmak's early cluster of what would later be called film noir, is based on a W. Somerset Maugham story and a Herman J. Mankiewicz script. It's a triumph of casting against type. Gene Kelly is a scheming charmer prone to violence; his doting mom is Gale Sondergaard, for once not splaying her usual dragon-lady claws (at least not through most of her role). Most startling is the diminutive thrush Deanna Durbin, a pert presence and teen star in a number of 30s and 40s hits. Here she delivers a natural, nuanced performance that cleaves nicely between the exuberant ingenue of her early romance with Kelly (told in flashback) and the hardened torch-carrier she becomes. Her singing reflects these shadings, too: the winsome songbird warbles an early snatch of "Always;" a swacked, Chet-Bakerish chanteuse phones in "Spring will be a little late this year," while the reprise of "Always" turns into a heavy, torchy number. The plot's about a soldier stranded in New Orleans on Christmas Eve, after getting a Dear John wire from his fiancee; he ends up meeting Durbin in a roadhouse, and they swap stories after midnight Mass. Alas, Kelly has escaped from the pen at Angola with a mind to settle some scores. Maugham's chum Noel Coward once marvelled at how potent cheap music could be; this movie, like Jean Negulesco's Humoresque, ends with the strains of Wagner's Liebestod -- transcendent music cheaply used -- and, against your better instincts, you get sucked right in.
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