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Christmas Eve (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 31 October 1947 (USA)
To save her fortune from a designing nephew, Matilda Reid must locate her three long-lost adopted sons in time for a Christmas Eve reunion.

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(adapted from original stories), (adapted from original stories) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ann Nelson
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Claire
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Jean Bradford
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Aunt Matilda
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Phillip Hastings
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Dr. Bunyan (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Carl Harbord ...
Dr. Doremus
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Clarence Kolb ...
Judge Alston
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Harriet Rhodes
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Joe Bland, FBI Agent
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Mario's Hood
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Storyline

The greedy nephew of eccentric Matilda Reid seeks to have her judged incompetent so he can administer her wealth; but she will be saved if her three long-lost adopted sons appear for a Christmas Eve reunion. Separate stories reveal Michael as a bankrupt playboy loved by loyal Ann; Mario as a seemingly shady character tangling with a Nazi war criminal in South America; Jonathan as a hard-drinking rodeo rider intent on a flirtatious social worker. Is there hope for Matilda? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sinner's Holiday  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the final non-western role for Randolph Scott (Jonathan 'Johnny' in this film). From 1948 until he retired in 1962 he played only roles in westerns. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Matilda Reed: Have you any idea how many toy trains are wrecked by fathers on Christmas Day, and how difficult it is to work a railroad system if one is over 10 years old?
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Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Robert Altman (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Joy To The World
(uncredited)
Music Arranged by Lowell Mason
Words by Isaac Watts (1719)
Played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

 
The Geste Brothers Return Home For The Holidays
8 December 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In a reworking of the plot of Beau Geste, imagine if you will the Geste brothers leaving the Foreign Legion and coming home to save their the lady who raised them as wards from the depredations of her blood nephew and you've got Christmas Eve. Ann Harding took in three orphans and they all went out on their own and haven't really kept in touch with Harding. They've all chosen three different roads of life and they haven't made a great success in any way.

Which leads us into three different stories as each foster son hears about what Harding is going through and her public call for help. The strongest of the stories is Raft's who is leading a Lucky Luciano like exile in South America where he owns a club, has his hands in the local rackets, but can't return to the USA. Of course he gets back as do the others, but the story is in the how.

George Brent is a part time playboy, part time conman who is ready to marry a bankroll in Molly Lamont to the chagrin of longtime girl friend Joan Blondell. The weakest story and silliest is Randolph Scott's who is a rodeo cowboy who while on the way home gets himself involved with Dolores Moran who is a reporter trying to break up a baby adoption racket run by Douglass Dumbrille.

Reginald Denny is the nephew and that's another weakness in the plot. He's actually shown at first to be sincerely concerned about his aunt and truth be told Harding's getting a bit dotty. In the end he's revealed rather suddenly to be not at all as he seems, but it comes from out of nowhere, a bad script weakness.

Despite glaring plot weaknesses, Christmas Eve does survive on its own special brand of charm and I've seen worse during the Holiday season.


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