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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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...
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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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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

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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

Phillip Hastings: Make Michael stop picking on me.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain
(1931) (uncredited)
Written by Kate Smith, Howard Johnson and Harry M. Woods
Played as background music in the bar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kind of a Let-Down
21 December 2013 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I was excited to see this film due to its cast and a premise that sounds ready-made for a great Christmas story. The movie's plot is that the greedy nephew of a rich old lady (Ann Harding) wants her declared mentally incompetent so he can have complete control of her fortune. The old lady, however, wants to leave her money to three adopted sons (George Brent, George Raft, Randolph Scott) she raised but hasn't seen in years. A judge postpones his decision until Christmas Eve, when she says her three sons will return to her. The bulk of the movie deals with telling the stories of the three sons, who have all grown up to be less-than-reputable men.

Sadly, this isn't a great film. There's many reasons for this. For starters, why is this old lady played by a 45 year-old Ann Harding in bad makeup? There was no shortage of fine elderly actresses in Hollywood at the time. Any one of them bringing some authenticity and warmth to the role would have helped the movie quite a bit, instead of Harding's doddering portrayal. Also, the three stories of the sons aren't great and seem oddly disjointed. Raft's dark story in particular stands out against the other two stories, which are much lighter in tone. It feels like they took three story ideas for other movies and cobbled them together to make this.

Lastly, the main reason I think this fails is that its ultimate point, that the boys love their mother so much they return to help her despite any trouble it may cause them, falls flat when you stop and consider that when she dies they become rich!!! I mean who wouldn't show up to help the old crow if there was a payday at the end of it? Look, I know it has a great cast but they can only do so much. It's got quite a bit wrong with it and I just scratched the surface. The biggest problem really is that, for a Christmas movie, it doesn't really give me a Christmasy feeling. See it for the curiosity factor and the assembled talent. But keep expectations low.


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