An insurance investigator (Dennis O'Keefe) arrives in a small town right at Christmas time to find out about an apparent suicide that his company may have to pay out for. He's met an attractive inhabitant (Barbara Britton) on the train ride into town. The person who O'Keefe's character is supposed to believe killed himself turns out to have been very unpopular. The evidence of his death points not to suicide but to murder, though everyone in the town from the bus driver to the sheriff (William Bendix) seem totally unfazed about what has happened. This could have been a lot more exciting if the townspeople had gone farther in trying to stop the investigation. They are all so nice and yet this guy is dead, and not by his own hand. So, ergo, it would seem that they are, in fact, not so nice after all, and that this town is covering up murder, though the film seems to be telling us that that is OK, that the dead guy somehow had it coming and that the spirit of Christmas overrides the evil of his murder. Nonetheless, a few parts stand out for being bizarre, most especially the one played by Doro Merande as Hilda, the housekeeper for Barbara Britton and her family, who in one scene is outside setting fire to the dad's fur coat and later tells everyone that it was an accident. All in all, though this is a strange movie, which is a good point, it seems shackled and prohibited from reaching its true realization.
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