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Holiday Affair (1949)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  24 December 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,386 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 19 critic

The Christmas-season romance of a young widow and a sales clerk who (thanks to her) is unemployed.



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Complete credited cast:
Gordon Gebert ...
Griff Barnett ...
Mr. Ennis
Esther Dale ...
Henry O'Neill ...
Police Lieutenant (as Henry Morgan)
Larry J. Blake ...
Helen Brown ...


Just before Christmas, department store clerk Steve Mason meets big spending customer Connie Ennis, really a commercial spy. He unmasks her but lets her go, which gets him fired. They end up on a date, which doesn't sit well with Connie's steady suitor, Carl, but delights her son Timmy, who doesn't want Carl for a step-dad. Standard (if sweet) romantic complications follow. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Baby, you're just what I want for Christmas See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas Gift  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although this modest film was not a success at the time, annual showings on Turner Classic Movies in recent years has made this film something of a minor Holiday classic. See more »


When Timmy opens the box containing the train set his mother buys, he quickly re-wraps the box leaving a small amount of the tissue paper hanging on the outside of the box, in the next scene the paper is not hanging outside the box. See more »


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Connie Ennis: Oh, you're always so wrong about me. I have a wonderful memory of a husband and a marriage. You're trying to take it away from me.
Steve Mason: Nobody wants to do that. I know. I'm ...
See more »


Featured in A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas! (2011) See more »


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User Reviews

An undiscovered Christmas classic
20 June 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I love this film and am amazed that it seems to have been undiscovered among the many holiday movies we are blitzed with every Christmas season. I am actually VERY happy about this, as it is usually shown only about once or twice every year on cable and has not been ruined (at least for me) by over-saturation. "It's a Wonderful Life" is a movie that I no longer can stand because it was shown so many times during the 1980s--sometimes on two or three or more cable channels AT THE SAME TIME!! But, somehow lazy television programmers haven't yet done this to "A Holiday Affair". Hmmm,...maybe I should NOT review it so that it remains a hidden gem.

Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh and Wendall Corey all star in this delightful little film about a train set and Christmas. Janet Leigh is a single mom (her husband having been killed in the war) and works as a comparison shopper (a spy who buys products and tests them out for competing stores). She buys a train for just this purpose but her adorable little son (Gordon Gebert) finds the very expensive train and assumes it's for him. Mitchum works at the store where this is purchased and correctly assumes she is a spy BUT because he feels sorry for her and does not turn her in, he is fired. Leigh feels sorry for him and invites him to Christmas dinner with her son and fiancé (Corey). Soon after arriving, Mitchum learns from the little boy that he thinks he's getting this great train that he found hidden in his mom's room (though this was bought for her job--the train she could afford to buy him was MUCH cheaper and less fancy). Mitchum decides to buy the kid that exact train (though he is out of work). When Leigh finds out, she is upset--Mitchum is practically a stranger and is out of work. When the boy hears this, he knows he can't keep the train and so he sneaks out of the house to return the train (although he looks to be only about 7 years-old). This scene of such a little boy wandering up the chain of command at the department store to return the train is priceless! What happens next is something you'll have to see for yourself. Although the eventual outcome is rather predictable, it arrives at this destination in such a classy and engaging way that you won't be disappointed.

This movie is perhaps one of the best examples of the magical films that Hollywood was capable of making in the 1940s. The dialog is among the best and the long string of coincidences make this film charming, not clichéd. Plus, it's a nice example of a film with a child star who acts a lot like a real kid--and he keeps his own among all the big-name stars! Give it a chance--it's sure to brighten up your holiday.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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