A young femme fatale-type woman realizes that the man she married is an incorrigible wastrel.A young femme fatale-type woman realizes that the man she married is an incorrigible wastrel.A young femme fatale-type woman realizes that the man she married is an incorrigible wastrel.
Well, there you are! Somerset Maugham's "Christmas Holiday" indeed! But it's not as bad as some critics declare. Pauline Kael didn't like it, of course. But it is interesting as a film noir, and Deanna's first, perhaps only real, chance at a dramatic vehicle. Helen Hayes, or even Jane Greer, she wasn't, but then it's doubtful that Universal ever made any effort to develop her acting talent beyond the merest fundamentals. Also she didn't have the long film background of a Helen Parrish. She does present a winsome, sympathetic girl plunged into bad circumstances when her attractive husband proves a murderer and general bad type. Added to that, her mother-in-law casts her out after the husband's conviction. It's not a great performance, but Hollywood has produced many worse. Gene Kelly and the rest of the cast are very good. Kelly is in a very early role, the others are mostly veterans. It's a very moody piece, with photography to suit, and not at all what you would have gotten if Maugham's real story had been filmed.
Oh, yes. Deanna gets to sing two songs. Early on we get "Spring will be a little late this year", which is a slightly jazzy torch song, and later in the film, "Always", beautifully and wistfully delivered by Deann.
- Dec 19, 2004