6.7/10
1,063
39 user 20 critic

Christmas Holiday (1944)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 31 July 1944 (USA)
A young femme fatale-type woman realizes that the man she married is an incorrigible wastrel.

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writers:

W. Somerset Maugham (novel), Herman J. Mankiewicz (written for the screen by)
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On Disc

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deanna Durbin ... Jackie Lamont / Abigail Martin
Gene Kelly ... Robert Manette
Richard Whorf ... Simon Fenimore
Dean Harens ... Charles Mason
Gladys George ... Valerie De Merode
Gale Sondergaard ... Mrs. Manette
David Bruce ... Gerald Tyler
Edit

Storyline

Due to inclement weather, Lt. Charles Mason is forced to spend Christmas in New Orleans. Recently dumped by his girlfriend, the depressed Lieutenant falls in with Jackie Lamont, a singer who works at a nightclub and brothel. After attending midnight mass together, she tells her story to Charles. Her real name is Abigail and she fell in love with Robert Manette. After six months of happy married life, Robert is arrested for murder, but Abigail can't help loving her no-good husband. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love...was her crime! Love...was her punishment! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

W. Somerset Maugham's Christmas Holiday See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Those familiar with Gene Kelly's film catalogue consider his role as Oedipally-afflicted psychotic killer Robert Manette to be a radical departure from his typically sunny screen persona. In fact, the role was closer to his norm at the time. This film was made at a point in Kelly's career where MGM, his home studio, was unsure of how to capitalize on his image, which resulted in several loanout assignments to Columbia and Universal. This was chiefly because Kelly's initial fame came with his portrayal of charming antihero Joey Evans in Broadway's Pal Joey (1940) and his first film, For Me and My Gal (1942), in which he portrayed a replica of the Evans character. Kelly also played a heel, to varying degrees, in his follow-up films Thousands Cheer (1943) and Anchors Aweigh (1945). It was his character's redemption at the end of each of these films that finally solidified the Kelly screen persona, that of the streetwise everyman whose better nature prevails, and when he returned from service in WWII, he was firmly established as a leading man. See more »

Goofs

After Robert breaks out of jail, the newspaper spells his last name as "Mannette", however the spelling of the last name in the end credits is "Manette". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Corporal: [to the soldiers] You are now about to become Officers of the Army of the United States.
See more »

Connections

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Real Treat
23 July 2014 | by adamshlSee all my reviews

What a surprise treat to see this rare film as part of a Robert Siodmak Festival at the Cleveland Art Museum in the summer of 2014. It put me back in the mid-WWII period and the beautiful, pristine 35mm print was shown as originally presented on the big screen, thanks to Film Curator John Ewing.

The major attraction here is that Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly both play against type in a "doctored up" Somerset Maugham story. Siodmak direction is dark, atmospheric and smoothly executed throughout. Deanna sings Irving Berlin's "Always" in a pop style very effectively. A good portion of Wagner's "Liebestod" from Tristan and Isolde is heard in an orchestral setting to heighten the dramatic proceedings.

Both stars work surprisingly well in their very heavy roles, and I found myself glued to the screen during Durbin's depiction. Her acting style has often been subtle, and this performance was one of her most understated. Kelly's role challenged him to reach dramatic heights, and he rises to occasion.

While some of the script is dated, Deanna dominates the screen whenever she's on, and is matched by a fine supporting cast. Truly a worthwhile viewing.


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