6.7/10
1,048
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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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

Screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz changed the setting from a Paris brothel to a nightclub in New Orleans and the main character was changed from a prostitute to a more ambiguous nightclub singer and hostess, when adapting the 1939 novel of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham, due to the Hays Code. 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

Selections from 'Tristan und Isolde'
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Played by orchestra in concert hall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Siodmak's film noir from a Somerset Maugham novel...
19 October 2009 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

DEANNA DURBIN begged Universal to let her play a dramatic role after her great success in a string of mostly mediocre films where she played a Little-Miss-Fixit in featherweight romantic comedies who sang operatic ditties with great skill and charm. She was always involved in a scheme to reunite her mother and father for the final clinch.

Here, she handles her very adult role with competence, quite believable as a torch singer in a disreputable nightclub, a troubled woman seeking redemption for problems in her twisted past relationships with a mother and son (GALE SONDERGAARD and GENE KELLY).

Deanna shines in the role, giving it shades of both simplicity and charm while playing the happy bride, but convincing when she becomes the bruised and fragile woman who manages to tell her tale of woe to a young lieutenant. The soldier is nicely played by DEAN HARENS, an officer on Christmas leave who is on his way to San Francisco when a storm forces his plane to land in New Orleans.

The film structure is not always smooth, burdened as it is by a couple of flashbacks in the middle and a rather weak ending that is over too abruptly. But Robert Siodmak and cameraman Woody Bredell give the whole piece a fluid style with long tracking shots and superior cinematography for several key scenes, notably the one that takes place at a church service on Christmas eve, and another in a concert hall.

Durbin's fans will certainly appreciate her rendering of "Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year" and Irving Berlin's haunting ballad "Always." The background music, a mixture of popular songs and classical pieces, is effective, especially for all of the nightclub scenes. Hans J. Salter deservedly won an Oscar nomination for his detailed and meticulous score.

Effective supporting performances from GALE SONDERGAARD, GLADYS GEORGE and RICHARD WHORF strengthen the tale. Well worth watching. Oddly enough, Deanna handles her dramatic chores in much better style than Gene Kelly, who's unable to do much with his role of a weak-willed wastrel who turns to crime for reasons unexplained.

Trivia note: David Bruce has a small role at the beginning. Two years later he'd be co-starring with Deanna in much bigger parts in CAN'T HELP SINGING and LADY ON A TRAIN.


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