Bachelor Harry Quincey, head designer in a small-town cloth factory, lives with his selfish sisters, glamorous hypochondriac Lettie and querulous widow Hester. His developing relationship ... See full summary »
Now grown-up, Johnny Columbo returns to New York from Italy having sworn a vendetta against the Black Hand who killed his father years earlier. Becoming romantically involved with a girl ... See full summary »
Leo Gogarty marries Margaud Morgan after a whirlwind romance just before shipping out to war. When he returns he is surprised to discover not only that his bride is not what she led him to ... See full summary »
Gregory La Cava
A group of French soldiers during WWII are captured by Nazis troops and sent to a military prison. There they will have to make use of his best resources to keep alive... and sane, while at the same time scheming a way out.
Acrobat Eddie Marsh is in the army now. His first act is to become friendly with Kathryn Jones, the colonel's pretty daughter. Their romance hits a few snags, including disapproval from her... See full summary »
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
A perfumed but poisoned Christmas card from Siodmak, Durbin
Christmas Holiday, one of Robert Siodmak's early cluster of what would later be called film noir, is based on a W. Somerset Maugham story and a Herman J. Mankiewicz script. It's a triumph of casting against type. Gene Kelly is a scheming charmer prone to violence; his doting mom is Gale Sondergaard, for once not splaying her usual dragon-lady claws (at least not through most of her role). Most startling is the diminutive thrush Deanna Durbin, a pert presence and teen star in a number of 30s and 40s hits. Here she delivers a natural, nuanced performance that cleaves nicely between the exuberant ingenue of her early romance with Kelly (told in flashback) and the hardened torch-carrier she becomes. Her singing reflects these shadings, too: the winsome songbird warbles an early snatch of "Always;" a swacked, Chet-Bakerish chanteuse phones in "Spring will be a little late this year," while the reprise of "Always" turns into a heavy, torchy number. The plot's about a soldier stranded in New Orleans on Christmas Eve, after getting a Dear John wire from his fiancee; he ends up meeting Durbin in a roadhouse, and they swap stories after midnight Mass. Alas, Kelly has escaped from the pen at Angola with a mind to settle some scores. Maugham's chum Noel Coward once marvelled at how potent cheap music could be; this movie, like Jean Negulesco's Humoresque, ends with the strains of Wagner's Liebestod -- transcendent music cheaply used -- and, against your better instincts, you get sucked right in.
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