6.7/10
997
38 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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Suspect (1944)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip's ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, Dean Harens
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Police Lieut. Candella, longtime friend of the Rome family, walks a tightrope in the case of cop-killer Martin Rome.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Conte, Fred Clark
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: George Sanders, Ella Raines, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Phantom Lady (1944)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A devoted secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Gene Kelly, Marie McDonald, Charles Winninger
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall falls for the mysterious Thelma Jordon when she seeks help solving robberies of her aunt's estate.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Paul Kelly
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

While in a train halted at a station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder committed in a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since ... See full summary »

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet
Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Jean-Pierre Aumont, Gene Kelly, Cedric Hardwicke
Film-Noir | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1903, a doctor suspects murder in the gothic Bederaux family.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, George Brent, Paul Lukas
Edit

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:

Durbin... In her most dramatic glory. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 17, 1945 with Loretta Young as Jackie/Abigail, William Holden as Lt. Mason, and David Bruce as Robert Manette. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Marriage is a Troubled Affair
23 December 2001 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

"Christmas Holiday" (Universal, 1944), directed by Robert Siodmak, is an interesting drama with "film noir" elements, (based on the story by W. Somerset Maugham which changes the local from Paris to New Orleans), starring two performers long associated with musical-comedy, Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly (on loan from MGM), in their only film together. Deanna Durbin's long awaited dramatic role, with two songs thrown in for good measure, might have earned her an Academy Award nomination, but didn't. Due to its lack of television revivals during the last couple of decades, "Christmas Holiday" just remains only a memory to anyone who has any recollection of ever seeing it.

The story begins with Lieutenant Charlie Mason (Dean Harens) about to have Christmas leave from military service to return home and marry his fiancée, Mona, but he receives a letter written by her that reads that she has married someone else. When his plane lands in New Orleans due to a bad rainstorm, Mason, quite depressed, makes the acquaintance with Simon Fenimore (Richard Whorf), a reporter, who invites him to accompany him to a night club managed by Valerie De Merone (Gladys George). While there, Mason meets Jackie Lamont, a night club singer (Deanna Durbin), and after she finishes vocalizing, "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year," Jackie has Mason accompany her to a church. During the Mass, she starts to break down and cry. Mason covers up by placing his coat over her. He then escorts this troubled girl to a diner where she tells him her story: (Flashbacks reveal Jackie to be Abigail Martin. She meets Robert Manette (Gene Kelly). They fall in love and are soon married. Their marriage is happy and blissful for six months until Abigail learns that her husband, a troubled gambler, has just murdered his bookmaker. Abigail goes through a series of unpleasant circumstances during her husband's trial, especially when Robert's domineering mother (Gale Sondergaard) gives her a hard slap across her face for not having been a stronger influence on him after her son is found guilty and sentenced to serve time in prison.) Forwarding to the present: Abigail finishes her revealing story to Mason. She later learns that Robert has escaped from prison and is out to get her, adding more to her troubles.

When I first saw "Christmas Holiday" in one of its very rare television presentations on a PBS channel in 1982, I was moved by it and Durbin's performance from start to finish, and have never forgotten it. Possibly watching this movie again after so many years, I would not have that same reaction I had the first time, but otherwise, it still brings a new kind of experience in seeing Durbin in a serious role, that shouldn't go unnoticed. Durbin sings two songs, "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year," and her lovely rendition to Irving Berlin's "Always." I was even surprised to find Gene Kelly playing a role against type. Still new to movies (making his debut in 1942), his dramatic acting comes off somewhat awkward. I've seen Kelly act in other serious roles, some good, some not, but his character in this production is definitely unsympathetic. He even gets a chance to carry a gun and use it in a shoot out. No dancing for him here unless he's dodging bullets bouncing from the floor. As for Gale Sondergaard, she looks too young to be playing Kelly's mother, a role that would have been far better suited to the likes of Margaret Wycherly (best remembered for her gangster mother role in James Cagney's in "White Heat" (1949)), but Sondergaard doesn't disappoint with her domineering performance over her "Momma's boy."

Also seen in the supporting cast is Universal contract player, David Bruce playing Gerald Tyler. Bruce would soon be elevated to Durbin's co-star in her only Technicolor musical, CAN'T HELP SINGING (1944).

Yes,"Christmas Holiday" is a rare find indeed, a different kind of Christmas story, the one that doesn't get to be added in the package of other Christmas movies that air annually on television, including all versions to "A Christmas Carol" (1938), "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) and/or "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947). While this movie has never been presented on classic cable channels like American Movie Classics, it's currently available (as of 2006) in the VHS format and can be purchased through Movies Unlimited. I recommend seeing it, at least once, if not for its dramatic content, but for its casting. (***)


37 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed