6.7/10
1,049
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
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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 the screen's greatest woman's role! 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

Robert Siodmak's brilliant 'Christmas Holiday' was considered by Deanna Durbin as the one film of which she was proud. 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

I'll Remember April
(uncredited)
By Gene de Paul, Patricia Johnson and Don Raye
Performed as background music by a small band as Dean Harens dances with Deanna Durbin.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deanna's noir
10 December 2012 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Deanna tries something different and does very well by it. This tough little noir was a film that she had insisted on doing to try and break away from the Mary Sunshine roles that were her stock in trade. It's lack of success at the box office kept Universal from letting her tackle different roles for the rest of her career and contributed to her retirement a few years after this, although she hated the movie business so even if it had been a smash she probably would have still called it quits.

Her performance is strong as the "dance hall hostess/singer" who the film manages in roundabout ways to make clear is a prostitute. One of the film's strengths is while of course they find a way to have Deanna sing her songbird is not singled out as special. Sure she sings much better than most roadside canaries but the patrons hardly break from what they're doing while she performs and her style is subdued almost beaten down, especially during "Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year". Her version of Always is achingly beautiful though full of hopelessness and despair.

The picture is also fortunate to have two outstanding character actresses among the cast, Gale Sondergaard reserved and conflicted as the no account Kelly's mother and the great and under-appreciated Gladys George in her typical role of the been around goodhearted but tough owner of the joint where Deanna has landed.

Where the film is weakest is in the male cast members. Richard Whorf is good as the huckster for the road house who pulls Dean Harens into Deanna's sphere where he learns her sad tale but Harens while not bad doesn't really make much of an impression on screen. He is just a catalyst for the actual story to kick in so his blandness doesn't hurt the picture.

That only leaves Gene Kelly who again while not bad is the wrong actor for the part. His glib facileness suits the lout he's playing but there is no underlying menace to his personality that would have punched the innate danger of the character across, John Garfield would have been ideal and taken the film from being good, which it is, to extraordinary which it just misses. Still well worth seeking out.


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