Holiday Affair, Happy Anniversary! Opened Nationally on Christmas Eve, of 1949.

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Holiday Affair is a Christmas movie filmed with an adult sensibility, romantic, witty, sometimes acerbic; this Christmas gem is a must see for the Christmas Holiday Season. Robert Mitchum performs warmly as the sentimental, amorous lead – Steve; Wendell Corey, smooth as always, as Carl the fiancé, the beautiful Janet Leigh as the confused widow – Connie, with young Gordon Gebert as Timmy.

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Robert Mitchum

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Janet Leigh

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Wendell Corey

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Gordon Gebert

The basic plot is simple and as far as romances go oft used. Just before Christmas, toy-department clerk Steve Mason (a World War Two Veteran) meets comparison shopper Connie Ennis. He of course knows that she is undercover but lets her go, which gets him dismissed immediately. Their new found friendship-romance causes problems with Carl (an Attorney, later playing well into the writers’ scheme) Connie’s beau,  adding tension to the already stressful situation, for Timmy (Connie’s son) likes Carl but does not want his mother to marry him, wanting everything to remain the same (just him and his mother, or as he refers to her “Mrs. Ennis”), yet, after Timmy meets Steve, he is swept off his feet and ready for mom to go down the bridal-path with this out of work clerk, to the chagrin of Carl.

Lush photography, crisp staging, droll dialog with abounding script complications makes this one-present that you won’t want to re-gift. Holiday Affair, directed by Don Hartman, screenplay by Isobel Lennart and cinematography by Milton R. Krasner.

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Notes on the side:

One year after its premier, Holiday Affair was adapted for radio broadcast for the Lux Radio Theater, on December 18th, 1950; Mitchum and Gebert reprised their film roles, for the 60 minute radio program.

Holiday Affair (released nationally on December 24th, 1949 and November 23rd, 1949, premier in New York City) received a luke-warm review from New York Times Film Critic Bosley Crowther, and did not do well at the box office, reportedly [1] losing $300,000.

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[1] “The RKO Story”, 1982, by Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, Arlington House, New Rochelle, New York, Page 234.

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