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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Movie Review - Holiday Affair

Holiday Affair (1949)
Starring Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey, and Gordon Gebert
Directed by Don Hartman

Holiday Affair has been on my Christmas viewing list for a few years now particularly because of the pairing of Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh in a romantic relationship.  Unfortunately, this Christmas flick doesn't quite work.  Leigh is Connie, a war widow with a young six year-old son named Timmy (Gordon Gebert), who has been in a relationship with lawyer Carl (Wendell Corey) for over a year now.  A few days before Christmas, Connie -- a competitive shopper for a major retailer -- enters the Crowley Department Store in order to determine prices for popular holiday items where she meets Steve (Mitchum), a salesclerk in the toy department.  Connie purchases a train set which she returns a few days later.  Steve believes that Connie is a competitive shopper and he shirks his duty of reporting Connie to the store detective.  Steve's boss discovers this and promptly fires Steve for failing to meet his responsibilities.  Connie ends up feeling bad for Steve and, needless to say, the two begin to have several meetings that lead to tentative romance.

The biggest issue for me in Holiday Affair is that I never really believed that Connie would fall for Steve.  I don't think it is Mitchum's typical tough-guy exterior that's doing the relationship in for me.  Instead, I think it's just the rather silly premise.  To me, there's no reason Connie wouldn't be leaning more towards the steady, kind, and reliable Carl.  Sure, maybe there's some "women love bad boys" kind of thing, but Carl is presented as such a good guy that we actually end up not caring for Connie as she contemplates leaving him.  Janet Leigh tries to get us to understand her emotions, but I just didn't buy into the premise which leaves Holiday Affair ultimately not working.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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