Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Affair (1949)

Connie Ennis (Janet Leigh) is a WW2 widow who is struggling to raise her son, Timothy (Gordon Gerbert), and make ends meet. She has been dating a lawyer, Carl Davis (Wendell Corey), for several years and despite many proposals from him she just hasn’t felt right about saying yes yet. While working as a comparison shopper during Christmas she runs into a store employee Steve Mason (Robert Mitchum) and in a round about way helps him get fired. Throughout a series of situations, Steve keeps popping up in her life. Suddenly Connie is confused about which man to choose so Timothy steps in to help show her which one is right for her.

Robert Mitchum wishes Janet Leigh would turn around so he could admire her bullet bra

I felt terrible for poor Carl in this. He is such a swell guy, but he just seems so dull next to Robert Mitchum as Steve. Plus, I really enjoyed seeing Mitchum in a lighter role. He doesn’t try to be funny, he plays it very straight, which makes him very charming. This may be one of the few times I have thought he was actually attractive in a film, perhaps.

As for Janet Leigh, I have the strangest thing to say here. I can’t ever decide if I like her as an actress. She certainly has given a lot of great performances, but I think it is something about her face – it kinda looks hard. She usually plays very nice women, but something about her face always makes me think there is a pill lurking underneath. Of course, I don’t think most men even realize she has a face given the figure that bullet bra gave her.

I really don’t have much in the way of criticism on this. I thought all around it was a wonderful film. I have really enjoyed finding “holiday” films this year that I hadn’t seen before and this was definitely a great find. This isn’t a straight romantic comedy as the situation of her being a widow lends itself to a fair bit of drama in her trying to move on from such a devastating loss. The comedy is very subtle and lies in the awkward situations where Steve seems to always be turning up and Carl, being such a swell guy, must always be nice and accommodating to him.

I love holiday films and I especially love finding new holiday classic films to look forward to each year. If you haven’t seen this one, I highly recommend you add it to your list for next year.


kda0121 said...

I haven't actually seen the movie, but Janet Leigh looks great in that sweater!

Jennythenipper said...

I haven't seen it either, but I'm usually repulsed by Mitchum so that's no surprise. I think you should do a holiday film round-up next year. What fun.

AbbyNormal said...

Karl - Yes, I wonder if I should try to find an old school bullet bra to see what difference it makes? :-)

Jenny - I don't know that I would have a good idea of how to go about a holiday movie round-up, but that is a great idea. Luckily I have a year to try to sort it out. I think you might be able to tolerate Mitchum in this one, but then again, I could be wrong. If you want to try, it is avail on Netflix.

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