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Josh Steinberg

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Holiday Affair is a pleasant holiday confectionary that is more notable for its appealing performances than the originality of its story, which is perfectly fine when those performances are coming from the likes of Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh.



Holiday Affair (1949)



Released: 24 Dec 1949
Rated: Approved
Runtime: 87 min




Director: Don Hartman
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance



Cast: Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey, Gordon Gebert
Writer(s): Isobel Lennart (screenplay), John D. Weaver (story "Christmas Gift")



Plot: A young widow is torn between a boring attorney and a romantic ne'er-do-well.



IMDB rating: 7.2
MetaScore: 63





Disc Information



Studio: Other
Distributed By: Warner Archive
Video...


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MartinP.

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I didn't realize this film was first released on Christmas Eve, no wonder it lost money. Heh! The Blu-Ray's release date wasn't too much earlier. I pre-ordered it and I received it, too, on Christmas Eve!

I enjoy visiting this film every year. It's low-key, as you say, aspect may be precisely why I like it during the otherwise hustle-bustle of the holiday season. I simply like to relax and hang out with these people. I also like the 1949 period flavor of the film.

Conversely, the 1996 cable remake of the film with Cynthia Gibb and David James Elliott, now 25 years ago if you can believe it, is also fine, but I prefer the original.

The actor who plays Janet Leigh's child, deserves mention as some great casting; he seems exactly who he's supposed to be in this film and isn't a scene stealer, like so many child actors seem to be, but rather he fits in as an integral part of the story.

Gordon Gebert is the actor's name and I know he also has a nice role in the film noir classic The Narrow Margin, which was made in 1950 but released in 1952.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Gebert is very good in the role - even when the script gives him that bit of business at the end with the train and department store that’s probably a little too fantastic to be believed, he plays it sincerely. It’s not a “look at me, I’m a Child Actor!!” type of performance. That he seems like a real kid is one of the film’s strengths.
 

MartinP.

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RobertMG

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Love Ben M and all at TCM but reading the original review for Holiday Affair in the NYT's was very happy to see it actually got a great review - think the reason it did poorly was the state of RKO at the time!
An amiable little romance in which a boy meets a girl at Christmas-time, and the sentiments are quite as artificial and conveniently sprinkled as the snow is provided—for those who like such things—in RKO's "Holiday Affair," a strictly holiday item which came to Loew's State yesterday. Light-weight in story and treatment, it is one of those tinsel-trimmed affairs which will likely depend for popularity upon the glamour potential of its stars.These include Robert Mitchum, the sleepy-eyed young man with a drawl, who plays an uncomplicated fellow with a yen to go away and build boats, and Janet Leigh, who plays a war-widow with a wistful devotion to her child—as patent a pair of fated opposites as ever merged in a Hollywood romance. And the child, played by Gordon Gebert, is one of those carefully tousled tots such as slick magazine and movie writers conjure up as the "typical American kid."Shepherded by Don Hartman, who produced and directed this film, these lambs—for, of course, that's what they all are—are led through a cozy little tale of giving and receiving at Christmas under the cumulative influence of love. Mr. Mitchum, all-wise and all-generous (with electric trains to the boy), is directed to ramble around blandly until he has somehow persuaded Miss Leigh to give up not only her memories of her dead husband but also a gentleman friend. The latter, played by Wendell Corey, is nothing very serious to give up. Meanwhile, the kid is snagging presents and caresses right and left.No doubt, a great many people will find this sugar to their taste. This corner finds it much too saccharine for either credibility or delight. Mr. Mitchum is quite as mechanical with his charm as is that swank electric train and Miss Leigh covers up with pouts and dimples a peculiarly shallow, selfish dame. As for young Master Gebert, he is simply not our idea of a genuine and winning youngster. However, no harm is done, either by Master Gebert, Mr. Hartman or "Holiday Affair."
HOLIDAY AFFAIR, screen play by Isobel Lennart; directed and produced by Don Hartman for RKO Radio pictures. At Loew's State.Steve . . . . . Robert MitchumConnie . . . . . Janet LeighCarl . . . . . Wendell CoreyTimmy . . . . . Gordon GebertMr. Ennis . . . . . Griff BarnettMrs. Ennis . . . . . Esther DaleMr. Crowley . . . . . Henry O'NeillPolice Lieutenant . . . . . Henry MorganPlainclothesman . . . . . Larry J. BlakeEmily . . . . . Helen Brown


I bought the VHS tape in 1989 and it was a great print with no problems thats why I was shocked at WB dvd and TCM print have spots where the sound dropped out - gonna upgrade this for sure
 

RobertMG

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Jun 23, 2006
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Robert M. Grippo
Love Ben M and all at TCM but reading the original review for Holiday Affair in the NYT's was very happy to see it actually got a great review - think the reason it did poorly was the state of RKO at the time!
An amiable little romance in which a boy meets a girl at Christmas-time, and the sentiments are quite as artificial and conveniently sprinkled as the snow is provided—for those who like such things—in RKO's "Holiday Affair," a strictly holiday item which came to Loew's State yesterday. Light-weight in story and treatment, it is one of those tinsel-trimmed affairs which will likely depend for popularity upon the glamour potential of its stars.These include Robert Mitchum, the sleepy-eyed young man with a drawl, who plays an uncomplicated fellow with a yen to go away and build boats, and Janet Leigh, who plays a war-widow with a wistful devotion to her child—as patent a pair of fated opposites as ever merged in a Hollywood romance. And the child, played by Gordon Gebert, is one of those carefully tousled tots such as slick magazine and movie writers conjure up as the "typical American kid."Shepherded by Don Hartman, who produced and directed this film, these lambs—for, of course, that's what they all are—are led through a cozy little tale of giving and receiving at Christmas under the cumulative influence of love. Mr. Mitchum, all-wise and all-generous (with electric trains to the boy), is directed to ramble around blandly until he has somehow persuaded Miss Leigh to give up not only her memories of her dead husband but also a gentleman friend. The latter, played by Wendell Corey, is nothing very serious to give up. Meanwhile, the kid is snagging presents and caresses right and left.No doubt, a great many people will find this sugar to their taste. This corner finds it much too saccharine for either credibility or delight. Mr. Mitchum is quite as mechanical with his charm as is that swank electric train and Miss Leigh covers up with pouts and dimples a peculiarly shallow, selfish dame. As for young Master Gebert, he is simply not our idea of a genuine and winning youngster. However, no harm is done, either by Master Gebert, Mr. Hartman or "Holiday Affair."
HOLIDAY AFFAIR, screen play by Isobel Lennart; directed and produced by Don Hartman for RKO Radio pictures. At Loew's State.Steve . . . . . Robert MitchumConnie . . . . . Janet LeighCarl . . . . . Wendell CoreyTimmy . . . . . Gordon GebertMr. Ennis . . . . . Griff BarnettMrs. Ennis . . . . . Esther DaleMr. Crowley . . . . . Henry O'NeillPolice Lieutenant . . . . . Henry MorganPlainclothesman . . . . . Larry J. BlakeEmily . . . . . Helen Brown


I bought the VHS tape in 1989 and it was a great print with no problems thats why I was shocked at WB dvd and TCM print have spots where the sound dropped out - gonna upgrade this for sure
 

RobertMG

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Robert M. Grippo
ooops my fault the headline of the review

'Holiday Affair,' Tinsel-Trimmed Trifle With Mitchum and Janet Leigh, at State​

 

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