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Christmas Holiday

Christmas Holiday (1944)

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No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: Jun 7, 1944 Wide

audience

56

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 491

My Rating

Movie Info

Don't be fooled by the title. Christmas Holiday is a far, far cry from It's a Wonderful Life. Told in flashback, the story begins as Jackie (Deanna Durbin), marries Southern aristocrat Robert Monette (Gene Kelly). Unfortunately, Robert has inherited his family's streak of violence and instability and soon drags Jackie into a life of misery. When her husband commits murder, Jackie is compelled by Robert's equally degenerate mother (Gale Sondergaard) to cover up the crime. When Robert is arrested,

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All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (0)

Stylishly directed by Robert Siodmak, this film noir is uncharacteristic fare for both Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly.

August 26, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Dark elation, double lives, a variety of musical cathedrals

November 16, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

A sharp departure into salacious territory for sugar-and-spice star Deanna Durbin

July 13, 2008 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

A compelling film noir despite not digging into even darker depths.

October 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Christmas Holiday

most depressing christmas movie ever tho it's kinda fun watching gene kelly play a killer
July 19, 2013
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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 underappreciated 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.
December 10, 2012
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Christmas Holiday (1944) (DE)
  • Christmas Holiday (1944) (UK)
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