Holiday Affair Reviews
Rental, at the very least.
The story evolves around Connie (Janet Leigh), a young beautiful widow with a six-year old son, Timmy.
Connie works as a "commercial spy" and runs along at shopping malls at christmas time, and "buys" things just to figure out the price and the quality of the product, only to return the product the next day and inform the she currently works for.
Shortly before christmas, she buys an exclusive model train by the clerk Steve (Robert Mitchum) who immediately gets suspicious when she says he doesn't need to wrap it in.
After coming home and leaving the big box, unattended for a short while, little Timmy peeks into it and gets overjoyed believing he's going to get it for christmas. He doesn't realize the train is not to be given to him, since his mother could never afford buying it for real.
Connie is not really short of suitors, beautiful as she is, and a pretty well off man named Carl (Wendell Corey) whom she's been dating for a while has just proposed to her. The only thing is that he doesn't get along with little Timmy.
Timmy isn't really excited about it, since he is used to be "the man in the house" and think that despite things are fine the way they are.
Next day, Connie bumps into Steve and learns that he lost his job at the toy department because he didn't report her as "spy". To make up for it, she agrees having lunch with Steve and makes some shopping. However, they lose each other is the mass and Steve how still is carrying some of Connie's shopping bags, looks up her address and visits her. He gets along with Timmy really well, and treats him as an little adult. Timmy also tells him about the disappointment, with the train ...he had noticed his mother had returned it...
This is one of Janet Leigh's first big roles, and she copes with it well. But it's undoubtedly Robert Mitchum who is the real star of this wonderful movie.
The boy playing Timmy is a real charmer (Gordon Gebert, who later had a small child actor career after this, thanks to his great performance here), and this movie witness how good Robert Mitchum were with children, both on and off screen. A funny thing, considering his swan song role in The Night of the Hunter. What few people know is that it was actually Robert Mitchum who directed the children, since Charles Laughton (the legendary actor who was the director of Night of the Hunter) couldn't stand children at all.
It's a simple film but there are many likeable characters & it flows well. It's has a charm to it & I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Out of the Hollywood output at Christmas this one is seldom mentioned by its well worth a watch much better than I expected.