Review: ‘Christmas Holiday’

The story is Somerset Maugham's tale of a boy who grew up emotionally during a holiday in France (with the locale changed to New Orleans) and the plot switched around. A young army lieutenant, disappointed in love, finds himself stranded in the southern city, and meets up with another heartsick kid in a sad-faced singer at a cheap nightclub. From then on the story is told in flashbacks, as the singer (Deanna Durbin) tells the lieutenant of her brief happy marriage to a young ne'er-do-well, her husband's arrest for murder, and his imprisonment for life.

The story is Somerset Maugham’s tale of a boy who grew up emotionally during a holiday in France (with the locale changed to New Orleans) and the plot switched around. A young army lieutenant, disappointed in love, finds himself stranded in the southern city, and meets up with another heartsick kid in a sad-faced singer at a cheap nightclub. From then on the story is told in flashbacks, as the singer (Deanna Durbin) tells the lieutenant of her brief happy marriage to a young ne’er-do-well, her husband’s arrest for murder, and his imprisonment for life.

As the nitery thrush, Durbin has two incidental songs. ‘Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year’ (Frank Loesser) and the Irving Berlin oldie, ‘Always’. But otherwise the dramatic role is unrelieved except by a few glimpses of a happy, smiling past.

Christmas Holiday

Production

Universal. Director Robert Siodmak; Producer Frank Shaw; Screenplay Herman J. Mankiewicz; Camera Woody Bredell; Editor Ted Kent; Music Hans J. Salter;; Art Director John B. Goodman, Robert Clatworthy

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Deanna Durbin Gene Kelly Dean Harens Gale Sondergaard Richard Whorf
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