Classic Film Guide

Holiday Affair (1949)

Robert Mitchum in a romantic comedy?  Well, sort of.  Janet Leigh plays a war widow who's got an 8 year old son (Gordon Gebert), who wants to keep the expensive train he finds in his comparison shopper mom's bag, assuming it's his Christmas present.  Mitchum plays a veteran who moves around & changes jobs a lot as he struggles to find his place in the world.  While working as a department store toy salesman, hired to help out during the Holiday crunch, he meets Leigh when she tries to return it.  Apparently, returns weren't as easily accepted "back" in those days, but Mitchum helps her out of a jam (e.g. accepts the train), which costs him his job.  He later buys the train for Leigh's son anyway.  The lovely Ms. Leigh, who happens to be nearly engaged to Wendell Corey, a stable, if dull successful lawyer, spends some quality time with Mitchum, in a park feeding seals and in her home at dinner with her folks.  So, as is frequently the case in such "dramas", Leigh's character must choose between the "good boy" (that can offer her and her son a stable home environment) who doesn't excite her and the "bad boy" (dreamer, that doesn't even have a job) who does.  Produced & directed by twice Oscar nominated writer Don Hartman, with a screenplay by twice Oscar nominated writer Isobel Lennart.  Henry O'Neill, who I believe plays Mitchum's department store boss, and Harry Morgan, who plays a police lieutenant, also appear.

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