Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Best Christmas Movie You Haven't Seen

Good News: One of my favorite Christmas movies—a little gem called Holiday Affair—is finally out on DVD! It's not one of the most popular Christmas movies, but I think it should be. I happened to catch it one day a few years ago on TCM, and having never heard of it, I was surprised at how fabulous it turned out be. I definitely recommend making it a regular party of your Christmas movie line-up.

Janet Leigh stars as a young widowed mother who's working as a comparison shopper during the Christmas season. After a salesman, played by Robert Mitchum, finds her out and doesn't turn her in to the authorities, he gets fired and she feels guilty so she tries to be nice. Then he buys her kid a train set and things get quickly out of hand. Robert Mitchum develops a bit of a crush and finds ways to see Janet Leigh and her kid. To complicate matters, Janet Leigh is engaged to this very dorky but dependable fellow, Karl. (Or Karrrllll if you're her mother-in-law.) To be honest, Karl might be the best part of the movie. He's a total nerd, but kind of great.

The strange thing about this movie is it brings together two people who I primarily know from horror films. The only other Janet Leigh movie I've ever seen is Psycho, (and Bye Bye Birdie, but that's in color so it doesn't count.) so it was a little weird to see her in a light romantic holiday movie where she doesn't get murdered.

Then there's Robert Mitchum. Cape Fear, anyone? He does creep me out just a little in this film, partly because he's borderline stalking poor Janet Leigh and her son. He's just one creepy man.

But the horror film images associated with these two don't hinder Holiday Affair. In fact, they may make it even more amazing.

1 comment:

Arikbo said...

I feel like I've seen this one before but can't remember it totally. The Night of the Hunter, is the last movie I watched with Robert Mitchum. He is creepy. I think I would have problems ever seeing him as a good guy. It's amazing what guys got away with in the classic films. Even the wonderful (non-creep) men said and did things that would warrant a restraining order today or at least red flag a potential nut you wouldn't want to date.

Like your blog! :)