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Holiday Affair

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Holiday Affair (1949), starring Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey
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Holiday Affair (1949), starring Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey

Synopsis of Holiday Affair

Holiday Affair deals with a romantic triangle between a lovely — and lonely — war widow, her lawyer boyfriend, and a dreamer that she meets while working. Also involved is her young son, and the memory of her husband keeping her from moving on in life.

Cast of characters in Holiday Affair

  • Steve Mason (Robert MitchumThe Night of the Hunter) – a drifter working at a toy store, who loses his job when he doesn’t report:
  • Connie Ennis (Janet LeighPsycho) – a war widow who makes a living as a comparison shopper, who buys an electric train for her son:
  • Timmy Ennis (Gordon GebertThe House on Telegraph Hill) – the cute young boy who steals Steve’s heart (and the audience’s) – who gets the electric train as a gift from Steve
  • Carl Davis (Wendell CoreyRead Window) – the young lawyer who is in love with Connie, and is engaged to her. Steve likes and respects him – but falls in love with and proposes to Connie anyway.
  • Police Lieutenant (Harry MorganThe Apple Dumpling Gang) – in a very funny scene when Steve is arrested, the poor policeman who has to make sense of the stories — including the orphaned squirrel that Steve’s adopted.

Product Description of Holiday Affair

Two very different suitors compete for the love of a young widow, and in the process bring warmth to an otherwise cold and bleak Christmas holiday. Janet Leigh portrays Connie, a woman who has lost her husband in the war and must now raise her small son alone. Nearly destitute, the mother and son more keenly feel their need as the holiday season approaches; Connie cannot afford the toy of her son’s dreams: an electric train set. Then a stranger appears and changes their lives. Steve (Robert Mitchum), a drifter with dreams of building boats in which to sail away, wins Connie’s heart from another suitor (Wendell Corey) and fulfills the little boy’s wish by surprising him with the electric train. A wonderful holiday romance! 1949, Black and White, Hi-Fi, Not Rated, Approximate Running Time 87 Minutes.

Editorial review of Holiday Affair courtesy of

One of the lesser holiday movies, this 1949 comedy stars Janet Leigh as a war widow who can’t afford to buy her son a toy train for Christmas. A veteran (Robert Mitchum) who happens to be standing by in a department store overhears her plight and offers to purchase the toy, thus setting into motion a series of funny complications. Wendell Corey plays Leigh’s suspicious, condescending boyfriend, whose jealousy compounds Mitchum’s problems, and Harry Morgan is very good as a night-court judge trying to make sense of everything that happens. The movie didn’t do so well at the box office at the time of its release, but it has gained an affectionate fan base over the years. Don’t expect Miracle on 34th Street, but as a spirited lark for Yuletide, this is a lot of fun. –Tom Keogh

Updated December 26, 2021

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