Robert Siodmak (director) CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY (1944) Set of 9 photos


[Los Angeles]: Universal Studios, 1944. Set of nine (9) vintage original 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm.) glossy silver gelatin photos. Three have their original paper blurbs attached at bottom which fold over to the front, one has a torn area at the middle right margin mended with archival paper. All show some minor wear and creasing at edges, overall near fine.

Everything about Christmas Holiday is deceptive, right from the happy title to the handsome horror of Gene Kelly’s character to the plaintive singing of Deanna Durbin in a seemingly respectable establishment as women take their gentlemen callers upstairs. Durbin was cast against type, but at the time, Kelly’s screen persona was much like that which he had established on Broadway in Pal Joey. His happy-go-lucky demeanor came later. MGM did not know what to do with him, so they loaned him to various studios where he played the anti-hero, only to be redeemed at the end.

The Breen office had warned against making W. Somerset Maugham’s story into a film, so it was screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’ job to make the story of a depressed young man with an Oedipus complex, his ultra controlling mother (Gale Sondergaard) and in this case a naive songstress willing to go into a life of prostitution when she loses her love, acceptable under the Code. Though Durbin fought with director Robert Siodmak over the interpretation of her character (it was her chance to break away from musical comedy and operetta), she was very happy with her work and with the film.

Silver, Ward, Ursini, Porfirio, p. 69: “Robert Siodmak’s most exotic, if not successful, film noir… Its central theme of l’amour fou is given a strong twist in the direction of the oedipal.” Grant, pp. 119-120.

Out of stock

Share With Friends: