$12 General Admission, $9 Member, $7 child age 14 or younger
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War widow Janet Leigh hasn’t the money to buy the model train that her son Gordon Gebert wants for Christmas. Robert Mitchum overhears the boy’s plight, and offers to purchase the train for him, even though it will deplete his own money supply. This little gesture of kindness from Mitchum snowballs into a series of comic complications, thanks in part to the unwelcome intervention of Leigh’s stuffed-shirt attorney boyfriend Wendell Corey. Harry Morgan shows up towards the end as a flustered night-court judge who helps tie some of the loose plot ends together.
Based on a short story by John D. Weaver, A Holiday Affair didn’t do too well at the box office, but its afterlife has been most satisfactory. Most likely audiences in 1949 couldn’t accept tough guy Mitchum playing “Santa” in this romantic comedy — but he is marvelous playing light comedy.