Wednesday, January 30, 2002


The holidays are over, but this movie has little to do with Christmas anyway, despite its generic title. It's actually one of the more tedious films I've ever endured. The problem is that it just doesn't have any kind of coherent theme or narrative. Ann Harding (looking about as artificial an old lady as Greer Garson did in MRS. PARKINGTON) is an old eccentric who is in danger of having control of her money taken from her. For no particularly good reason except to give the movie a name, a judge gives her until Christmas Eve to round up her adopted sons (who have all vanished in pursuit of their own fortunes) so they can help her keep her money. The rest of the movie is the story of each son. It's not really worth going into plot details, since the stories themselves are rather fragmentary and boring, and they veer from comedy to melodrama to Nazi spies and back to comedy with no grace or consistency. George Brent is his usual self--reliable but not very exciting. George Raft and Randolph Scott are the other sons. Joan Blondell in a supporting part as a girl forcing herself on Brent is the sole saving grace. The look of the movie is drab and murky, probably due to budget rather than an attempt to set a tone. Quite disappointing.

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