Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Affair

When a toy store clerk (Robert Mitchum) at a large department store decides to give a pass to a fetching comparison shopper (Janet Leigh) and not report her to his boss, he is swiftly relieved of his duties. Now unemployed and soon to be homeless, he insinuates himself into the lives of the woman and her young son, much to the chagrin of his fiance (Wendell Corey). "Holiday Affair" is a bizarre and almost frighteningly misguided yuletide knockoff of "Miracle on 34th Street", but instead of a harmless old man spreading Christmas cheer in the home of a young mother, we have a derelict Robert Mitchum trying to defile Janet Leigh! Mitchum was assigned to the film (quite humorously I might add) in an attempt by the studios to repair his tarnished image following his notorious arrest and jailing for marijuana possession. His no nonsense presence add gravitas somewhat, but his character is so creepy, and what's even more disturbing is the way the film views him in a positive manner. Add to that an agonizing and insufferable child actor and a syrupy screenplay and this becomes a holiday affair to forget.