Christmas Eve (1947 film)
Christmas Eve is a 1947 United Artists comedy film directed by Edwin L. Marin. It is based on the story by Richard H. Landau and stars George Raft, George Brent and Randolph Scott. It was rereleased under the title Sinner's Holiday.
|Directed by||Edwin L. Marin|
|Produced by||Benedict Bogeaus|
Richard H. Landau
|Music by||Heinz Roemheld|
|Edited by||James Smith|
Benedict Bogeaus Productions
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Box office||$1 million|
It was one of several films Raft made with Edwin Marin.
The greedy nephew Philip Hasting (Reginald Denny) of eccentric Matilda Reid (Ann Harding) seeks to have her judged incompetent so he can administer her wealth; In an informal meeting with Philip, the doctor, Dr. Doremus, and the judge Alston they convene that she will be saved if her three long-lost adopted sons appear for a Christmas Eve reunion, as any of them is the one she could trust, but not Philip. Later on it is revealed that Philip did some very illegal things with her money, but she doesn't claim anything.
Separate stories reveal with the help of Private Detective Gimlet (Joe Sawyer) that
- Michael (George Brent) is a bankrupt playboy loved by loyal Ann Nelson (Joan Blondell);
- Mario (George Raft) is a seemingly shady character tangling with a Nazi war criminal in South America and a beautiful lady, Claire (Virginia Field);
- Jonathan (Randolph Scott) is a hard-drinking rodeo rider who falls for a flirtatious woman Jean Bradford (Dolores Moran) at the station, who is revealed to be a policewoman in disguise chasing after an orphanage that doesn't seem to do right.
Finally the gathering at the Christmas Eve happened and the couple Jonathan-Jean bring the three girl orphans from the orphanage. Aunt Matilda feels like the day she got the three little boys for adoption.
- Ann Harding as Aunt Matilda Reed
- Reginald Denny as Phillip Hastings
- Clarence Kolb as Judge Alston
- Carl Harbord as Dr. Doremus
- Joe Sawyer as Private Detective Gimlet
- George Raft as Mario Torio
- George Brent as Michael Brooks
- Randolph Scott as Jonathan ´Johnny´
- Joan Blondell as Ann Nelson
- Virginia Field as Claire
- Dolores Moran as Jean Bradford
- Douglass Dumbrille as Dr. Bunyan
- Claire Whitney as Mrs. Bunyan
- John Litel as Joe Bland, FBI Agent
- Marie Blake as Reporter
- Dennis Hoey as Williams-Butler
- Molly Lamont as Harriet Rhodes
- John Litel as Joe Bland, FBI Agent
- Walter Sande as Mario's Hood
- Konstantin Shayne as Gustav Reichman
- Andrew Tombes as Auctioneer
The film was produced by Benedict Bogeaus who had previously made an episodic film On Our Merry Way. This involved using multiple stars in different storylines so they could be filmed at different times. In November 1946 Bogeaus announced that Raft, Scott and Brent would star. Each star would film for two weeks individually and then act together for one week. Filming started 18 November with the Brent-Joan Blondell sequence.
The film was financed through money from Walter E. Heller & Co, a finance company.
During filming, George Raft suffered first-degree burns in his right leg when a maritime engine caught fire and set his clothes alight.
The Los Angeles Times said the premise of the film had "considerable appeal" but the "plot lacked cohesion" and the story was done in by its "slow pace".
Walter Heller and Co initiated foreclosure proceedings to recover money for the film, claiming they were owed $223,000. (They also did this for Bachelor's Daughters.) This was rare in Hollywood at the time.
The film was remade as a made-for-TV movie that first aired on NBC on December 22, 1986. It was directed by Stuart Cooper and starred Loretta Young, Trevor Howard, Arthur Hill, Ron Leibman, Patrick Cassidy, and Season Hubley.
- "Stars Alone Not Enough". Variety. 7 January 1948. p. 62.
- Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.
- "RAFT, SCOTT, BRENT IN BOGEAUS PICTURE". New York Times. Nov 7, 1946. ProQuest 107537066.
- "BLONDELL TO PLAY ROLE FOR BOGEAUS". New York Times. Nov 19, 1946. ProQuest 107729372.
- "ACTRESS TO DOUBLE AS PRODUCER, STAR". New York Times. Dec 3, 1946. ProQuest 107604061.
- T. F. (Jul 31, 1949). "FORECLOSURE ACTION". New York Times. ProQuest 105781820.
- "George raft suffers burns". New York Times. Dec 2, 1946. ProQuest 107581934.
- Scott, J. L. (1948). "'Christmas eve' screens". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 165814966.
- Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 126
- Terry, Clifford (December 22, 1986). "Loretta Young the Only Gift of 'Christmas Eve'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 6, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)