A Richard Brody Review of “Christmas Holiday” (1944)

From The New Yorker of 6 August 2012 (“Critic’s Notebook”):

Deanna Durbin was one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses before she retired, in 1949, at the age of twenty-eight.  Her apparent unease with performance folds poignantly into her starring role in “Christmas Holiday,” Robert Siodmak’s film noir of romantic degradation, from 1944.  She plays a singer/ prostitute in a sleazy New Orleans dance hall who takes the stage with her arms pinned limply to her sides and her eyes asking in despair, “What am I doing here?”  The rest of the movie, told largely in flashbacks, provides the reason:  fallout from her marriage to a fast-talking, glad-handing heel (played with unctuous charm by Gene Kelly).  Siodmak makes performance his subject, with scenes of an orchestra playing Wagner and Beethoven, lovers singing at a piano in a parlor, and a society band at a swank café, where, in a cunning crane shot of a saunter down a staircase —  with Kelly’s leonine grace and Durbin’s homely footfalls —  he condenses the drama to a thwarted dance.

Dear blog readers, self thinks this is the first time she’s ever heard of Gene Kelly playing the role of a less-than-totally-nice guy.  Shows you how little she knows.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Adventures in life from the Sunshine State to the Golden Gate

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor