Flicking through the channels, looking for a vaguely Christmassy film, we stumbled upon the Holiday Affair, starring Janet Leigh (of Psycho fame) and Robert Mitchum.
As there was nothing else on offer, and we felt in the mood for a bit of old fashioned movie magic, we settled down to watch.
It tells the tale of Connie Ennis (all the way through though I just kept thinking of Jessica Ennis whenever the surname was mentioned. Slightly distracting...), a widowed New Yorker who lives her with six year old son Timmy- the cutest little boy ever. Fact. It's Christmastime, and she's busy juggling her job as a comparison shopper, bringing up Timmy and dodging her Fiance Carl's pleas to 'set a date'.
Enter Mr. Steve Mason - the affable and dashing sales clerk who arranges a refund for her on a toy train set, and gets the sack for the pleasure. The attraction between the newly unemployed Mr. Mason and Ms. Ennis is palpable and blindingly obvious. And, as luck, and film script, would have it, they keep being brought together by a series of - often comic- events.
There ensues, throughout this enchanting little gem, the most gentlemanly of tussles between the two suitors for Connie's (and Timmy's) affection.
Holiday Affair is a gentle, funny and delightful slice of underrated cinematic joy. Robert Mitchum's portrayal of Steve Mason is charming and entertaining, and Janet Leigh plays the demure and doting mother to perfection. Wendell Corey's Carl is the slightly downtrodden, slightly dull (but ultimately honourable) foil to Robert Mitchum's funny man.
If you manage to catch this on the television I'd highly recommend sticking with it; Holiday Affair is the perfect festive film to snuggle up to with a duvet, a big mug of tea and a tin (well, tub now. Don't get me started...) of Quality Street and let the tidings of comfort and joy wash over you.
Do you have a favourite black and white film, or favourite Christmas film?