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.

Christmas Eve
Directed byEdwin L. Marin
Produced byBenedict Bogeaus
Written byStory:
Richard H. Landau
Laurence Stallings
StarringGeorge Raft
George Brent
Randolph Scott
Music byHeinz Roemheld
CinematographyGordon Avil
Edited byJames Smith
Benedict Bogeaus Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • October 31, 1947 (1947-10-31)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1 million[1]


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, Jean Bradford (Dolores Moran);
  • Jonathan (Randolph Scott) is a hard-drinking rodeo rider who falls for a flirtatious woman Claire (Virginia Field) 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-Claire bring the three girl orphans from the orphanage. Aunt Matilda feels like the day she got the three little boys for adoption.



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.[2] Filming started 18 November with the Brent-Joan Blondell sequence.[3]

Dolores Moran, who appeared in the cast, was Bogeaus' wife at the time. The film marked Ann Harding's first appearance since It Happened on Fifth Avenue.[4]

The film was financed through money from Walter E. Heller & Co, a finance company.[5]

During filming, George Raft suffered first degree burns in his right leg when a maritime engine caught fire and set his clothes alight.[6]



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".[7]

Box office

The film did not do very well at the box office.[8] According to Variety it earned an estimated $1 million.[1]

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.[5]

1986 remake

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.[9]


  1. "Stars Alone Not Enough". Variety. 7 January 1948. p. 62.
  2. Special to The New York Times. (1946, Nov 07). RAFT, SCOTT, BRENT IN BOGEAUS PICTURE. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  3. Special to The New York Times. (1946, Nov 19). BLONDELL TO PLAY ROLE FOR BOGEAUS. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  4. Special to The New York Times. (1946, Dec 03). ACTRESS TO DOUBLE AS PRODUCER, STAR. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  5. By, T. F. (1949, Jul 31). FORECLOSURE ACTION. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  6. George raft suffers burns. (1946, Dec 02). New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  7. Scott, J. L. (1948, ). 'Christmas eve' screens. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  8. Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 126
  9. Terry, Clifford (December 22, 1986). "Loretta Young the Only Gift of 'Christmas Eve'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
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