Lux Video Theatre’s “Holiday Affair”

Lux Video Theatre's "Holiday Affair"

Comedy, Drama, Romance | 53Mins | Released: 1955
Director: Earl Eby
Starring: Scott Brady, Phyllis Thaxter, Elliott Reid, Herbert Butterfield, Mary Adams, George Baxter, Charlie Cane
Our Rating: 5
Black & White

A young widow is romanced by a sales clerk whom she inadvertently got fired.

It’s the Christmas season, the busiest time of the year professionally for New York City comparison shopper Connie Ennis, a young war widow and mother to six year old Timmy Ennis. Timmy does not remember his father but is constantly reminded of him by his mother who does not want to lose his memory. For two years, Connie has dated lawyer Carl Davis, a man she loves but with who she is not in love as she was with Timmy’s father. As such, she has to decide what to do about Carl’s proposal of marriage, which she is contemplating accepting if only to provide a better life for Timmy who she has taught not to shoot for the moon in keeping expectations realistic. Like Connie, Timmy thinks Carl is a nice enough man, but doesn’t like him enough to be a permanent part of their lives, which may solely be Connie’s influence on Timmy in preserving Timmy’s father’s memory. In the course of her work, Connie meets Steve Mason, a department store clerk in the toy department. This job is only the latest in support of Steve’s goal to become a boat builder. Connie and Steve equally upset the proverbial apple cart of each other’s lives. Regardless, Connie and Steve seem not to be able not to be in each other’s lives as they continually connect with each other in the lead up to Christmas. In the process, Steve falls in love with Connie, he who also proposes to her despite knowing of and actually liking Carl. What Connie decides to do about the proposals is affected by seeing the happy marriage of her former in-laws, and by what she believes would make both her and Timmy the happiest.


Movie Notes:

The Lux Video Theatre was a spin-off from the successful Lux Radio Theater series broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-1935) and CBS (1935–55).

Lux Video Theatre began as a live 30-minute Monday evening CBS series on October 2, 1950, switching to Thursday nights during August, 1951. In September 1953, the show relocated from New York to Hollywood. In August 1954, it moved to NBC as an hour-long show on Thursday nights, telecast until September 12, 1957. With the introduction of the one-hour format and the move to Hollywood, abridged versions of popular films were often used as the basis for shows.

To introduce each act and interview the stars at the conclusion, NBC added a series of regular hosts: James Mason (1954–55), Otto Kruger (1955–56), Gordon MacRae (1956–57) and Ken Carpenter(1955-57). Kruger recalled:

All I do is come up and tell the people who I am and what we’re up to. I don’t have a single thing to do with producing, directing or casting the show. Yet I get letters every week complimenting me on my production, my directing, my casting, even my script adaptations.

New episodes were broadcast during the summer as the Summer Video Theatre. In 1957-58, Lux shifted sponsorship to a half-hour musical variety show, The Lux Show Starring Rosemary Clooney.

For the 1958-59 season, the dramatic series was brought back with a new name, Lux Playhouse. The new series alternated weeks with Schlitz Playhouse.

The series finished in the Nielsen ratings at #30 in the 1950-1951 season and #25 in 1955-1956.

As was common practice in the early wide-distribution television era, an advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson Agency in New York, produced “Holiday Affair” for NBC Studios in Hollywood and the Lux Video Theatre.