skip navigation
Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve(1947)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (1)

DVDs from TCM Shop

Christmas Eve To save her fortune, an aging... MORE > $17.95 Regularly $24.95 Buy Now blu-ray


powered by AFI

In the New York mansion of "Aunt Matilda" Reid, an eccentric octagenerian philanthropist, Phillip Hastings, Matilda's nephew, tries to convince a judge named Alston and a psychiatrist named Doremus that Matilda's extravagant contributions to charity are evidence of her senility. In order to prevent Phillip from being made executor of her estate, Matilda promises the judge and the doctor that her three beloved adopted sons, Michael Brooks, Mario Torio and Jonathan will be home on Christmas Eve and will prove their competency in handling her money. In order to contact the men, whom Matilda sent away to seek their own fortunes, Matilda holds a press conference and hires a private detective. Michael, a playboy, is about to marry a Manhattan heiress named Harriett, and has written $75,000 worth of bad checks in order to buy her gifts. After Michael's ex-girl friend, Ann Nelson, who still loves him, intercedes to make Harriett call off the wedding, Phillip offers to cover Michael's debt, knowing that the loan will make Michael too ashamed to come home to Matilda. Meanwhile, Mario, a hot-tempered sportsman who has been running a gambling club in South America, has been located by an FBI agent. Ten years earlier, Michael escaped federal agents in New Orleans following an indictment for illegal business practices. The agent now orders Mario to help bring in an escaped Nazi war criminal named Gus Reichman, who had been secretly involved with Mario's girl friend, Claire, prior to his conviction at the Nuremberg Trials. Reichman has come to South America to retrieve ten million dollars, which he gave to Claire for his escape money. Not until Reichman holds Claire and Mario hostage on a ship does Mario realize that Claire gave the money to the American Occupation forces in Berlin. After Reichman threatens to kill him, Mario escapes Reichman's guards and shoots him. Before he dies, Reichman fatally wounds Claire, whose last words to Mario are "I love you." Claire's heroic death inspires Mario to return to the United States and face his past. Meanwhile, Jonathan, an alcoholic rodeo rider, arrives at Grand Central Station. There he meets Jean, an agent of the humane society who is investigating a baby racket and needs Jonathan to pose as her husband. After being held up by the racketeers, Jonathan escapes with three babies to Aunt Matilda's. Jean follows, and Jonathan convinces her to marry him and help him rear the three little girls. Michael, who at Ann's urging, has been investigating Phillip's management of Matilda's business investments, exposes Phillip as a fraud and a thief. Mario arrives accompanied by a policeman and confesses that a decade earlier in New Orleans, he took a "rap" for Phillip in order to spare Matilda, whose money Phillip had used in a crooked deal. Phillip is now arrested. Seeing Matilda in the company of her upstanding sons, the judge and the doctor leave her to handle her own money, and Michael agrees to marry Ann.