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A Warm December
A Warm December FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed bySidney Poitier
Written byLawrence Roman
Produced byMelville Tucker
StarringSidney Poitier
Esther Anderson
Yvette Curtis
Johnny Sekka
George Baker
Earl Cameron
CinematographyPaul Beeson
Edited byPembroke J. Herring
Peter Pitt
Music byColeridge-Taylor Perkinson
Distributed byNational General Pictures
Release date
  • May 23, 1973 (1973-05-23)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,600,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[2]

A Warm December is a 1973 American romantic drama film directed by Sidney Poitier and starring him in the lead role as Dr. Matt Younger. It also stars Jamaican actress Esther Anderson as Catherine, Matt's love interest. Anderson's performance as an African princess won her a NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in 1973. The film is also notable for an appearance of Letta Mbulu singing, with an African choir, "Nonqonqo" by Miriam Makeba. Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson wrote and conducted the score.[3]

The story was influenced by Roman Holiday and Love Story.[citation needed] It was shot at Pinewood Studios.


Dr. Matt Younger is a recently widowed American who takes his daughter Stefanie on a month-long vacation in London. While there, he meets Catherine, the niece of African Ambassador George Oswandu. Catherine is involved in negotiations with the Soviet Union to build a vital hydroelectric project in her country. As the pair begin to develop feelings for one another, Dr. Younger learns that the two men following Catherine are not the sinister characters he suspected. One is a bodyguard sent by her uncle, the other is a doctor monitoring the sickle cell disease that will end her life all too soon. She herself says that she is in the December of her life. When Dr. Younger proposes, Catherine must decide between not only love and loyalty to her country, but also seizing the time that remains to her and saddling the man she loves with her inevitable death. In the end, she refuses, thanking him for a "warm December".[3][4]



  1. ^ Murphy, A.D. (October 11, 1972). "Hoffman Tie With First Artists Prod. Unveils Four Stars' Internal Setup; Ali McGraw Got 300G For 'Getaway'". Variety. p. 3.
  2. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 60
  3. ^ a b "A Warm December (1972) - Articles -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  4. ^ "AFI Catalog A Warm December". Archived from the original on 2021-04-29.