CLASSIC HOLIDAY MOVIES
The holidays are my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the gift exchanging, the parties, the religious services, and especially, the movies. It seems that no matter how hectic and busy this time of year gets, I always mange to find time to watch some of my favorite Christmas movies. I will say though, I tend to gravitate to the older, classic, Christmas movies from the 1940’s and the early 1950’s. Most of my favorites were originally released in black and white, and I tend to be purist, in that that is my preferred format to watch them. Many of these older films have been “colorized” which I feel takes away from their charm and cheapens them.
My favorite Christmas movie is “Christmas In Connecticut” (1945). It stars Barbara Stanwyck as the Martha Stewart of her day with the top rated cooking and home living magazine column in the country. Unfortunately, it’s all a lie. She isn’t married, isn’t living on a farm in Connecticut with her husband and baby, and can’t even cook. Everything goes along smoothly until her publisher – who doesn’t know it’s a lie – invites a war hero to Christmas dinner at her farm. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
Another of my favorites is “A Christmas Carol” (1951). While there have been several interpretations of this classic story, from short films to the Muppet version (which I also happen to really like), my favorite is the film starring Alistair Sim as Mr. Scrooge. Sim captures best what, for me, is the essence of Scrooge both before and after his late night visitors.
Probably no movie is more associated with the Christmas season than “White Christmas” (1954), and appropriately so. It’s a “feel good” holiday film that showcases one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. What many people don’t realize is that the song “White Christmas” actually debuted in the movie “Holiday Inn” (1942), a story of love and scheming throughout a year full of holidays. Both of these films are superb.
“The Bishop’s Wife” (1947), is another of my favorites, but perhaps less well known, and stars Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. With an all-star cast like this you could hardly go wrong, but the story is also warm, and wonderfully uplifting. Grant stars as angel sent to help a Bishop and his wife to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas, in this simply delightful film.
Finally, I love “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947). While there have been several attempts to remake this film, for both the big screen and small, the original starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, and Natalie Wood, is far superior to the rest. Macy’s Santa Clause is put on trial for believing he IS Santa Clause, and this story offers enough joy and love to make a believer out even the most die-hard cynic.
These are just a few of my favorite Christmas movies. While there are many others, these are the ones that I return to over and over again. They are entertaining and fun to watch, but more than that, they fill me with immense joy and Christmas cheer.
***What are your favorite Christmas movies?