Been watching lots of Christmas specials and movies with the family.
Here are a few of the holiday-themed films I have laid my eyes on:
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
[Barbara Stanwyck; Dennis Morgan; Sydney Greenstreet; Reginald Gardiner; S.Z. Sakall; Robert Shayne; Una O'Connor]
Plot: Stanwyck plays Elizabeth Lane, a magazine columnist who touts herself as a blissful wife, mother and expert homemaker living on an idyllic Connecticut farm. Trouble is, it's all a lie. When her publisher cooks up a scheme to boost circulation by having Elizabeth entertain a war veteran on Christmas Eve, will her charade unravel?
I love this old flick! Stanwyck and Greenstreet are great, as usual, but Sakall and O'Connor shine in their "minor" parts, as a good-hearted chef and a harried housekeeper, respectively.
Just a great, ultimately heartwarming tale about how far people will go to conceal the truth.
Holiday Affair (1949)
[Robert Mitchum; Janet Leigh; Wendell Corey; Gordon Gebert]
Plot: Leigh stars as Connie Ennis, a young widowed mother who has an unfortunate first encounter with department store clerk Steve Mason, inadvertently causing him to get fired just before Christmas. Despite the mishap, Steve takes Connie on a date, much to the chagrin of her better-established suitor, Carl, but much to the delight of her young son, Timmy, who would much prefer Steve to Carl as a stepdad.
This is a great movie that seems small, due to the focus on the few main cast members. All are great in their roles, and it is fun to see Mitchum in a part that is so different from his usual tough guy roles.
Great movie, a tale that reminds us that sometimes, the heart just wants what it wants.
Click here for a clip.
O. Henry's Full House (1952)
[Fred Allen; Anne Baxter; Jeanne Crain; Farley Granger; Charles Laughton; Marilyn Monroe; Richard Widmark]
Top movie talents lend their gifts to this 1952 anthology of O. Henry short-story adaptations, introduced and narrated by Nobel laureate John Steinbeck. "The Gift of the Magi," "The Clarion Call," "The Cop and the Anthem," "The Last Leaf" and "The Ransom of Red Chief" come to life, thanks to an impressive roster including directors Howard Hawks and Henry Hathaway.
A great film, the five segments here are fun and moving, a tribute to the great writing O. Henry is famous for. It aired around the holidays mainly due to the final segment, the oft-imitated "Gift of the Magi".