Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Great Christmas Show: 1944 and 1945

Continuing on with my list of movies I like to watch during the holidays. I'm going through the list by year, and last time I covered 1942 (Holiday Inn and The Man Who Came to Dinner). So today, I've got a few from the mid-40s.

Directed by John Cromwell

Written and Produced by David O. Selznick

Starring Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Shirley Temple, Joseph Cotten, Monty Woolley, Robert Walker, Hattie McDaniel

Another one that's not, strictly speaking, a Christmas movie -- it was released in July 1944. I'm including this one because it was a huge favorite of mine when I was a kid and used to see it on TV every year. I think I liked it mainly because of Shirley Temple, but also because of the house the family lived in -- for me, growing up in post-war ranch-style suburban sprawl, it seemed like the perfect storybook home. Now that I'm older, I'm more critical -- the movie is almost revoltingly sentimental and preachy, and about an hour too long. But, like all of Selznick's films, it's a gorgeous thing to watch; and Monty Woolley, Hattie McDaniel and Joseph Cotten provide welcome bits of comic relief. It's no longer a film I seek out, but I usually end up watching it (or part of it) every Christmas season.

Directed by Leo McCarey
Written by Leo McCarey and Dudley Nichols

Starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman

I don't really think of The Bells of St. Mary's as a Christmas movie, although it's come to be associated with the holiday. One of my favorite films in general, I could (and do) watch it any time of year. The scene where Ingrid Bergman, in her nun's habit, teaches one of her young pupils to box is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Directed by Peter Godfrey
Written by Lionel Houser, Adele Comandini, and Aileen Hamilton

Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner, S.Z. Sakall

Wonderful little film -- if I had to rate the movies on my list, it would be very near the top. It's one of the funniest of all the Christmas films, and I can really identify with the idea of a woman who has no domestic skills whatsoever!

See more Holidailies Posts:
The Great Christmas Show, Day One

1 comment:

  1. We seem to have a hard time over the past several months of watching ANY movies (we've had the same two Netflix movies since the summer, and really should cancel our subscription), but I appreciate getting these ideas for classic films to see--being born in the late '70s, I missed out on these by a few years the first time around...


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