MCannady1

Great Christmas films!

43 posts in this topic

Around Thanksgiving every year I like to start thinking of my favorite Christmas films.

 

  I think A Christmas Carol '51 was a terrific film.  It is very atmospheric.  Alistair Sim is marvelous as the character he portrays!  I spotted a lot of British "newbies" who were already displaying future talent in films -; Patrick MacNee, Eleanor Summerfield, Carol Marsh.  Mervyn Johns and Hermoine Baddely were superb as the Cratchit parents.

 

A Christmas Carol 1938 version is wonderful too.  I loved Reginald Owen and all of the people in the story.  The Lockhart family; Gene, Kathleen, and even June (a child star at the time) gave a great performance.. The special effects are just wonderful.  Ann Rutherford is angelicly beautiful  as the Ghost of Christmas Past who is flying through the sky with Scrooge.  An hour glass ticks on in the background.

 

A Christmas Carol 1984  -  This version is a beautifully done rendition of the story.  The Christmas Carols - A Coventry Carol, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing, are wonderful and add a touching and lyrical atmosphere to the story.  I found George C, Scott a unique and wonderful Scrooge. The color snow scenes are quite beautiful too.

 

Another sentimental film of note is Beyond Tomorrow; 1940.  I first viewed this film a few years ago and was very impressed.  The opening music is heavenly and very touching. The story is a real tear-jerker.  Charles Winniger, Jean Parker, C. Aubrey Smith, Maria Ouspenskaya, RIchad Carlson, Helen Vinson all give wonderful performances.

 

The Lemon Drop Kid,  1951 -  Though a comedy, this is a sentimental Christmas film of note.  Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, etc. all turned in great performances.  Some of the scenes are hillarious as Bob Hope battles to raise "10 grand" by Christmas Eve to save himself from gangsters.  The scene in the department store window is not to be missed, or the one where Bob dresses like a woman and pretends to romance Lloyd Nolan, the gangster.

 

Many films were enhanced with Christmas scenes in the background; 

 

Curse of the Cat People, '44 - Ann Carter's parents are enjoying carolers and snow until they discover that she is lost.  The ending is bittersweet, as the child's new friend is very ill with a bad heart. 

 

The Brighton Strangler,  '44  -  John Loder gives a very convincing and scary performance outside, as a family enjoys the warmth of a fireside and a Christmas Tree resplendent with ornaments and ligthts.

 

                                                                ****************

 

AS you can guess, I don't have snow here, so I can only imagine.  California is lucky to have rain on Christmas Eve.  Still the most important thing is that we are all together on Christmas Day.

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Around Thanksgiving every year I like to start thinking of my favorite Christmas films.

 

  I think A Christmas Carol '51 was a terrific film.  It is very atmospheric.  Alistair Sim is marvelous as the character he portrays!  I spotted a lot of British "newbies" who were already displaying future talent in films -; Patrick MacNee, Eleanor Summerfield, Carol Marsh.  Mervyn Johns and Hermoine Baddely were superb as the Cratchit parents.

 

A Christmas Carol 1938 version is wonderful too.  I loved Reginald Owen and all of the people in the story.  The Lockhart family; Gene, Kathleen, and even June (a child star at the time) gave a great performance.. The special effects are just wonderful.  Ann Rutherford is angelicly beautiful  as the Ghost of Christmas Past who is flying through the sky with Scrooge.  An hour glass ticks on in the background.

 

A Christmas Carol 1984  -  This version is a beautifully done rendition of the story.  The Christmas Carols - A Coventry Carol, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing, are wonderful and add a touching and lyrical atmosphere to the story.  I found George C, Scott a unique and wonderful Scrooge. The color snow scenes are quite beautiful too.

 

Another sentimental film of note is Beyond Tomorrow; 1940.  I first viewed this film a few years ago and was very impressed.  The opening music is heavenly and very touching. The story is a real tear-jerker.  Charles Winniger, Jean Parker, C. Aubrey Smith, Maria Ouspenskaya, RIchad Carlson, Helen Vinson all give wonderful performances.

 

The Lemon Drop Kid,  1951 -  Though a comedy, this is a sentimental Christmas film of note.  Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, etc. all turned in great performances.  Some of the scenes are hillarious as Bob Hope battles to raise "10 grand" by Christmas Eve to save himself from gangsters.  The scene in the department store window is not to be missed, or the one where Bob dresses like a woman and pretends to romance Lloyd Nolan, the gangster.

 

Many films were enhanced with Christmas scenes in the background; 

 

Curse of the Cat People, '44 - Ann Carter's parents are enjoying carolers and snow until they discover that she is lost.  The ending is bittersweet, as the child's new friend is very ill with a bad heart. 

 

The Brighton Strangler,  '44  -  John Loder gives a very convincing and scary performance outside, as a family enjoys the warmth of a fireside and a Christmas Tree resplendent with ornaments and ligthts.

 

                                                                ****************

 

AS you can guess, I don't have snow here, so I can only imagine.  California is lucky to have rain on Christmas Eve.  Still the most important thing is that we are all together on Christmas Day.

 

Yea,  we could use the rain here in So Cal  (south OC).    As for favorite Christmas movies,  mine is The Bishop Wife.   I feel it has a nice message without being too pushy and with a good sense of humor.    

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There are many Christmas movies that I love, but two at the top of my list would be two wonderful Stanwyck movies.  "Christmas in Connecticut" is great with lots of heart and humor.  And "Remember the Night" is absolutely wonderful.  It's sentimental, but entirely believable.  Stanwyck at her best.

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There are many Christmas movies that I love, but two at the top of my list would be two wonderful Stanwyck movies.  "Christmas in Connecticut" is great with lots of heart and humor.  And "Remember the Night" is absolutely wonderful.  It's sentimental, but entirely believable.  Stanwyck at her best.

 

Funny but I was watching The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers last night and said to myself 'this is Stanwyck at her best'; cold, hard, slightly demented,,,

 

But the Stanwyck in the two Christmas movies you mention is great as well.   Just goes to show how versatile Stanwyck was.  She could do it all.

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Amen to that, Brother!  Stanwyck really could do it all.  She was great in comedies, believable in her Westerns, and nobody could portray evil like she could.  Case in point is "Martha Ivers."  No redeeming values at all.  And I've always thought that watching her in "Stella Dallas" is to see one of the all-time great performances.

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Stanwyck really could do it all.  ...  And I've always thought that watching her in "Stella Dallas" is to see one of the all-time great performances.

 

She did such a fine job in that movie!

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Perhaps I’m a bit pedestrian, but the movies I like to watch around Christmastime are, in no particular order:

  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Remember the Night (1940)
  • White Christmas (1954)
  • Holiday Inn (1942)
  • A Christmas Carol (1938) or (1951)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

 

Honorable mentions that I will happily watch or doze though are:

  • Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

 

And although they are not particularly Christmas-related, I also like to see:

  • Going My Way (1944)
  • Harvey (1950)
  • Meet John Doe (1941)
  • No Highway in the Sky (1951)

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My favorite Christmas movies:

 

Elf 

A Christmas Story

Love Actually

A Muppet Christmas Carol

Nat'l Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

A Charlie Brown Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Gremlins

Home Alone

White Christmas

Holiday Inn

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Grumpy Old Men 

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I love the Christmas film lists here.  I have added to my favorites over time.  Starting Monday I will watch Miracle on 34th Street  '47 and It's a Wonderful Life.  It always makes the season more enjoyable to watch them.   I had not seen A Christmas Story for a few years, so will enjoy that again too.

 

The Bishop's Wife will be my next selection of Christmas films starting on Tuesday.  If I can just get my hubby and kids (grown up) to watch too that will be fun.  Our daughter does like The Lemon Drop Kid too, so I wouldn't be surprised if she joined me.  IT is a hillarious film (with gangster undertones)  and Marilyn Maxwell sings Silver Bells beautifully..

 

Lady on a Train with Deanna Durbin was a wonderful Christmas film I remember seeing on an oldies TV station when I was a teen in the 60's..  Deanna sings Silent Night so beautifully and in a way that would melt everyones' heart! 

 

I hope that everyone had a very nice Thanksgiving.  We enjoyed ours and looking forward to seeing more family members over the Christmas holidays. 

 

Tonight we will probably watch Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. 

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Perhaps I’m a bit pedestrian, but the movies I like to watch around Christmastime are, in no particular order:

  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Remember the Night (1940)
  • White Christmas (1954)
  • Holiday Inn (1942)
  • A Christmas Carol (1938) or (1951)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

 

Honorable mentions that I will happily watch or doze though are:

  • Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

 

And although they are not particularly Christmas-related, I also like to see:

  • Going My Way (1944)
  • Harvey (1950)
  • Meet John Doe (1941)
  • No Highway in the Sky (1951)

 

I agree!  These are all great films. 

 

Seeing your list reminds me of some I just thought of.  The Grinch was so cute and we all like Home Alone.  My favorite and our daughter's is Home Alone 2.  I really like the New York locales and the rich assortment of characters Kevin encounters  -  from the "Sticky bandits" to the priceless Tim Curry as the hillarious hotel manager who attempts to outsmart Kevin. The Bird Woman and  Mr. Duncan are still more interesting characters along the way.  The whole thing was really enjoyable from the cantankerous and stingy Uncle Frank Kevin tapes in the shower to the end which shows what a thoughtful and intelligent boy Kevin was;  misunderstood by his family.  Typically, Buzz did not really apologize to Kevin; he only appeared to.  

 

Well, it was all played for laughs and very funny.   Another great film was Going My Way.  TCM will have a nice assortment for

December.

 

I too love Christmas in Connecticut.  It was so hillarious where Barbara Stanwyck's character had to pretend to be a great cook and homebody.  She babysits the neighbor's baby, but was unaware if the baby was a boy or a girl.  Dennis Morgan and Reginald Gardiner were great in the film too.  I love the humor and the great atmosphere of the holidays.

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She did such a fine job in that movie!

Stella Dallas was such a great film!  Barbara Stanwyck could do it all;  pathos, love, humor, evil, everything!   I loved BArbra O'Neil and Anne Shirley in this film too.  A very sad and poignant punchline as she "privately" watches her daughter Laurel's wedding - standing in the snow.

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There are many Christmas movies that I love, but two at the top of my list would be two wonderful Stanwyck movies.  "Christmas in Connecticut" is great with lots of heart and humor.  And "Remember the Night" is absolutely wonderful.  It's sentimental, but entirely believable.  Stanwyck at her best.

These 2 are wonderful!.  Remember the Night is so absolutely riveting.  The sentiment is so realistic.  As for Christmas in Connecticut, the timeless humor and great acting live on. 

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McCannady, I'm glad you like both of these movies.  They are great.  And "Remember the Night" is my very favorite.  I love the emotion in this.    It's my idea of a perfect Christmas.

 

Terrence.

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I couldn't wait, so saw The Lemon Drop Kid last night!  I broke tradition and we watched it early.  It was such a clever movie with lovely snow scenes and humor.  As always, Bob Hope was fun to watch and I always enjoy Marilyn Maxwell singing Silver Bells.

 

I too felt sorry that the Christmas traditions have changed over the years.   Yes, the programming has changed and so have the decorations.  

 

As a young child  I remember the street lights had garlands strung so closely together that it was like a beautiful fairyland driving through the shopping districts in L.A.  At night time  for block after block it created a beautiful illusion - a magical illuminated forest-like atmosphere.  Today we are lucky to have them every ten feet!  My husband thinks it is money allocated to the city budgets.  I would not be a bit surprised at that.

 

Yes, the TV viewing has changed as well.  I remember that we did not rush the holidays as much.  Christmas vacation was typically around the 21st of December and we returned to school after January 2nd or 3rd.  In recent years you see Christmas ads as early as Halloween time.

 

I am hoping they will show more older Christmas films like Remember the Night and Christmas Holiday.  They were both poignant films with sentiment and holiday values worked into the story.

 

The recent mention of The Bishop's Wife is a welcome one.  I will be seeing it again very soon on my Christmas line-up.  The story is a delight and very touching. From the beautiful, joyful music at the beginning to the snowy atmosphere and the story of the Bishop and his wife and the autocratic and lonely Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper) and the lovely voices of the boys choir - all of these create a beautiful holiday potpourri for the viewer.  Loretta Young, Cary Grant and David Niven are outstanding in their roles.   Also, it was greatly enhanced by Monty Woolly as their old professor friend and Elsa Lanchester as the devoted maid in the Bishop's household..

My very favorite scene is when Dudley tells Debbie the story of David and the beautiful music in the background as he charms and enchants the entire household.

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McCannady, I'm glad you like both of these movies.  They are great.  And "Remember the Night" is my very favorite.  I love the emotion in this.    It's my idea of a perfect Christmas.

 

Terrence.

Thank you!  I have always loved Christmas movies starting around this time of year.  The ones I love best are older ones I had seen

on TV when growing up.  With time they seem even better.  Remember the Night ranks at nearly the top for me too!  I get so excited about the holidays that I can't think of all the titles and then jot them down as recalled.  I do love A Christmas Carol '51 and earlier versions. 

A few years ago I was quite enchanted by the 1984 A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott as  a really marvelous Scrooge.  IT is unique in the factor that we hear a lot of traditionally older Christmas songs;  A Coventry Carol, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing, etc.    These are just beautifully done and are worked into the breathtakingly beautiful snowy scenery.  In this case especially the snow scenes are quite enchanting.

 

  I have a friend who used to prefer Color films and I told her (in my not subtle way of course) that it is really the content you are viewing that is important.  It just happens that many of my preferences are Black and White films, which are my hobby.  I do love films of the 30's and 40's - and sometimes the 50's and 60's, etc. .  . So I have made copies for her of some of them and she loves them!  I think it is a function of what a person prefers.  She really liked the early 40's Lady on a Train with the beautiful and talented Deanna Durbin singing Silent Night. 

 

When our older films started to disappear in the early 80's, I started to be concerned.  THey were a cornerstone of my growing up years in the 50's and 60's on TV.   My older sister and I watched many, many great films during those years.  THe hobby has carried over for us both into the present day.  It was good that Ted Turner realized the value of them!  I was glad we had AMC - they showed many fine films until they changed over to a station that not only skimped on quality but showed commercials within the films.   Today I scan the TV Listings for TCM and Fox Movie Channel primarily.  Though there are many stations now, some are very repetitive.   Through it all our wonderful older or "classic" films survive

 

Thanks very much and hope your Thanksgiving was very nice.  IT is good to have inputs from other great movie fans! 

Best Wishes, Janet

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These 2 are wonderful!.  Remember the Night is so absolutely riveting.  The sentiment is so realistic.  As for Christmas in Connecticut, the timeless humor and great acting live on. 

Guess what I watched last night spurred on by our discussion of great classic films.  It was Remember the Night with the wonderful Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.  I recalled loving the entire cast; Beulah Bondi, Sterling Holloway and Elizabeth Patterson.  IT has just the right touch of pathos and sentiment.  I found myself sympathizing with Barbara's character when her mother was so cruel and unforgiving.   Of course the ending is poignant and sentimental.  We find ourselves hoping that our hero and heroine will be reunited one day.

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Guess what I watched last night spurred on by our discussion of great classic films.  It was Remember the Night with the wonderful Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.  I recalled loving the entire cast; Beulah Bondi, Sterling Holloway and Elizabeth Patterson.  IT has just the right touch of pathos and sentiment.  I found myself sympathizing with Barbara's character when her mother was so cruel and unforgiving.   Of course the ending is poignant and sentimental.  We find ourselves hoping that our hero and heroine will be reunited one day.

On right now. I think that Barbara Stanwyck is just luminous in this(watching on a 24 inch Toshiba CRT tv). 

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Last night I watched a great British Christmas film, The Holly and the Ivy.  It has a lovely Christmas setting and wonderful actors and actresses enact a poignant story revolving around a minister and his family.  Sir Ralph Richardson, Margaret Leighton, Celia Johnson and Hugh Williams are among the great cast.  I had viewed my copy about ten or twelve years ago and was glad to find that it is still top notch. 

 

 

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I still feel we should have a holiday classics sub-forum. It could cover Christmas and other holidays, like St. Patrick's Day which is coming up. Every year, TCM does an Irish themed morning of programming on the 17th of March. 

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We should be getting the December schedule information within the next week. I'm curious to see which holiday films will be airing. Some of them are no-brainers, like the two LITTLE WOMEN movies...those are ones TCM will broadcast without fail.

 

But here's my wish list of other titles I'd like to see:

 

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT

REMEMBER THE NIGHT

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY

A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Alastair Sim

THE CHEATERS

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We should be getting the December schedule information within the next week. I'm curious to see which holiday films will be airing. Some of them are no-brainers, like the two LITTLE WOMEN movies...those are ones TCM will broadcast without fail.

 

But here's my wish list of other titles I'd like to see:

 

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT

REMEMBER THE NIGHT

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY

A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Alastair Sim

THE CHEATERS

 

What two Stanwyck movies?    Hey, just kidding but did you ever make that post about Stanwyck that you mentioned in the other thread?     I was interested in it but don't recall seeing it.

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What two Stanwyck movies?    Hey, just kidding but did you ever make that post about Stanwyck that you mentioned in the other thread?     I was interested in it but don't recall seeing it.

 

Well, Stanwyck is good in these holiday films. LOL

 

I am posting my column about her in the Today's Topic thread next week. 

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Well, Stanwyck is good in these holiday films. LOL

 

I am posting my column about her in the Today's Topic thread next week. 

Watching her in "The Lady Eve" recently and "The Big Valley" yesterday, she seems like a totally different woman.

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Watching her in "The Lady Eve" recently and "The Big Valley" yesterday, she seems like a totally different woman.

 

Lot of years in between those productions. She had changed quite a bit by the mid-60s. Not long ago I watched three telefilms she did for Aaron Spelling in the early 70s, and she's different in those. 

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