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Favorite Christmas (Kwanza, Chanukah) Movies and TV


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One of my favorite Christmas movies is “The Cheaters”, a 1945 Republic movie which was a TV staple in the ‘60s and 70’s that I watched every Christmas Eve.  Since then I believe it has been shown only once, a few years ago by TCM. It is a delightful screwball comedy featuring Joseph Schildkraut, Ona Munson, Billie Burke and Eugene Pallette.  Schildkraut plays the role of a former actor, now a down and out drunk, who, in a stirring monologue, teaches the family the true meaning of Christmas. 

Here is Ben Mankiewicz introducing the movie the last time it was shown: 

https://www.tcm.com/video/1375936/ben-mankiewicz-intro-the-cheaters-1945

Please don’t miss this year’s showing on December 23 at 10:00 PM.

--Gus Cerini

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18 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

I don't know that film and I love JOSEPH SCHILDKRAUT.  Looking forward to it. 

Rumor has it that Joseph started out doing The Cheaters as a serial to Little Shop Around the Corner,  but was so overcome by the Christmas spirit that he changed the storyline.

  Poster of the movie The Cheaters.jpg

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10 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

I don't know that film and I love JOSEPH SCHILDKRAUT.  Looking forward to it. 

You'll love it. It's a winner.

In addition to Mr. Schildkraut, cast includes Billie Burke, Eugene Pallette, Ruth Terry and handsome Robert Livingston (who typically did westerns and horror flicks at Republic).

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I like The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942).  It’s funny, witty, and has a great cast in Bette Davis, Monty Woolley, and Ann Sheridan.  Monty Woolley’s character, Sheridan Whiteside, is acerbic and bossy, but beneath that façade is a kind and progressive spirit.  The sets and small-town atmosphere of Christmas are appealing. The script has some biting dialogue, and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves in making the movie.

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2 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

That's a reach.  You a press agent?  Sheridan Whiteside is based on theater critic Alexander Woollcott known as a difficult character. 

I found the character, as Woolley played him,  likeable. I inferred he was progressive because there's a scene in which he is on the phone with Eleanor Roosevelt, and it's fairly clear he is friends with the First Lady.  Yes, he is exasperating, but in a comical way.  ,  

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2 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

a kind and progressive spirit

 

25 minutes ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

I found the character, as Woolley played him,  likeable. I inferred he was progressive because there's a scene in which he is on the phone with Eleanor Roosevelt, and it's fairly clear he is friends with the First Lady.  Yes, he is exasperating, but in a comical way.  ,  

Nope.  Eleanor is cool; Sheridan is a comical character and enjoyable (MONTY WOOLY's great role) but he is self-centered, rude, dishonest and mean spirited.  Not kind. That's why he's funny. 

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13 hours ago, TopBilled said:

You'll love it. It's a winner.

In addition to Mr. Schildkraut, cast includes Billie Burke, Eugene Pallette, Ruth Terry and handsome Robert Livingston (who typically did westerns and horror flicks at Republic).

It has been quite a long time since I watched that one! I may just have to have a movie night soon to revisit it. Joseph Schildkraut is always a delight

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On 12/17/2020 at 2:15 AM, TopBilled said:

You'll love it. It's a winner.

In addition to Mr. Schildkraut, cast includes Billie Burke, Eugene Pallette, Ruth Terry and handsome Robert Livingston (who typically did westerns and horror flicks at Republic).

I watched THE CHEATERS last night, and found all of the performances wonderful... the plot?  Not so much...

 

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2 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

I watched THE CHEATERS last night, and found all of the performances wonderful... the plot?  Not so much...

 

Let's face it. Screwball comedies didn't have much plot, and even so, this rises above a screwball comedy. But  Schildkraut's performance  alone makes it worth watching every year!

--Gus Cerini

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1 hour ago, CCerini said:

Let's face it. Screwball comedies didn't have much plot, and even so, this rises above a screwball comedy. But  Schildkraut's performance  alone makes it worth watching every year!

--Gus Cerini

Yes, and in this case, contrived comes to mind.  I had never seen the film before and enjoyed it, particularly with the fabulous cast.   I hope I get the chance to see it again! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I try to never miss "White Christmas" when it is on TV.   Also,  love "Santa Claus is Coming To Town", "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol",  "Charlie Brown's Christmas",  "The Great Rupert", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". There are probably more, but trying to remember them all is boggling.

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I love HOLIDAY INN (1941) which I didn't see anywhere this year (I have DVD).  WHITE CHRISTMAS?  I did see that this Christmas (on DVD) though I must admit that there's a lot in that movie that is just plain corny or annoying.  To be fair, I'm not a DANNY KAYE fan. 

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I actually have two favorite  Christmas movies : It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and White Christmas (1954) While I enjoy the Technicolor musical film that is White Christmas It's A Wonderful Life really tugs at the heart. All of us at one time or another have felt like George Bailey maybe not the suicide attempt but to the point of frustrating madness and despair over a situation which leads us to question our mortality and if our life has had any real purpose.  It's one of my favorites to watch every year around the holiday,

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2 hours ago, OHTCMFanGal said:

I actually have two favorite  Christmas movies : It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and White Christmas (1954) While I enjoy the Technicolor musical film that is White Christmas It's A Wonderful Life really tugs at the heart. All of us at one time or another have felt like George Bailey maybe not the suicide attempt but to the point of frustrating madness and despair over a situation which leads us to question our mortality and if our life has had any real purpose.  It's one of my favorites to watch every year around the holiday,

Nice post.

Welcome to the message boards!

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