Friday, December 24, 2021

Holiday Movie Memories: 3 Favorites from the Vault

  

As time goes by I find myself in a reflective mood on Christmas Eve, often savoring memories of holidays gone by, some long, long ago, others from just a few years past. This year as I perused TCM's Christmas Eve schedule, I noticed that several longtime favorites were in the lineup and realized that I'd blogged about some of them early in the life of this blog (which is now 11 years old). Being in a reminiscing frame of mind, I thought it might be fun to post these "oldies but (hopefully) goodies" once again and take readers on a nostalgic walk down holiday movie memory lane...

In December 2011 I published my first post on one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner (1940). I read it now and grouse to myself that there was so much more that should've been said about this timeless masterpiece. It is one of those "perfect" movies of the classic age, not a flaw anywhere to be seen or heard. It is Lubitsch at his peak, screenwriter Samson Rafaelson at his and it showcases a brilliant cast giving award-worthy performances all around, including one of my very favorite from James Stewart. And the story - well, it is so strong it has been reworked and remade at least twice (In the Good Old Summertime and You've Got Mail). 

The Shop Around the Corner (1940): A Lubitsch Christmas from December 5, 2011

One year earlier, in 2010, I published my first Christmas movie blog post and the subject, a most deserved subject, was Vincente Minnelli's Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). Though the post seems a bit "rough" to me now, what I do see in it that I like is my deep love for and connection to the film. Of course, it is a movie much beloved by classics fans of today and by just about everyone in its day - it was the top grossing film of 1944. This is another classic from MGM boasting a director at the height of his game, a wonderful ensemble cast, with Judy Garland in the spotlight singing more than one of her signature tunes, and a family tale few could resist.

Happy Holidays! from December 5, 2010

This last post is another from the babyhood of the blog. In my review of Christmas in Connecticut (1945) I approached the film from the perspective of the moment in time when it was released, the very ending of World War II. As one author I quoted in the piece wrote of the time, "Christmas 1945 was a collective prayer, a nationwide sigh of relief," and this lighthearted but heartwarming romantic comedy managed to capture that spirit. This "Christmas in July" offering from Warner Bros. features never-a-bad-performance Barbara Stanwyck surrounded with an able and charismatic cast including Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, S.Z. Sakall, Reginald Gardiner and Joyce Compton. This is one of those holiday romcoms that can actually "warm the cockles of your heart" while you're laughing.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)...one special holiday season... from December 18, 2010

  

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


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