Friday, November 27, 2009

Not The Same "Old" Christmas Movies

Before I make a post about all the beloved Christmas movies from the Golden Age of Movies, I'd like to post these. Older movies that fly under the radar. If you didn't grow up in the 40s, or are not a classic film buff, you may not know that these movies are Christmas movies. All of these I've seen (except 1).

Beyond Christmas (1940) B&W - Starring Harry Carey.
84 min.
Alternate Title: Beyond Tomorrow
(from Netflix) When three lonely millionaires invite a cowboy and a schoolteacher for Christmas Eve dinner, their two guests fall in love. But when the three old men are killed and return as ghosts, they find their matchmaking efforts are not yet complete. Can the kindly spirits bring the lovers together for good?

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) B&W Starring Jimmy Stewart, Margaret Sullivan.
98 min.
(from Netflix) Klara and Alfred fall in love, even though they've met only as pen pals and don't know each other's names. Over Alfred's objections, Klara is hired in the shop where he works. As they continue their loving correspondence, they embark on a combative working relationship. What will happen when the truth comes to light?

This was remade into "You've Got Mail". However, the original has more of the Christmas feel.

Remember the Night (1940) B&W - Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.
94. min.
(from IMDB) Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He gets the trial postponed because it is hard to get a conviction at Christmastime. But he feels sorry for her and arranges for her bail, and ends up taking her home to his mother for Christmas. Surrounded by a loving family (in stark contrast to Lee's own family background) they fall in love. This creates a new problem: how do they handle the upcoming trial? (Hard to Find) - but Turner Classic Movies shows it now and then.
*As of this writing, I've not seen this one yet.

The Great Rupert (1950) Color - Starring Jimmy Durante
88 min.
A vaudeville team fallen on hard times finds salvation in a trained squirrel named Rupert in this film from special-effects pioneer George Pal, who used his Academy Award-winning animated puppetry technique to bring the title character to life here. When Mr. Amendola begins to find cash hidden in the walls of his family's tiny apartment, the police suspect he's a crook. Soon, however, they realize that the real ""thief"" is Rupert!

Another one of those "I never knew it had anything to do with Christmas" movies.

I'll Be Seeing You (1944) B&W - Starring Ginger Rogers Joseph Cotten, and Shirley Temple.
85 min.
(from Netflix) It's Christmas time, and convict Mary Marshall is on furlough from the state prison she calls home. Although she's not optimistic, she hopes the holiday will be truly magical -- and that it becomes when she meets Zachary Morgan on the train. She's worried, though, about what he'll think when he finds out the truth about her. But little does she know that Zachary is harboring secrets, too.

I had no idea what to expect here, but this was a very good movie. One that slips under most people's radar as there is no mention of Holiday or Christmas in the title.

Holiday Affair (1949) B&W - Starring Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh.
87 min.
(from Netflix) 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.

Adorable movie, I came across it looking for other Christmas movies as I got tired of the same old things.

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) B&W - Starring Bob Hope.
91 min.
When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran's girl away from a winning bet, he is forced to come up with $10,000 to repay the angry gangster. Fortunately it's Christmas, a time when people can be persuaded to part with money for the right cause. (Hard to Find)

The Trouble with Angels (1966) Color - Starring Rosilind Russell and Hayley Mills.
110 min.
(from Netflix) Two teenage girls who turn a staid convent upside down with their youthful glee and zany antics (for starters, invading the nuns' quarters and substituting soap for sugar in the kitchen). Although the pair winds up in loads of trouble, their charm wins everyone over, including the Mother Superior. But soon, storm clouds brew.

Not a Christmas themed movie, but some of it takes place during the Christmas season. Enough so I can include it here.

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