Little Known Classic Christmas Films

Little Known Classic Christmas Films
The Shop Around the Corner (Source: The Shop Around the Corner)


We know you know, or have seen, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, Elf, The Santa Clause, but if you are looking for some classic black and white old films and one French film based on a true story, here are just a few choices I like.

I love, love this movie, one of my favorite movies of all time.

This Ernest Lubitsch film may very well be the most charming moving ever made. Remade in several different incarnations; including the inferior Meg Ryan Tom Hanks 1998 film, You’ve Got Mail, a musical movie remake with Judy Garland in In the Good Old Summertime (1949) and a Broadway Musical called She Loves Me (1963)-it’s original incarnation is the 1937 play by Hungarian playwright, Miklos Laszlo.

Margaret Sullavan has never been more radiant and sharp, and Jimmy Stewart never more likeable as two co-workers who don’t realize they are secret pen pals falling in love via correspondence but who cannot stand each other in real life. The supporting cast which comprises the staff of the “shop” is superb as well. The film is perfectly paced and never becomes over sentimental, it is all a little bittersweet, but how sweet it is.

2. The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Bette Davis takes an uncharacteristically supporting role as a personal secretary to curmudgeon, diva, literary and radio star, Sheridan Whiteside played by Monty Woolley in this Kaufman and Hart comedy about an obnoxious, demanding celebrity who must recover after a fall on ice at a prominent mid-western family’s house. Here he proceeds to wreck zany havoc on their calm existence with a barrage of famous guests and his manipulating behavior.

A great supporting cast includes; Jimmy Durante, Ann Sheridan and Billie Burke.

3. Remember the Night (1940)

This film is dripping with atmosphere and romance and goes a long way on the flimsy premise. Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray have tremendous chemistry as a shoplifter and the DA who are brought together during Christmas Break Holidays after he shows pity on her and posts her bail. They don’t make them like this anymore, sit back and enjoy warmth and old movie charm.

4. Bachelor Mother (1939)

I love this Zany charming film, with the effervescent Ginger Rogers and the suave David Niven. Ginger poses as a single mother of sketchy morals in order to secure a job in David’s department store. He feels sorry for her because she is unemployed. But who does the baby really belong to and how will this secret affect their budding romance?

5. Joyeux Noel (2005)

This movie is in French and depicts a truce on Christmas Eve in 1914 between troops fighting WWI on the Western Front. It is a bit sentimental at times, but it has earned it, becaue war is hell, but even in war, there is humanity.

6. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Barbara Stanwyck, one of my favorite actresses proves once again she is fluid in any genre in this comedic tale of a food writer who cannot actually cook, but must pretend to when she has to provide a perfect Christmas for a returning war hero. The premise is very modern and could easily work in a romantic comedy today as it shows the conflicts of being a career woman with the expectation of being a wife, mother and homemaker.

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