The Forties Goldmine of Christmas Movies: Part I

Have you ever noticed how many great Christmas movies came out of the forties?

The era produced not only some of the most beloved titles, such as It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Christmas in Connecticut (1945), The Bishop’s Wife (1947), and Holiday Inn (1942), but also several movies with memorable holiday moments. Here are a few that come to mind:

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Never have I wanted so badly for a group of characters to find a happy place to celebrate Christmas. It practically turned the end of this movie into a suspense flick for me.

They Live by Night (1948)
Cold-eyed gangster Howard Da Silva demonstrates how to thoroughly terrorize a young couple by simply crushing an ornament. It’s as if he’s threatening to cancel Christmas.

Christmas Holiday (1944)
Deanna Durbin has a bleak Christmas Eve as she pines for her jail bound husband.

Lady on a Train (1945)
A happier Durbin’s intimate phone performance of Silent Night is a peaceful interlude in the midst of a chaotic murder mystery.

Lady in the Lake (1947)
Robert Montgomery’s Christmas noir, complete with an angelic choir on the soundtrack.

Penny Serenade (1941)
Christmas is a troubling season for a struggling couple played by Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in this classic tearjerker.

Meet Me In St Louis (1944)
Judy Garland’s moving rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas makes such an impact that this mostly non-holiday movie is still satisfying Christmas viewing.

Tomorrow in part two: more fine holiday movies from the forties (I promise they will be happier than this bunch)

Image Source


Tom said...

Don't forget the Man Who Came to Dinner!

KC said...

Aw, I shouldn't have left it out. The only reason I did was because I couldn't remember what happened; it's been years. I just remembered that it was a big scene and there was something about a bracelet?

Tom said...

Well, I plan to watch that one very soon because I've been reading nothing but good things about it around the blogosphere. I hope to have a post about it before Christmas.

Another recommendation: "I'll Be Seeing You". Also a movie with a Christmas setting.

I'm happy to see Deanna Durbin on your list!! Lady on the Train is one of my favorites of all time. Need to watch it again.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails