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Christmas with Barbara Stanwyck

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Did you ever have to double-dip on the Holiday shopping? I bought my mom the DVD of Barbara Stanwyck’s 1946 comedy Christmas In Connecticut, but Christopher needed a quick gift for his boss so we ended up buying two. That’s okay, it’s a fun movie — and I’ll forgive it for being probably the least Christmassy Christmas film ever made. Stanwyck plays a Martha Stewart-like domestic doyenne. The comedy begins when her editor (Sidney Greenstreet, less intimidating than normal) invites an ailing soldier (handsome Dennis Morgan) to stay at Stanwyck’s home for the holidays. Problem is, Stanwyck’s “perfect wife and mother” image is a fake and the woman has to quickly come up with a picturesque Connecticut abode, a husband, and a baby before Morgan catches on to her ruse. The excellent supporting cast includes personal fave Joyce Compton as the sweetie-pie nurse who sets the plot in motion. If you can’t get the DVD (which is pretty bare bones, including just a trailer and Warner’s heavy-handed short A Star in the Night), Turner Classic Movies will be showing this on Chrismas Eve.

Another not-quite-Christmas Stanwyck I would recommend is 1940’s Remember the Night with Fred MacMurray. Although not on DVD yet, the film has some of the sweetest Yuletide scenes ever captured on film. Our Barbara plays a paroled shoplifter under the care of D.A. MacMurray. Circumstances force the duo to spend the holidays at MacMurray’s childhood home with his mother (Beulah Bondi doing her usual “sacrificial mom” bit). I can remember watching this on the old American Movie Classics channel and being enchanted by the performers and the gorgeous b&w cinematography. Catch it on TCM on December 17th.

2 Thoughts on “Christmas with Barbara Stanwyck

  1. Christopher on December 12, 2006 at 10:46 am said:

    In the interest of accuracy, it was a replacement gift — seeing how the gift I was going to give her did not, in the end, seem right.

  2. Oh! Looove it! I gave the DVD to my mom last year. I really should get it for myself. Watch how her rich boyfriend never takes his hand out of his pockets…

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