Sunday, November 2, 2014

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two of my favorite Christmas films are now out on bluray.

My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the Alastair Sim one from 1951. This new release is the 1938 version with Reginald Owen in the title role. But I like Gene Lockhart's Bob Cratchit in the 1938 film more than I do Mervyn Johns' performance in the 1951 Sim version.

And I also love Patrick Stewart in TNT's 1999 television movie. I wish they'd do two things to that version: (A) Fix the special effects regarding the Ghost of Christmas Past (sometimes the glow disappears); and (B) release it on bluray.

Christmas in Connecticut is a 1945 film released by Warner Bros. It was directed by Peter Godfrey (Cry Wolf, The Two Mrs. Carrolls, Escape Me Never, The Woman in White, The Girl from Jones Beach) from a script by Lionel Houser and Adele Comandini. It starred Barbara Stanwyck as Elizabeth Lane, Dennis Morgan as Jefferson Jones, Sydney Greenstreet as Alexander Yardley, Reginald Gardiner as John Sloan, and S.Z. Sakall as Felix Bassenak.

Elizabeth Lane is a city girl who writes a home-making column for a popular magazine. She loves the big city, fur coats, shopping, cars, the theater, and all that. Her editor, the clueless Alexander Yardley, has never met her. He is a stickler for honesty and the truth, and believes she is what she says she is in her column: A country girl who lives in Connecticut, spinning her own wool, sewing her own clothes, and making her own food -- which includes milking a cow, Daisy, every morning.

This happy state of affairs would have continued except that Jones, a Navy sailor, spent four weeks at sea after his ship sank. Near starvation, he was rescued -- and his one wish was to have a home-cooked Christmas meal at the Lane home in Connecticut. Yardley grants him his wish. Lane wants to resign rather than face Yardley, but her fey architect friend, Sloan, comes up with a plan: She should marry Sloan (her sometime boyfriend, who pines for her) and they will stay at his fabulous "farmhouse" in Connecticut. Yardley need be none the wiser, and Jones will go home happy.

But Lane can't cook. Okay, so they bring Elizabeth's favorite chef, Felix, up the house as her "uncle" to cook in secret for her. She told her readers she had a baby! Okay, so they get one of the women war-plant workers to loan them her baby during the day to fake it. But what about...

Oh, you know this isn't going to turn out well. It's a gentle, funny film.

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