Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tonight's Movie: Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Christmas Night I watched CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT for the very first time. (I've nonetheless titled the post "Tonight's Movie" for blog organizational purposes...the last couple days have been too busy to write about it!) I found it very enjoyable, and of course I fell in love with the Connecticut farmhouse, as I suspect many other viewers also have!

The film reminded me quite a bit of the much later MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT? (1964) starring Rock Hudson. In each film, a writer poses as an expert in a field the writer actually knows nothing about. In the case of CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT, Barbara Stanwyck plays an early version of Martha Stewart, who in reality can't boil water. She's in a pickle when her publisher requests that she host a war hero for Christmas, along with her mythical husband and baby, at her mythical farm.

Dennis Morgan plays the war hero and Sydney Greenstreet is the magazine editor. The cast also includes S.Z. Sakall, Reginald Gardiner, Una O'Connor, and Joyce Compton. Compton (and her Southern accent!) seems to keep popping up in movies I've seen in the last year, including SPRING MADNESS, BEDTIME STORY, and PILLOW TO POST.

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT is a fun film -- not a great one, but a very pleasant way to spend a December evening. The performers are pleasing and the film is well paced. In many ways the movie is still quite topical -- for instance, six decades later visions of the perfect home are still being sold by lifestyle magazines.

According to TCM's Robert Osborne, Bette Davis was originally discussed for the lead, but turned it down; a couple years later Davis would star as a magazine writer in JUNE BRIDE. CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT and JUNE BRIDE, with their home magazine themes, would make a nice June-December double bill. JUNE BRIDE was reviewed here nearly a year ago.

Jacqueline at Another Old Movie Blog has a good descriptive post on the movie which helped convince me it was finally time to see it.

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT was filmed in black and white. It runs 102 minutes and was directed by Peter Godfrey.

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT is available on both DVD and VHS. A review of the DVD can be found here.

It can also be seen on Turner Classic Movies.


Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks for the nod, Laura. A couple of other small bits that crack me up are when S.Z. Sakall disdainfully mutters "Fat men!" when Sydney Greenstreet steals a drink off his tray, and also the relationship between Sakall and Una O'Connor. She butchers his name, he turns her Irish stew into Hungarian goulash by dumping paprika into it. Those two could have a movie all their own.

4:54 AM  
Blogger Irene said...

Thanks for this review. I now have requested the DVD from the library. Our branch has the VHS but I prefer the DVD as most VHS tapes from the library are in poor condition.

As I was reading your review I thought I had seen this before and then getting further along I realized it was June Bride which I saw thanks to your review back last January.

It is fun seeing these old movies that I probably would not know about if it wasn't for your blog :)

9:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Irene, nothing makes me happier than to share good movies with others! I'm sure Jacqueline feels the same way -- her post helped encourage me to watch this movie, and now I'm passing it on to you! :)

Happy viewing,

3:44 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

This is a nice film, but the constant lying in it really bothers me. I remember not wanting to see While You Were Sleeping for the same reason. I only watched Sleeping after someone told me the Sandra Bullock character keeps trying to tell the truth but runs into obstacles. In CiC I don't remember, but could be wrong, the Barbara Stanwyck character trying to tell the truth until the end of the movie. Just rubs me wrong.

10:08 PM  

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