Thursday, November 30, 2017

TCM in December: Christmas Movies

It's hard to believe it's time for my annual guide to Christmas movies showing in December on Turner Classic Movies!

TCM will be featuring a lineup of Christmas films every Friday evening this month, with additional films airing on Saturdays and Sundays.

Additionally, the weekend before Christmas will feature films with a religious theme on Saturday, December 23rd, followed by Christmas movie marathons on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

For good measure, there are a couple more films with Christmas/New Year's themes scheduled for New Year's Eve.

Many of the Christmas favorites listed here are playing two or three times, while some only show up once. A complete overview is below. Please also consult the online schedule.

Click any hyperlinked title below for the corresponding review; reviews are only linked the first time a film is mentioned.

Christmas movies launch on Friday evening, December 1st, with an offbeat lineup featuring PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT (1962), ALL MINE TO GIVE (1957), BUSH CHRISTMAS (1947), TENTH AVENUE ANGEL (1948), the documentary A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: MERRY CHRISTMAS! (2011), and NEVER SAY GOODBYE (1946).

A couple of these films, ALL MINE TO GIVE and TENTH AVENUE ANGEL, are tearjerkers to varying degrees; Margaret O'Brien stars in the latter film with George Murphy and Angela Lansbury (seen at right). NEVER SAY GOODBYE, while not a Christmas film, per se, features Errol Flynn and Gig Young chasing each other in Santa suits as the movie nears a conclusion!

A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: MERRY CHRISTMAS! also turns up on the schedule on the 11th and 17th.

On Saturday, December 2nd, there's a '50s Christmas wonderland in SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954), starring Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds. James Stewart meets witch Kim Novak at Christmastime in BELL BOOK AND CANDLE (1958).

On Sunday the 3rd, James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan star in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), followed by a musical remake, IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949). Judy Garland and Van Johnson star in the later film.

On Friday, December 8th, the evening begins with A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951), as well as an earlier version known as SCROOGE (1935), not to be confused with the 1970 musical.

Then it's Christmas mystery time! Raymond Chandler's LADY IN THE LAKE (1947) dresses up its murder mystery with Christmas music and title cards. In the delightful LADY ON A TRAIN (1945), Deanna Durbin sees a murder out the train window as she travels to New York to visit her aunt for Christmas. The film includes Deanna singing "Silent Night.

The evening wraps up with Dick Van Dyke in FITZWILLY (1967), followed by LARCENY, INC. (1942), another movie which isn't a Christmas film but features Edward G. Robinson and several other actors running around in Santa suits near movie's end.

December 9th features the John Ford version of 3 GODFATHERS (1948), along with the delightful IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE (1947). I'm thankful to TCM for showing IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE on the network many times and helping it take its rightful place among Christmas favorites.

Sunday, December 10th, the day's Christmas films are Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh in HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949), plus the classic MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944). If you ask me, you can't see a better film at Christmas than MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS!

The lineup on Friday, December 15th, starts with three reruns, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949), and IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE (1947). Those films are followed by the month's first showing of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1941), followed by Doris Day in ON MOONLIGHT BAY (1951).

MGM's A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938) makes its first appearance on Saturday, December 16th, followed by Gary Cooper and Barbara Staynwyck in Frank Capra's MEET JOHN DOE (1941). Later in the day there's a Debbie Reynolds double bill, BUNDLE OF JOY (1956) and SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954).

On Sunday the 17th it's time for Barbara Stanwyck in CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945), along with one of my all-time favorites, THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947), starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven.

On Friday night, December 22nd, there's another showing of CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945), followed by another Stanwyck film, REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940) costarring Fred MacMurray. (More on it here.) TCM has again played a great role in bringing this marvelous Christmas classic back to prominence.

There are also encores of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) and IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949), plus the colorful MGM version of LITTLE WOMEN (1949), with an all-star cast. Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien, and Janet Leigh are seen at the right.

The religious-themed films showing on December 23rd are ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN (1941), with Fredric March as a minister; BOYS TOWN (1938), with Spencer Tracy as a priest; BEN-HUR (1959), THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (1943), and KING OF KINGS (1961).

On Christmas Eve there's the classic Katharine Hepburn version of LITTLE WOMEN (1933), followed by repeat showings of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1941), IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE (1947), IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949), HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949), CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), and THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947).

Showing up on Christmas Eve for the first time this month are THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S (1945) and THE CHEATERS (1945), as well as POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES (1961). A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938) is also re-airing Christmas Eve.

And showing on Christmas Day: The short STAR IN THE NIGHT (1945), followed by MEET JOHN DOE (1941), BABES IN TOYLAND (1934), SCROOGE (1935), LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1938), FITZWILLY (1967), BUNDLE OF JOY (1956), and THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940).

A 24-hour Alfred Hitchcock marathon begins in prime time on Christmas Night.

There are a couple more films featuring Christmas or New Year's scenes on New Year's Eve: The classic comedy BACHELOR MOTHER (1939), starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven, plus the all-time classic THE THIN MAN (1934), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Coming on New Year's Day: Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in HOLIDAY INN (1942)!

An overview of the rest of the schedule for TCM in December will be posted on December 1st, and a look at Lana Turner as Star of the Month will follow early next week.

Merry Christmas!

Update: Here's a lovely Christmas movies promo video from TCM.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

What fun! There are a lot of favourites on TCM and I appreciate their December scheduling, and your handy-dandy guide.

8:10 AM  

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