Friday, November 30, 2018

TCM in December: Christmas Movies

It's time for my annual guide to Christmas movies airing this month on Turner Classic Movies!

TCM will be showcasing Christmas films in prime time on Saturday and Sunday nights this month, with additional holiday films airing each weekend morning. Christmas cartoons will also be part of the Saturday morning lineups.

Jeremy Arnold, author of the new book CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES, will be interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz on the evenings of December 1st and 2nd.

(Side note, I received a review copy of the book a few days ago and will have a review up here as soon as possible! Just from paging through the photographs, it looks wonderful.) (Update: Here is my review!)

Additional Christmas movies screen throughout the month, including on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

It's exciting to note there are three Christmas movie premieres on TCM this month. They are the Roy Rogers film TRAIL OF ROBIN HOOD (1950), which I just wrote about for Classic Movie Hub; the 1994 version of LITTLE WOMEN, which coincidentally is being shown December 1st at UCLA with Jeremy Arnold in attendance; and the British film THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (1952), seen at right.

Some of the Christmas films listed below are shown as many as three times; reviews are only linked the first time a film is mentioned.

The Christmas season kicks off on Saturday, December 1st, with the MGM cartoon PEACE ON EARTH (1939) and the evergreen MGM musical MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) showing in the morning.

That evening look for the fantasies BEYOND TOMORROW (1940), starring Richard Carlson and Jean Parker, and THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947). The latter film, starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven, is one of my very favorite Christmas films.

On December 2nd IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE (1947) and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938) are shown in the morning, with THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940) and HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949) in the evening. All four films are wonderful and very much deserve an annual look.

December 8th the cartoon THE CAPTAIN'S CHRISTMAS (1938) will be shown in the morning, as well as the films MEET JOHN DOE (1941) and THREE GODFATHERS (1936) with Chester Morris and Lewis Stone.

That night TCM will show Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby in HOLIDAY INN (1942) as well as the classic comedy THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942), starring Monty Woolley and a great cast. Bing and Marjorie Reynolds are seen here singing "White Christmas" in HOLIDAY INN.

The 1949 MGM version of LITTLE WOMEN will be shown early on December 9th, followed by Barbara Stanwyck in CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945). That night there's a repeat of IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE, followed by the 20th Century-Fox anthology film O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE (1952), and the silent movie BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST (1925).

The December 15th cartoon is ALIAS ST. NICK (1935). It's accompanied by the Vitaphone short SEASONED GREETINGS (1933), with a cast including Robert Cummings and Sammy Davis Jr., followed by another showing of Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh in HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949). Be sure to read Jessica's interview with HOLIDAY AFFAIR child actor Gordon Gebert at her blog Comet Over Hollywood!

The prime time lineup is Roy Rogers in TRAIL OF ROBIN HOOD (1950), the John Ford version of 3 GODFATHERS (1948) starring John Wayne, and the short STAR IN THE NIGHT (1945), directed by Don Siegel.

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940) and its remake IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949) will be shown the morning of December 16th, with MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) and LITTLE WOMEN (1994) in the evening. This 1994 version of LITTLE WOMEN is one of three different filmings of the Louisa May Alcott classic airing on TCM this month.

On Monday, December 17th there's a great lineup of Christmas crime films: LADY ON A TRAIN (1945) starring Deanna Durbin; LADY IN THE LAKE (1947) starring Robert Montgomery; FITZWILLY (1967) with Dick Van Dyke; COVER UP (1949) starring Dennis O'Keefe; and BACKFIRE (1950) with Gordon MacRae.

LADY ON A TRAIN and COVER UP (seen at right, with Dennis O'Keefe and Barbara Britton) are particular favorites which I highly recommend. I've watched the multiple times! Click the hyperlinked titles for full details.

On Wednesday, December 19th, Errol Flynn runs around in a Santa suit in NEVER SAY GOODBYE (1946), shown during the day.

That night BACHELOR MOTHER (1939) and ALL MINE TO GIVE (1957) are featured in an evening of films about orphans.

Mixed in with the Christmas films, why not watch CHRISTMAS IN JULY (1940)? It stars Star of the Month Dick Powell and will be shown on December 20th.

December 22 starts with SANTA CLAUS (1959) followed by a day of religious-themed films: Joel McCrea plays a pastor in STARS IN MY CROWN (1950), followed by THE MIRACLE OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA (1952), BEN-HUR (1959), THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965), and KING OF KINGS (1961).

That night's films are the beautiful REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940) with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, followed by Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan in CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945). The Noir Alley title that evening is BEWARE, MY LOVELY (1952), a spooky tale set at Christmastime starring Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan. The evening wraps up with PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT (1962) and A CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS (1964).

On Sunday, December 23rd, the lineup is SCROOGE (1935), A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: MERRY CHRISTMAS! (2011), BUSH CHRISTMAS (1947), BEWARE, MY LOVELY (1952), and O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE (1952), followed by SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954), ALL MINE TO GIVE (1957), and HOLIDAY INN (1942). The TCM premiere of THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (1952) is followed by Alastair Sim in A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951) and then THE KING OF KINGS (1927) and FANNY AND ALEXANDER (1982).

On Christmas Eve it's all Christmas movies all the time: BEYOND TOMORROW (1940), LITTLE WOMEN (1933), THE GREAT RUPERT (1950), BABES IN TOYLAND (1934), THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949), CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938), IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949), MEET JOHN DOE (1941), and DESK SET (1957).

The Christmas Day films are LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1938), 3 GODFATHERS (1949), BUNDLE OF JOY (1956), BACHELOR MOTHER (1939), FITZWILLY (1967), THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942), and IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE (1947). The stars of the charming IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE, Don DeFore and Gale Storm, are seen in the photo to the right.

Additionally, SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954), with its fabulous "mid Century" Christmas decorating, makes another appearance on December 27th as part of the Dick Powell Star of the Month lineup, and THE THIN MAN (1934), which has a delightful Christmas sequence, will air on New Year's Eve.

An overview of the rest of the schedule for TCM in December will be posted on December 1st (click here), and a look at Dick Powell as Star of the Month will follow next week (click here).

For additional information, please also consult TCM's online schedule.

Merry Christmas!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

What a lineup! Something for every holiday mood.

Do your worst, Little Jack Frost! I'll be hibernating with TCM.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I think that sounds great!!

Best wishes,

1:29 PM  

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