Classic Christmas movies
Dec 15, 2014 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
With the holiday season upon us it’s the perfect time to get all cuddled up, grab the popcorn, and settle in to a nice movie. White Christmas is one of my favorites. This 1954 classic always brings me joy. It’s hard to pin down why because it’s the perfect mixture of romance, comedy, and music. Sure the plot is based on the 1942 film Holiday Inn, but it’s a story I enjoy being a part of again and again.
Part of the magic is that the cast – Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen – had a genuine sense of enthusiasm throughout the production. The actors were excited to be there and that definitely comes through on screen, explaining why Irving Berlin’s tunes seem to resonate that much stronger and the choreography seems more precise. The twists and turns to the love stories between our four main entertainers mirrors the restoration of the Columbia Inn itself. There’s a nice rhythm to that. Even though there’s some ups and downs, things feel predictable. You know the trajectory for the ending focuses on one thing: happy.
The holiday season is meant to be a time of great joy and an opportunity for reconnecting with loved ones. But sometimes happiness isn’t as easy to find as it was for our quartet in Pine Tree, Vermont. If you need a film that departs from “happy valley,” but still makes it all better – then you can’t beat It’s A Wonderful Life.
Debuting in 1946, this movie originally had a poor showing at the box office. (Hard to believe now as its become an annual tradition.) Despite the lackluster release, Frank Capra’s project earned a lot of critical praise for the way this heartfelt tale was delivered. James Stewart’s desperation and his journey to happiness feels very real and the core emotions are easy to relate to. Being part of George Bailey’s success story is a wonderful way to ring in the holiday season.
So you’ve laughed with Crosby, cried with Stewart… what’s next on the movie list you ask? How about believing with O’Hara? Miracle on 34th Street is a film I remember loving as a kid and still adore as an adult. Whether or not you believe in Santa, having faith that good things happen with a little work is always a good lesson. Then there’s the whole love story added to the mix – and that always guarantees the warm fuzzies. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing a young Natalie Wood in the role of Susan? This is what we’re watching for the holidays – what’s on your play list?
Grab the kleenex!
Get on Santa’s good side