Thursday, December 01, 2011

Favorite Classic Holiday Films

Of course I like White Christmas (that scene with the song about the General always gets me) but I have a list of films I always try and catch this time of year that I don't see mentioned all that often.
One of my absolute favorites is Desk Set (1957). Perhaps it's because one of the core storylines is about computers, and I have been fascinated with them from the time I first touched the one purchased by the county at the tech school. (yes, one, for the entire county's classes, and it was considered pretty progressive in the late '70s). I also love the humor laced through the film.
Here is a sketchy synopsis:
Katherine Hepburn plays Bunny Watson, a brilliant woman who is in charge of the information gathering department for a major network. Spencer Tracy plays Richard Sumner, the inventor of a computer meant to streamline everyday operations at the network. He is spending time in the department in the weeks leading up to Christmas researching what will be required for one of his machines. He is asked by the head guy to keep his purpose a secret until things are finalized. Other actors include Gig Young, Joan Blondell, Dina Merril and more. A stellar cast.
Then there is the general feel-good film You Can't Take it With You (1938) by Frank Capra, who also directed "It's A Wonderful Life", "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "Arsenic and Old Lace" (my fave Halloween film) and many others. You Can't Take It With You stars a young James Stewart, an aging Lionel Barrymore as well as Jean Arthur, Anne Miller, Dub Taylor (Remember him from Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza? He was also in Back to the Future III. In fact he was working right up to 1994, the year he died). Anyway, I always like to watch it at some point this season, too,
More recently I became attached to 'Love, Actually' (2003), another movie with an ensemble cast and lots of humor. (yep, I'm sensing a theme here).
So, what films do you make a point of watching during the holiday season?


Don Meyer said...

I haven't seen Arsenic and Old Lace in ages, but I do remember laughing uproariously.

Anonymous said...

I always watch "Mixed Nuts" and my very favorite yuletide movie, with a caroling Humphrey Bogart is... dangit, can't remember the title... anyway, escaped convicts and their pet snake, Devil's Island and Topper.

Need brain transplant. Ysabeau

Ok, it's "We're no Angels" - don't miss it, it's really great.

feeling a bit better, Ysabeau

LynnM said...

"Groundhog Day" is even better at Christmas than early February. And I love every version of "A Christmas Carol" but I'm at the mercy of the TV channel scheduling for those.

One movie I loved but is unavailable here and never broadcast is "A Christmas Story." Ralphie is a gem and one day I'll watch him again.

Hey, 15 minutes:

I laugh every year!

LynnM said...

Diana, can you correct the link to David's holiday masterpiece?

Leslie said...

Love Actually and A Christmas Story, two must sees for me.

Frageelee! Get me every time.

Karen (the cousin one) said...

My holiday favorites are: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (the original cartoon version), the claymation Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. My kids' favorite (and swiftly becoming a tradition in our house) is Elf.