Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
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Christmas in Connecticut (1945) (DVD)
Barbara Stanwyck stars as a famous expert on marriage, cooking and homemaking who is asked by her publisher to host a national hero for Christmas dinner at her famous Connecticut home. It should be simple, but she must scramble to keep the secret that she's single, can't cook and doesn't own a home. With a lot of help, meticulous planning and split-second timing, the urban sophisticate may succeed . . . but the unforeseen happens when she falls in love with her guest in this classic romantic comedy.]]>
- Vintage Oscar-winning short: "Star in the Night"
- Theatrical trailer
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However, there are some problematic moments. I counted 8 different identities that Stanwyck had either to cope with, reconcile with her real self, or discard during the course of the film. This is what farce is all about, of course, but the number eight may be a little to ambitious, even for as adept an actress as Barbara S. Now, the main problem. Dennis Morgan, playing the romantic hero, has to try and convince a very nice young nurse to smuggle him a steak dinner by promising to marry her. This is how Morgan gets himself invited to Stanwyck's home for Christmas dinner and sets the romance in motion. This is not nice, and in my opinion casts a pall over the rest of the action without meaning to.
Still, the studio-bound scenery and sets, the clothes, and the interaction of the players are all superb. At the end, Stanwyck sums up all the action and then says, "I'm tired!" A witty conclusion, as she steps outside of her role long enough to comment on the action. And by the way, the music by Frederick Hollander is merry and stays with you in a very pleasant way. Enjoy!
Okay. Now we get to the subject of this review. Christmas in Connecticut, the 1945 original film. ( it actually was re-made with Dyan Cannon of all people!) This version, with the marvelous Barbara Stanwyck, is by far the best, and a superb Christmas movie. Stanwyck plays a food columnist for a homemakers magazine who writes about her beautiful and spacious home and farm, husband and baby, and the wonderful full course dinners she prepares. Only hitch is that she is single,doesn't cook and lives in a small unglamourous walk up apartment with her meals sent up from a local restaurant. Things get complicated when her boss, the marvelous Sydney Greenstreet, wants her to invite a soldier to her "farm" for one of her home cooked meals! By the way, the boss invites himself too! And that is when the fun begins.
I won't go into more detail, as the movie is so much fun and so Christmassy I know you will love it.
They just don't make them like this anymore.
Am I spoiled by today's writers who have the ability to layer sub-plots in mesmerizing ways? Yes.
If you want a fun family movie for the holidays this would be a great choice.
For younger people it might be a slice of life from a far simpler era.