TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Holiday (Christmas in Connecticut / A Christmas Carol 1938 / The Shop Around the Corner / It Happened on 5th Avenue)
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A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938) Reginald Owen portrays Charles Dickens' holiday humbug Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser's miser who has a huge change of heart after spirits whisk him into the past, present and future. From sets to stars to story, this triumphant adaptation adds a glow to the season. Like Tiny Tim's benediction, it blesses us – every one. CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945) A magazine columnist totally devoid of the homemaking skills espoused in her column had better get some fast: her boss has invited himself and a recently returned war hero to her home for Christmas. Laughs, romance, holiday cheer: that's the recipe Barbara Stanwyck and a stellar company follow in this perennial favorite. IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE Home for the holidays! GI families hit by the post-World War II housing crunch take over an abandoned New York City mansion. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER In the third of their four screen pairings, Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart engage in retail romance wrapped in the ribbon of director Ernst Lubitsch's trademark touch of wit and charm. They play bickering store clerks who are unknowingly secret pen pals. Your patronage will be cheerfully rewarded when you watch this enchanting tale.]]>
Christmas in Connecticut is a holiday film that plays 365 days of the year. Barbara Stanwyck gives a brilliant, sardonic performance as Elizabeth Lane, a columnist for Smart Housekeeping magazine, whose enticing descriptions of the exquisite meals she prepares for her husband and baby on their bucolic Connecticut farm earns her fame as "America's Best Cook." A writer, she is; a cook, she is not. As she types the words, "From my living room window, as I write, the good cedar logs cracking on the fire..." the view is of clothes flapping on the line outside her bachelorette Manhattan apartment. An able supporting cast keeps her lie on life support: her editor, her stuffy and detestable architect suitor, and the wonderful "Uncle" Felix (S.Z. Sakall), an English-garbling Hungarian chef who provides the recipes that fill her column.
Cut to Jefferson Jones, a sailor adrift at sea for weeks after his destroyer is torpedoed. Memories of the food described in Lane's columns are central to his survival. After his rescue, as he's recuperating in a naval hospital, a marriage-minded nurse thinks she might nudge Jones to the altar if he could only experience a real domestic Christmas. And it just so happens that she was nurse to the grandchild of Alexander Yardley, the wealthy and powerful publisher of --you guessed it--Smart Housekeeping magazine. And so, she pens the letter that could unravel Lane's carefully constructed fraud. She writes to Yardley asking that Jones be included in America's ultimate Christmas--the one to be held at the Lane family farm in Connecticut. The pompous Yardley (ably portrayed by Sidney Greenstreet) believes the Lane myth and instantly sniffs a story that will send his magazine's circulation skyrocketing. And staring down a lonely holiday, he decides to join the Lanes for Christmas on the farm, too. Now, all Lane has to do is come up with a farm. And a husband. And let's not forget the baby. Christmas in Connecticut is classic screwball entertainment of the best kind, with its on-target skewering of social convention and house-of- cards-about-to-tumble tension: a perfect farcical vision of domestic blitz. --Susan Benson
A Christmas Carol 1938
This is the desert-island choice of the many versions of A Christmas Carol, with a magnificent, full-bodied portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge by Alastair Sim that leaves everyone else in the dust. Lean and direct, this film's version of the story wastes no time trying to impress viewers with the magical nature of the spirits' visitations. Director Brian Desmond Hurst keeps the focus on Scrooge's life story, beautifully simplifying and underscoring the theme of lost women with a haunting musical refrain from the folk song "Barbara Allen." Sim's commitment to the role is at times astonishing; his Scrooge's Christmas-morning ecstasy is a marvel of giddy technique. Watch for Patrick Macnee (Steed in The Avengers) as the young Jacob Marley--the actor made his screen debut in this 1951 production. --Tom Keogh
The Shop Around the Corner
One of the most charming and romantic films around, this 1940 comic romance finds James Stewart (Vertigo, It's A Wonderful Life) working in a small shop in Budapest and longing for a girl to call his own. His coworker, Margaret Sullavan, feels the same, and soon they are both corresponding and falling in love with their respective pen pals. What they don't realize is that they are writing to and falling in love with each other, but the problem is that they can't stand each other in person. The beguiling nature of the mistaken identity formula that influenced countless films is done to perfection here, and the wry combativeness and delightful banter between the two leads makes this a very special film. --Robert Lane
It Happened on 5th Avenue
Making his winter home in a vacant New York City mansion,owned by vacationing industrialist Michael O'Connor (Charlie Ruggles), a philosophizing hobo decides to take in a homeless ex-G.I. O'Connor's unhappy daughter, Trudy (Gale Storm), running away from finishing school, returns home unexpectedly but doesn't tell anyone who she is or who her dad is when he comes looking for her disguised as a butler. Meanwhile, O'Connor unwittingly competes with the ex-G.I. in a land deal. The film, nominated best original story, contains a worthwhile message of self worth.
Top Customer Reviews
Trivia on movies---
Each version of Dickens' famous yule story has its fans, and the '38 A CHRISTMAS CAROL is no exception. This 69 minute Loew's release features an interesting company behind Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge. Gene and Kathleen Lockhart are Bob and Mrs. Cratchit and their daughter June plays a Cratchit child. Leo G. Carroll is Marley's ghost and Ann Rutherford portrays "Christmas Past." Silent-era clown Billy Bevan, who also lent his raspy basso voice to early Looney Tunes shorts, appears as "Leader of Street Watch."
In the romantic comedy CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945), Sydney Greenstreet is third billed behind Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan. Miss Stanwyck's character was based on Gladys Taber, a ladies magazine columnist who lived on a Connecticut farm. John Dehner cameos as a state trooper. Dehner began as a Disney animator, then appeared often on radio-- he was Paladin on HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL. Other cast members: Reginald Gardiner, Una O'Conner and Frank Jenks. Also here is "ditzy blonde" specialist Joyce Compton. (To see Miss Compton at her nuttiest, check out Eddie Cline's 1940 turn-of-the-century farce, THE VILLAIN STILL PURSUED HER, with Alan Mowbray as the baddie and Buster Keaton playing his opposite.)
IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE (1947) was the very first ALLIED ARTISTS release.Read more ›
The Shop Around the Corner is a very clever comedy whose theme has been repeated in other movies, as mentioned in Annie's review. Clara is falling for the man with whom she corresponds on purely intellectual subjects. She has never met him. At the same time she gets a job in a leather goods shop and cannot get along with her boss (Jimmy Stewart). You can figure it out from there. Delightful fun. Either one of these two movies is worth the price of this package.
It Happened on 5th Avenue is a pleasant film. The owner of a 5th Avenue mansion is wintering elsewhere and a hobo helps himself to the house. He invites in others who need a place to stay in the housing crunch following WWII.Read more ›
A Christmas Carol(1938)is a Christmas Carol light;for those who want their taste but not all the "calories"!.Clicking in at a speedy 69 min.it is no wonder this film was a TV staple for years until they began pushing the Alistair Sims version back in the 70s.The film is non stop and is over far too soon.By now we all know the plot of a miserly businessman who abhores Christmas and who gets his wake up call courtesy of three spirits;becoming a new man.The film doesn't linger on little plot nuances(that would have improved it immensely)like the door knob coming to life,or his old love,or his reunion with his nephew,etc.When Owen(Scrooge)argues with Fred watch the spittle literally coming out of his mouth and don't mind the wires when he "floats" out the window with the ghost of Christmas present.Also Scrooges'young sister talks very much like Stan Laurel while Feziwig,not to be outdone,does his best Stan Laurel smiling;it's uncanny! 2 1/2 stars.
It Happened on Fifth Avenue(1947)stars Gale Storm(well known later for her own show on TV),Don Defore(to become well known on TV as Ozzie and Harriets'next door neighbour and later Hazel's boss),veteran character actors Victor Moore and Charles Ruggles.Moore is the central character,a street bum,who inhabits a mansion that gets deserted so many months a year by its millionaire owner played by Ruggles.The games begin when the house becomes inhabited by more and more people and who are eventually caught by the owners' daughter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This set is amazing! I'd never seen any of these before I made this purchase. It happened on 5th avenue is now one of my top 5 favorite Christmas movies!Published 3 months ago by Erika