Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas is three weeks away

We're in December, which means Christmas, if you haven't already figured that out from the plethora of Christmas-themed ads on TV or Christmas songs on the radio. (One of the local stations switched to all Christmas songs, all the time, around Veterans' Day. Ugh.) TCM, thankfully, has more or less waited until December to do a bunch of Christmas stuff, and doesn't seem to be going overboard this year, which will probably disappoint people who have favorite Christmas movies, but is a bit refreshing to somebody like me who doesn't care for the overload. Not that I dislike the holiday, but the amount of Christmas stuff we get from some places is ridiculous. Anyhow, TCM will be showing Christmas movies on the next three Thursday nights.

The Christmas festival kicks off with Remember the Night at 8:00 PM, which has Fred MacMurray playing a prosecutor who takes personal custody of shopifter Barbara Stanwyck over the Christmas holiday; unsurprisingly, as he takes her home to mother he winds up falling in love with her -- never mind the professional conflict of interest.

Stanwyck returns for Meet John Doe at 10:00 PM, in which she plays a reporter who writes a story about a homeless man (Gary Cooper) and finds that the powers that be twist that story all out of proportion, turning Cooper into a national folk hero as long as it suits there interests.

That will be followed by a pair of Judy Garland movies. The first is In the Good Old Summertime at 12:15 AM. This one, a remake of The Shop Around the Corner, has Garland as a worker at a music shop who dislikes co-worker Van Johnson, with neither realizing that the two have been writing to each other from the personals column. Perhaps they should have tried piƱa coladas and getting caught in the rain.

The second Judy Garland movie is the old chestnut Meet Me in St. Louis, about a family that may have to move from St. Louis to New York, set against the backdrop of the 1904 World's Fair. I'm not a fan of this one, in part because I've never been the biggest fan of Garland's singing, but also because of the presence of Margaret O'Brien, who was one of my least favorite child actors. (I mentioned my not caring for Garland's dancing when I blogged about The Clock which, while not a Christmas movie, is worth a watch.)

Last up is All Mine to Give, about a family in mid-19th century Wisconsin in which both of the parents die, leaving the eldest son to have to find new homes for all of his siblings on Christmas Eve. This one is well made, but it's also one of the bigger downers out there.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

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