Thursday, December 24, 2009

J. Carroll Naish learns the meaning of Christmas

TCM is sprinkling a number of Christmas-themed shorts in among the Christmas movies they're showing up until 8:00 PM Christmas night, such as Star in the Night, which will be airing about 12:35 AM overnight tonight, following Chicken Every Sunday.

This retelling of the Nativity tale stars Naish as the proprietor of a desert inn, proud of the big new lighted star he's put on his roof as an advertising symbol. It's Christmas Eve, and our innkeeper is dealing with problems of his own, as well as the fact that the place is full up, and everybody who's a paying customer has problems of their own that are weighing on the proprietor too.

Into all that walks a young couple conveniently named José and Maria. Maria is highly pregnant, and might just have the baby tonight. This puts a pretty big crimp on everybody's plans, but, it's Christmas, so everybody decides to pitch in and make some scrificies of their own for the couple that's got even bigger problems.

It's hokey stuff, to be sure, but then again, it's also Christmas. I've been arguing that a lot of the great Christmas movies are pretty silly, but we watch them because they're also comforting. Star in the Night is no different, except that it's got to pack all of its schmaltz into two reels and the incredibly tight budget that the shorts were under.

Star in the Night has also made its way to DVD, as an extra on a release of Christmas in Connecticut (which I recommended last week, but will be airing againt at 12:15 PM ET on Christmas).

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