Late Night: Merry Schmaltzmas
Aunt Toby declares tonight to be ‘Cheese Night’!! Take yer pick: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Brick, Bleu. Completely and totally cheesy movies. Nostalgia so thick, you can spread it on bread and grill it.
I give you: Holiday Movies!!! (Cue sfx of wild applause).
When I grew up in the (whispering) early 50s, our tv came from a much larger city about 30 miles away. The reception (until ChannelMaster invented the ‘on the top of the tube’ antennae) was abysmal, and there were a lot of old movies on Saturdays and Sundays. And Christmas.
A LOT of old movies on Christmas.
And given what was available, in our house, we watched a lot of them. In general, we were not exactly ‘encouraged’ to watch Christmas fare (though I don’t know what my parents could have done, given the total lack of sensitivity to anything other than Christmas at the time – pre Adam Sandler and all that), but the one movie we’d all cuddle up with the set for was “White Christmas” because Danny Kaye was ‘one of OUR people’ and the music had all been written by “one of OUR people” (the irony was not lost on me at that age, I can assure you). However, we developed a positive “Fourfecta” of holiday movies that given my druthers (and a bowl of popcorn), I’d cuddle up on the sofa (couch or ‘davenport’ depending on where you hail from) to watch on the holidays:
The aforementioned “White Christmas”.
“Holiday Inn” (which is just “White Christmas about 15 years earlier, with Fred Astaire – but the same set. Trust me – take a look – same exact set).
“The Bishop’s Wife” (which got thrown in there as a sop to my mom who was a David Niven and Cary Grant fan). The most famous part of this movie (besides the disembodied typewriter typing away) is the wonderful skating scene where the skating stunt doubles are fantastic but so much shorter than the stars that it’s almost comical.
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” (watch out for penguins and Bette Davis’ rearend – both imposing).
You notice that the newest one of these was made in 1954 and was in color (or Vistavision, I think); the rest are black and white and out of the 40s. I have studiously avoided holiday movies post this period – I know there are a lot of folks who are fans of “A Christmas Story”. I’ll stick to my black and whites.
What’s your fav Holiday film? Any guilty pleasures?