Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Ten Christmas Movies That Don’t Feature the Grinch, Tiny Tim, Bing Crosby, Lassoing the Moon, or a Dog Eating the Turkey

posted by Nell Minow

It is wonderful to share holiday classics like “A Christmas Carol,” “White Christmas,” “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” “A Christmas Story,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and family favorites should be a family tradition.  But make some time for some new ones, too.  I recommend these lesser-known gems.

Christmas in Connecticut  Holiday chaos ensues when a Martha Stewart-style columnist has to host a WWII soldier for Christmas.  It turns out that the columnist (Barbara Stanwyck), who writes about her farmhouse in Connecticut, her husband and baby, and the wonderful meals she prepares, is a single woman living in Manhattan and has no kitchen skills of any kind.  And when the handsome GI arrives just as she is about to marry the real owner of the farm, things get delightfully complicated.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

Love Affair It’s the first version of “An Affair to Remember,” the Christmas classic all the women cry over in “Sleepless in Seattle,” starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer.  It doesn’t have Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, but it is witty, sophisticated, romantic, and endearing.  

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

Come To The Stable  Loretta Young and Celeste Holm play nuns who are trying to get the money to build a hospital for children.  This is a very sweet, understated film and the two actresses are positively radiant in their habits.

Advertisement

Remember the Night Stanwyck again — this time as a shoplifter about to be sentenced just before Christmas.  Her “Double Indemnity” co-star, Fred MacMurray, plays the prosecutor who wants to delay the sentencing so that the judge won’t be lenient due to Christmas spirit.  So, he ends up taking the defendant home with him for the holidays and everyone learns something important.

Advertisement

Period Of Adjustment Tennessee Williams’ only comedy is this story of two young couples, newlyweds Tim Hutton and Jane Fonda and newly separated Anthony Franciosa and Louise Nettleton. A lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings — and interfering in-laws, tipsy carolers, a hearse, and a trip to the police station — lead up to the happiest of happy endings on Christmas Eve.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

This Christmas A welcome addition to the Christmas movie tradition is this warm, funny story of a mother (Loretta Devine) and her six children, with an all-star cast that includes Delroy Lindo, Regina King, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, and Chris Brown. Be sure to watch the wonderful dance number over the closing credits.

Advertisement

Desk Set Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn star in this sparkling romantic comedy about a woman who heads up the research department at a television network and the man who is in charge of installing a computer that could replace her. Today’s audiences will smile at the old-fashioned punch-card computer that fills the room. But the issues it raises are still timely.

Advertisement

Die Hard A cop visiting his estranged wife at her office on Christmas eve finds himself defending the building against a supervillain. Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman became stars and the movie led to a whole series of “Die Hard in a ship/train/school” movies as well as four sequels.

The Gathering Ed Asner plays an industrialist who asks his long-estranged wife (Maureen Stapleton) to gather his long-estranged adult children for Christmas. Yes, it’s another accusation/revelation holiday drama but it is one of the best.

Advertisement

Bells of St. Mary’s We can all agree that the twist revelation at the end makes no sense at all, but the chemistry between Bing Crosby (never more comfortable on screen than when he was playing a priest) and Ingrid Bergman (as a nun) and the wonderfully natural nativity play put on by the children make this a holiday treat.

YouTube Preview Image
Previous Posts

Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?
The end of August is traditionally one of the year's low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse "Straight Outta Compton" lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, the Owen ...

posted 5:00:55pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Alex Sheremet on Woody Allen (Part 1)
Alex Sheremet is the author of Woody Allen: Reel to Real, an in-depth exploration of the work of one of the most prolific and singular ...

posted 3:33:45pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Opening this Week: A Walk in the Woods and Learning to Drive
This week, two movies are based on first-person accounts by writers telling their own real-life stories. In The New Yorker, Katha ...

posted 3:15:50pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Wes Craven
We mourn the loss of director Wes Craven, who knew what scared us and knew how much we loved being scared.  His series films included "Scream," "Nightmare on Elm Street," and "The Hills Have Eyes." My friend Simon Abrams interviewed Craven for ...

posted 10:53:30am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Rachel Hendrix of "77 Chances"
Rachel Hendrix plays Mac in the faith-based romantic film "77 Chances." It's a "Groundhog Day"-style story about a young man who feels lost ...

posted 3:39:15pm Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.