Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Overlooked Movies: Christmas in Connecticut (1945)


Not many Christmas movies start out with a Nazi U-boat attack, but CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT does. A couple of sailors, one of them the always likable Dennis Morgan, are set adrift in a lifeboat. Eventually they're rescued and sent back to the States to recuperate from the ordeal. Morgan's character happens to be a food aficionado, and he's a fan of a magazine column written by Elizabeth Lane, a Happy Homemaker type who's married, has a baby, and lives on a farm in Connecticut. Only Elizabeth Lane (played by the always great Barbara Stanwyck) is really single, can't cook a lick, and her Happy Homemaker persona is pure fiction—unknown to the magazine's publisher, played by the always imposing Sydney Greenstreet. When the publisher comes up with the idea of having war hero sailor Morgan spend Christmas with star writer Stanwyck, she has to scramble to come up with a fake husband, baby, and farm or risk losing her job. Naturally, romance and hijinks ensue.

There's nothing in this movie that's not completely predictable, but it's so stylish, so well-done, and so much fun that I had a great time watching it anyway. Greenstreet and another fine character actor, S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, are hilarious. I love listening to Greenstreet talk and laugh and watching him glower when he's mad. Yeah, it's a little odd at first watching him play somebody other than Casper Gutman, but I got over that. Stanwyck is a long-time favorite of mine, especially in her films from the Forties, like this one, and I've become a fan of Dennis Morgan in recent years.

So you've got a great cast, a smooth, funny script, top-notch production values, and some nice holiday spirit. One of my daughters recommended CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT to me, and I'm glad to have found an entertaining Christmas movie that I never saw before.

8 comments:

August West said...

True story time. This is our favorite Christmas movie. We have the DVD and it's a family tradition for us to watch it every Christmas Eve. In fact I dug out the DVD last weekend. (oh,and Barbara Stanwyck is the REAL Barbara. Streisand isn't fit to clean her nylons)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Certainly one of our top three Christmas movies. We watch it every year.

wayne d. dundee said...

This was my late wife's favorite Christmas movie and one of her all-time favorites, period. When I sat through it with her in the early years of our marriage, I was not quite so enamored. Eventually I came to appreciate it much more and ended up buying her videocassettes and later a DVD of it so she could watch it whenever she liked (though I didn't always join her - I was never quite *that* enthralled) ... If only she were still here with me, I'd sit and watch it with her endlessly, no matter how many times she wanted.

Rick Robinson said...

My favorite Christmas movie too. I'm surprised you hadn't seen it before, James.

Cap'n Bob said...

I've never heard of it and I'm pretty well exposed to movies from that era.

Neil Waring said...

We have watched it for several years - one of our favorites.






Walker Martin said...

This is a favorite with me also. I gave it 9 out of 10 the last time I watched it. It will be on TCM on Friday, December 22 at 8:00 pm. This is a chance for everyone to watch it again and get into the Christmas spirit.

Rick Robinson said...

Saw it on TCM last night. So much fun.