Samstag, 24. Dezember 2011

Irene's list of (more or less) Christmas films..

After Monty posted his list of Christmas films we talked about me doing such a list too - and since then I have this short list of films on my desk waiting to be published.. Frankly: My films may for some of you be no regular Christmas films - which is why I am a bit shy to post it - but after all: How unfair to let Monty do all the posting.. As I said: a few of these film may for some of you be no Christmas films - for me they are. It is quite a personal list - and I guess we all have some films which mean different things for us than they mean for others.. To make things worse: Some of those aren't actually Hollywood films! Not even American either!!! Scandalous!!!! I hope you won't be too shocked.. This blog is still a mainly Classic Hollywood blog.. So please, keep calm, breathe and have a look on my list:

(To mimick Monty I will build this list up to my favourite of those as the last named here - though I might decide another ranking next year - or next week - or in the next 15 minutes.. - But right now at this moment it's:)

LOVE ACTUALLY (2003) - a wonderful cast in a wonderful episode movie - set around Christmas time in London - well, Monty said some words about it before.. 

~ Bill Nighy - Christmas is all around him.. ~

WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954) - a classic most of you will know.. I love it especially for Danny Kaye - and the great costumes.. The whole film is quite beautiful (besides one little thing which really irks me - though it is covered most of the time: Beautiful Vera-Ellen's hands show quite openly that she was famishing herself..)

~ classic Christmas image - of a classic Christmas picture.. ~

THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992): The classic Dickens' Christmas Carol brought to the screen with the incomparable Muppets - and Michael Caine as Scrooge!! Always great to see one of my idols in a period drama: Miss Piggy in a part like that where she can show her beauty - and proof her talent as an actress in a "mother-part".. 

~ A few members of the Cratchit family ~

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940): I posted about it before as you may recall - it is just a wonderful film with a wonderful cast and a wonderful story..

~ James Stewart & Margaret Sullavan - knowing the other side of Christmas shopping.. ~

WE'RE NO ANGELS (1955): Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov as escapees from Devil's Island prison help to make the Christmas of Joan Bennett, Leo G. Carroll and Gloria Talbott really unforgetable - not to mention Basil Rathbone - who will never live through another Christmas like that - or at all..

~ Are they really no angels? ~

DESK SET (1957): When the research department of Katharine Hepburn, Dina Merrill, Sue Randall and Joan Blondell is about to be computerized by Spencer Tracy - even the christmas time (and the obligatory Christmas parties) are filled with sassy dialogues.. One of my all-time favourite films..  The cast is marvellous - so are the dialogues - and the story is quite modern - or should we say timeless?

~ Time to unpack the Christmas presents.. ~

BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (1958) : In the same year they made VERTIGO together Kim Novak and James Stewart also appeared in this film - and I am very, very sure that James Stewart's secretary in this film dresses a lot like the Kim Novak character from VERTIGO.. On Christmas Eve modern sorceress (Kim Novak) meets her neighbour (James Stewart) and makes him fall for her.. This film will always be in my Top Ten of favourite films.. I love the female cast - and there is the unforgettable and beautiful Siamese cat Pyewacket.. 

~ sheer beauty.. ~

FLYING CLASSROOM (1954) - Orig: DAS FLIEGENDE KLASSENZIMMER: A German film based on on of my favourite children's book by one of my favourite authors: Erich Kästner. Rivalling boyschools and a giant snowball fight, a boy who wants to prove to the other boys that he is no coward and breaks his leg at this occasion, an old friendship revived after decades, a christmas play about a flying classroom - and another boy, whose family is too poor to buy him a ticket back home for christmas.. I grew up with this film - and in the moment when the poor boy's parents are in their meagre living room with a scrubby little Christmas tree looking outside at the other families houses and more lavish christmas celebrations and then their son arrives surprisingly - and jubilating: "And I have the money for the return-ticket, too!!" - your poor Irene is bursting into tears.. 

~ the stars of the Flying Classroom.. At the door one of my favourite German actors Peter Vogel. Peter Kraus, the boy looking at his cap in his hand would be a few years later a German version of a goody two-shoes Elvis Presley.. ~

 THREE NUTS FOR CINDERELLA / THREE WISHES FOR CINDERELLA (1973) (Orig: TRI ORÍSKY PRO POPELKU) - the film which most Europeans will associate with Christmas. It is aired every Christmas time in so many states around here. It's the classic Cinderella story - just that here Cinderella (Libuše Šafránková) is a bit more tomboyish.. The three nuts she receives as a gift contain three costumes - and in each of them she meets the prince (Pavel Trávnícek): disguised as a hunter impressing the prince with her talents, in a ball gown at the ball as mysterious guest (this is the one where she will loose her shoe..) and at last in a wedding dress.. A lot of winter scenery - and a marvellous soundtrack by peerless Karel Svoboda..

~ Libuše Šafránková - who gave me the image of ideal beauty.. ~

I hope you're enjoying the show!

Have a merry christmas!!




  1. Never at a loss for words, I want to make a comment about several of your films, but first, thanks for sharing YOUR list with us.

    Your German film, The Flying Classroom, sounds totally delightful, and I know that I, too, would be weeping, because it sounds very touching. I would love to see that film, so I will have to do some looking around to see about tracking it down.

    We're No Angels....hilarious film. Who knew Bogey had comedy in him!! Those 3 guys (Bogey, Ray, Ustinov) worked fabulously together. The way they played off one another was a scream.

    I have never seen The Muppet Christmas Carol, as the Muppets aren't really my thing. However, I have quite a few friends/acquaintances who claim that to be their absolute favorite version of the Dickens classic. One of these years, I just may have to put my non-interest in the Muppets aside and watch that.

    Danny Kaye is a scream in White Christmas. When he and Bing are doing "Sisters, Sisters," he is having way too much fun! LOVE him in that!!

    I haven't seen "Shop Around the Corner" in a couple years. It is definitely time for a re-watch.

    Okay, I've rambled enough. I'll go now, but not without first wishing you a lovely Christmas.

    Oodles of joy to you,

  2. Impressive list Irene. So glad you shared it with us. And thank you for mentioning me and my list as well.

    I agree with Patti in that The Flying Classroom sounds delightful. Glad to see Love Actually on your list as well.

    Been awhile since I've seen The Muppet Christmas Carol, but it's a great movie to be sure.

    I forgot about Desk Set until reading your post. And We're no Angels as well.

    One thing about reading your posts is that I always learn something new. That fact about Vera-Ellen, I had no idea she was going through that at the time.

    Great list Irene. Glad that you posted it.

  3. Patti - thank you for your comment! If you watch FLYING CLASSROOM - please: make sure to watch the 1954 version! There are two other versions around - but this is definitevely the best and most touching. (besides that it contains some of my favourite German actors as well..)
    WE'RE NO ANGELS is indeed a wonderful film - and I am glad that you like it, too - as you like Danny Kaye in WHITE CHRISTMAS..

    Thank you again and: I hope you'll have a merry Christmas! As I just said: If you do - Please, watch the 1954 version of FLYING CLASSROOM!

    Monty - Sure.. LOVE, ACTUALLY had to be there..

    I am actually very sorry for Vera-Ellen that she suffered from Anorexia Nervosa for such a long time - I was unsure to write about it, because I didn't want to spoil the magic for anyone.. But I couldn't write about this film without mentioning it..

    Thank you for your kind words!