TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Holiday [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

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Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Star in the Night
The Christmas Party
The Shop Around the Corner
The Shop Around the Corner is adapted from the Hungarian play by Nikolaus (Miklos) Laszlo. Budapest gift-shop clerk Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and newly hired shopgirl Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) hate each other almost at first sight. Kralik would prefer the company of the woman with whom he is corresponding by mail but has never met. Novak likewise carries a torch for her male pen pal, whom she also has never laid eyes on. It doesn't take a PhD degree to figure out that Kralik and Novak have been writing letters to each other. The film's many subplots are carried by Frank Morgan as the kindhearted shopkeeper and by Joseph Schildkraut as a backstabbing employee whose comeuppance is sure to result in spontaneous applause from the audience. Directed with comic delicacy by Ernst Lubitsch, this was later remade in 1949 as In the Good Old Summertime, and in 1998 as You've Got Mail. It was also musicalized as the 1963 Broadway production She Loves Me. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Christmas Carol
For a generation of radio fans, Lionel Barrymore was the definitive Ebeneezer Scrooge. Alas, Barrymore was crippled by arthritis by the time MGM got around to filming Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in 1938, so the Scrooge role went to contract player Reginald Owen - who, though hardly in the Barrymore league, does a splendid job. Hugo Butler's screenplay must make some adjustments from the source material. The Ghost of Christmas Past, for example, is played not by a robust middle-aged man but by a beautiful young woman (Ann Rutherford). Impeccably cast, the film includes such reliable character players as Leo G. Carroll (Marley's Ghost), Barry McKay (Scrooge's nephew Fred) and Gene and Kathleen Lockhart (Bob and Mrs. Cratchit). The Lockhart's teenaged daughter June makes her screen debut as one of the Cratchit children, while Terry Kilburn is a fine, non-sentimental Tiny Tim. Commendably short for a major production (69 minutes), MGM's Christmas Carol is one of the best adaptations of the oft-filmed Dickens Yuletide classic, and definitely on equal footing with the more famous 1951 Alastair Sim version. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Christmas in Connecticut
War hero Dennis Morgan becomes the object of a publicity stunt staged by magazine publisher Sidney Greenstreet. The corpulent print mogul announces that Morgan has won a Christmas dinner, to be prepared by the magazine's housekeeping expert Barbara Stanwyck in her own Connecticut home. The catch: Not only does Stanwyck not have a home in Connecticut, but she's never been in a kitchen in her life! She also doesn't have a husband (as her articles claim), so Stanwyck's erstwhile beau Reginald Gardiner is pressed into service as the hubby. As for the cooking, that will be handled by master chef S. Z. "Cuddles" Sakall. This solves everything, right? No way, Jose. Long dismissed as a lesser film farce, Christmas in Connecticut has its own irresistible charm, and has in recent years become a perennial Christmas TV attraction. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

It Happened on Fifth Avenue

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