December 13, 2014
Christmas in Black and White
The Christmas season is again, upon us, and, happily, the yuletide season gives me everyone a legitimate excuse to watch all of those beloved holiday movies to excess. :o) Being an old movie buff myself, I actually become giddy as I gaze upon my Christmas movie-watching list, filled with holiday films galore. Many of my favorites, from an era gone by, were filmed in glorious black and white, and watching them has become an annual event for my family. Over the years, several of those black and white Christmas classics have become available in the, continually improving, colorized format. Although, some film classic purists may turn up their noses at altering the original film, I find that the colorization process brings a fun new dimension to old favorites. (Often, original notes, photos, and sketches are used to determine just how the film should be colorized.) In either case, whether watching in the original black and white, or colorized version, may your Christmas be filled with all those wonderful cinematic classics. I share some of my favorites below, in hopes that you might discover a new Christmas classic from the list.
Christmas in the Movies
Holiday Inn (1942)
Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire star in this film about an inn that is only open for holidays. Of course, Christmas takes center stage in this Christmas staple.
The name of the hotel chain, Holiday Inn, was inspired by this movie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holiday_Inn_(film)
Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds sing the song
White Christmas in the film Holiday Inn.
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
A funny Christmas film starring Monty Woolley and Bette Davis, along with some real penguins! Woolley’s character turns an Ohio family’s home upside down, when he slips on their front steps and becomes a houseguest during his recovery.
Jimmy Durante holds nurse, Mary Wickes, while Monty Woolley looks on in The Man Who Came to Dinner.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Barbara Stanwyck is the Martha Stewart of the 1940’s, in this film. This housekeeping magazine maven, however, is actually a fraud, possessing no culinary, or homemaking skills whatsoever. When Stanwyck’s editor insists that she invite a WWII hero to her home for Christmas, comedy ensues.
Barbara Stanwyck decorates the tree, while Dennis Morgan sings in Christmas in Connecticut.
I recently enjoyed watching Christmas in Connecticut on the big screen, (the two photos below were taken from that viewing) thanks to the Turner Classic Movie’s presentation last weekend throughout theater’s in the U.S.
TCM is showing White Christmas this weekend, and YES, I will be attending! :o)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
It is tradition; my family watches this holiday gem every Christmas Eve, sometimes in black and white, and other times in color/colorization. We love this story of George and his guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George what the world would have been like if he had never been born.
I remember the very first time that I saw this film. It was the early 1970’s, and I was baby-sitting. The children were asleep, and I caught this wonderful movie on the late show. I was hooked. I have been an ardent fan ever since!
Donna Reed and James Stewart star as Mary and George Bailey, with Karolyn Grimes as Zuzu in
It’s a Wonderful Life.
My Cat’s Meow Village of It’s a Wonderful Life always comes out this time of year, to be proudly displayed in my entryway. In sort of a reverse of the film colorization process, the Cat’s Meow Company came out with a black and white version of this set, complete with glitter/snow, after I had bought my colorized set. Each Christmas I consider purchasing the black and white set …
My It’s a Wonderful Life display, complete with a sign made by my friend, Michele S., and a for real Zuzu ornament.
Want your own? Click on the link below.
The beautiful black and white, glittered, Cat’s Meow
It’s a Wonderful Life set, that I covet.
Never Say Goodbye (1946)
I love this lesser-known holiday jewel. This Christmas comedy stars Errol Flynn as a reluctantly divorced father, who is devoted to his young, precocious, daughter, and strives to win back his ex-wife.
Listen for an uncredited voice-over of Errol Flynn acting tough in a trench coat. Yes, that IS Humphrey Bogart’s voice you hear. :o)
Is Santa, Errol Flynn, seeing double in Never Say Goodbye?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Say_Goodbye_(1946_film)
The Bishops Wife (1947)
Cary Grant is my kind of angel! Grant stars, in this delightful film, as Dudley the angel, who is sent to earth to assist a bishop and his wife in their life, at Christmas time.
Cary Grant and Loretta Young admire the family Christmas tree in The Bishop’s Wife.
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
Another lesser-known Christmas film, It Happened on 5th Avenue is such a joy to watch. A resourceful “bum” takes up residence in an empty mansion. Others eventually move in to join him, including the owner of the mansion, who is living incognito.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
A great cast makes this film a holiday delight. Maureen O’ Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwynn, and a young Natalie Wood star in this movie about a man who insists that he is the actual Kris Kringle.
Come to the Stable (1949)
This is another Christmas movie that falls into the lesser-known category. I love this story of two naïve, yet endearingly faithful, nuns. Loretta Young and Celeste Holm, star as nuns from France who settle in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to build a children’s hospital.
Loretta Young and Celeste Holm visit with Dooley Wilson in
Come to the Stable.
Holiday Affair (1949)
This sweet Christmas story stars Robert Mitchum as a store clerk who meets war widow, Janet Leigh, and befriends her young son, played by Gordon Gebert.
Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum star in Holiday Affair
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
Bob Hope stars in this often forgotten Christmas comedy. Hope has unwittingly taken money from a mobster. In his attempt to replace the money, Hope enlists his friends to raise money for a (fake) home for old ladies. In addition to the fun, and one-liners, listen for the tune Silver Bells.
Bob Hope stars with a whole lot of other Santas in The Lemon Drop Kid.
Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954)
The sixth in the Ma and Pa movie series, the plot revolves around a Kettle son’s quest for scholarship money to go to college. Two judges come to visit the Kettles, to decide if the young Kettle is deserving of the money.
Pa Kettle, Percy Kilbride, dresses as Santa for his brood in
Ma and Pa Kettle at Home.
Many of the movies featured above will be shown on Turner Classic Movies this month. For a complete TCM schedule, click on the link just below.
The Sounds of Christmas
When not watching the movies of the Christmas season, I enjoy the sounds of the holiday. I share with you what I am listening to this season, below, in the hopes that you may stumble upon an old favorite that you had forgotten, or a new song to add to your Christmas repertoire.
Click on this playlist to enlarge.
My Christmas gifts to you
I give you two recipes this Christmas. The first is for my Christmas Eve Stew. I put this into the crock-pot on Christmas Eve morning and forget about it. It is all ready for that evening after attending church in the late afternoon, and/or driving around to look at Christmas lights. And it is always a hit!
The second recipe is for a deliciously chocolate cookie that is good anytime, and takes just basic ingredients.
Also, I have included a chalkboard printable for you to use from the movie It Happened on 5th Avenue.
Christmas Eve Stew
11/2 lbs. lean stew meat, in bite-sized chunks
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 small can (undrained) corn and one whole peeled onion,(I do this.)
or 1 envelope of Lipton’s onion soup
3-4 large carrots, sliced, or small bag of mini carrots, sliced, or not
(I have used canned, in a pinch.)
3-4 large potatoes, scrubbed, and chunked
frozen, or fresh, prepared green beans,
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all the above ingredients in a PAM sprayed crock-pot.
Cook on high for approx. 6-7 hours.
(Or place in PAM sprayed casserole and place in 250 degree oven for 5-6 hours.
Note: Serve with rice, or oyster crackers, and French bread.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups (2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1.Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine.
Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low speed.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment, or Silpat baking mats, if desired.
Using spoon, or cookie scoop, put batter onto cookie sheet.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake until set, about 8 minutes.
Cool on baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in seal tight container.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
Print this movie quote (in the color of your choice) from It Happened on 5th Avenue,
and frame it.
More from last year’s Christmas Post
Take time to look at my previous Christmas post, which includes additional Christmas movies, free printables, and a delicious and easy chocolate recipe. Click on the link below.
Thanks for reading! :o)
Thank you to my daughter, Martese, and son, Trevor, in their help with some technical aspects of this post. (My photo, and the printable.)
Also, thanks to Cathe Holden for her free clip art. http://justsomethingimade.com/2010/03/jsim-tv-free-vintage-clip-art/,
and Cat’s Meow for the use of their photo.
Most importantly, a big thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!!!
I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, look for my next post around January 15.
PLEASE JOIN MY BLOG FOLLOWING!
I hope to boost my follower numbers this year, so
Please, pretty please, become an “I’m Annette” blog follower. By doing so, you will receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, yes FREE, immediately upon posting, sign up on the right-hand side of this page today. :o)