Film Flick: Christmas in Connecticut

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hello, Never Fully Dressed readers. With the holidays coming up, I'm running a special series sharing some of the holiday classics that have stood the test of time. Some might be new to you; some might be favorite films, but they're all sure to impart a sense of that holiday fun.

"It's Christmas in Connecticut...and You're Invited!"- Or so says the the tagline for this delightful,  screwball comedy Christmas in Connecticut.


Christmas, Christmas in Connecticut, Connecticut, Barbara Stanwick,
Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is one of Smart Housekeeping's biggest columnists. She writes about life on a farm, having children, and cooking for a loving husband. But the real Elizabeth Lane strikes out on all three counts! She's actually a single New Yorker who can't even boil an egg. When her boss (Sidney Greenstreet)- a stickler for the truth- invites himself to a Christmas in the Country, it looks like she's in jam! A persistent beau (Reginald Gardiner) offers her use of his farm in Connecticut- if she agrees to marry him. But it's someone else who has Elizabeth thinking of wedding bells when her boss brings along war hero Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan). Add in a crotchety housekeeper, the lovable "Uncle Felix" (S.Z. Sakall), a cow, and several "borrowed" babies and you have yourself a recipe for disaster!


Christmas, Christmas in Connecticut, Connecticut, Barbara Stanwick,
Sure- the premise is a little absurd, but that's the entire point of screwball comedies! And this one provides plenty of laughs and moments of heart-warming schlepp-iness, but it also might just make you hungry at the unabashed love of food going on! Lane certainly makes food sound delicious. There is a myth that Lane and her column "Dairy of a Housewife" were loosely based on the real- and very popular- column in the Ladies Homejournal called "Diary of Domesticity," written by Gladys Taber. Though no solid proof of this definitively exists, it is true that Taber's column was at the height of its success in 1945, and was often included in care packages to the boys overseas. Like war hero Jefferson Jones  found, soldiers said they felt comforted by the picture of domesticity found in those pages.  Released during the post-war era, it might seem at first glance that this film is glorifying the housewife. However, unlike many modern films where a woman's lack of domestic skills are the butt of the jokes, when it comes to Barbara Stanwyck and her trials at trying to be a housewife, it is the impossibly high ideals we are laughing at rather than her failure to reach them. Stanwyck's acting chops are further showcased too. You are sure to find her Elizabeth Lane an endearing heroine, even despite her duplicities.

Christmas, Christmas in Connecticut, Connecticut, Barbara Stanwick,
While romance often comes into play in holiday films, the humor of screwball comedies do not. But this film makes it work by having a light touch, slowing down the dialogue (screwball comedies often have very fast-paced banter) and adding in just a a few touches of Christmas cheer. A tree is trimmed, a sleigh is ridden, and a happy ending is guaranteed  After watching, you'll be wanting to have a Christmas in Connecticut this holiday season too!



P.S. WANT MORE HOLIDAY CLASSIC FILMS? GET INTO THE SPIRIT WITH: HOLIDAY INN | WHITE CHRISTMAS | MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET |SHOP AROUND THE CORNER MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS | IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE | IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE | HOLIDAY | A CHRISTMAS CAROL |

3 comments

  1. lovely blog.
    http://xtheperfectmess.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love old movies! This one looks fantastic for Christmas.

    x Michelle | thefeatherden.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very good review! Love the photos and sounds like a great flick!

    ReplyDelete

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