When you have worn out of your copy of “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1934) and the twenty-four marathon of “A Christmas Story” (1984) does not bring a close to your holiday film viewings, this is a short list of films that will help keep you in the holiday spirit for a little bit longer. And all of them star everybody’s beloved leading lady Barbara Stanwyck!
“Remember The Night” (1940) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray in this romantic comedy about “Lee Leander” (Stanwyck), a female thief who is arrested on her third offense of shoplifting. Her prosecutor “John Seagent” (McMurray) is forced to postpone the trial until after the holidays. However, his pity for her spending Christmas in jail wills him to bail her out and takes her home to his family. Romance ensues between the two characters as the magic of the seasons bring them closer together.
“Meet John Doe” (1941) is another Christmas-themed film directed by Frank Capra. This film is about “Anne Mitchell” (Barbara Stanwyck), a journalist who is laid off from her job and writes a letter venting her woes over society’s injustices and threatens suicide at the stroke of midnight on Christmas under the pseudonym of “John Doe.” A sensation is created around the letter and the newspaper is forced to rehire Anne in order to pick out the one of the hundreds of men who claim to have written the original letter. Anne chooses “John Willoughby” (Gary Cooper) to be the face of the “John Doe” philosophy which captures the whole country. But how long will the country believe in the new found philosophy? And what will happen if Anne’s plan is foiled?
“Christmas In Connecticut” (1945). “Elizabeth Lane” (Stanwyck) is one of the country’s most sought after female food columnist. Throughout her recipes and giving advice to housewives, she boasts herself on being brought up as a hardworking farm woman. In reality, Miss. Lane has never been close to living near a farm and on top it, cannot even boil water or cook an egg! She runs into trouble when her newspaper boss wants Miss. Lane to hose and serve two war heroes and their nurse on Christmas. With the help of her friends, will she be able to fool everyone into believing her made-up persona?