24 Days of Christmas Movies: What Did You Watch Today?

A recent-ish tradition in our house is the Christmas special for each season of Call the Midwife. I love this show! Hyper-sincere, warm-hearted, and fundamentally kind in a way that pretty much nothing else is on TV anymore...and that's with it being about nun midwives, and neither my wife or I are religious, and we chose not to have kids...but kindness is nice, and very much of the season, no?

Just finished watching it at PBS.com. I'm not a member or anything. I think you can just watch? It's also a BBC show, and will be coming to Netflix this summer. In any case, watch it if you can! This one's for Season 13, and the best of the lot so far! Looking forward to the rest of the season, too!
On Christmas day we watched It's a Wonderful Life, the Jimmy Stewart classic. That makes 25 days of Christmas movies...I might as well keep going straight up to Three Kings Day. Tonight, I'll watch Edward Scissorhands.
We watched several of the early seasons of CTM and thoroughly enjoyed it. I miss Chummy!

Agreed! They floundered for a little bit soon after she left, then seriously righted the ship. The last few seasons have been ace, and this year's Christmas episode really was the best yet!

Right after that, we watched The Long Kiss Goodnight again. Superlative....but my gosh, nobody would make a movie with this kind of language anymore (my own language in person is vile, I assure you LOL -- just not hateful), and some of the "humor" is so unpleasant! We wound up skipping a few scenes that we knew were especially distasteful...but what's good is SO good. Really stellar -- some classic old school pyro and miniatures, and my wife came across an interview just today with Sam Jackson talking about his idea for a sequel centered on the character of Geena Davis's daughter in the movie. I'd be in!

In the version of the script that they first shot, Sam's character dies. The crowd at the first test screening was totally into the movie, hooting and hollering...until Sam dies, and the place goes dead quiet, until one guy in the audience YELLS, "YOU CAN'T KILL SAM JACKSON!!!" So they write a line into the movie in which a much-bloodied Sam declares, "YOU CAN'T KILL ME, M-----------S!!!" (If you know Mr. Jackson's filmed oeuvre, you know that word as well as you know your own mother's name. :ROFLMAO: )

That's pretty close to an ideal Christmas double feature in these parts. 🙂
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the guy from My Three Sons.

A bold choice! People don't often talk about it as a Christmas movie, but it definitely is. One of the great Billy Wilder lines of all time, too: “Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe. I mean, shipwrecked among eight million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand and there you are.”

It happens that Fred Mac Murray also stars in one of my very favorite overlooked Christmas classics...which was of course NOT the topic here, but still a genuine gem: 1940's Remember The Night, with Barbara Stanwyck.

Now, the following year, they'd burn down the screen, and darn near the whole wide world with that noirest of noirs, Double Indemnity, but here, they're in a sweet, sincere, intelligent comedy written and directed by Preston Sturges, a guy who specialized in such things (and was in fact the first guy with "written and directed by" in a Hollywood screen credit!).

She's a repeat-offender shoplifter who gets arrested for the third time right before Christmas. He's the Assistant DA who decides to postpone her trial until after Christmas -- he doesn't want jurors feeling generous and maybe let her off the hook in the Christmas spirit. I guess he thinks that maybe they'll be cranky after spending time with their families? 🤣

Oh but wait, she really DOESN'T have anyone to go home to, SO HE BRINGS HER HOME TO HIS FAMILY AND... Don't make me say it. 🤣 Okay, it's not a spoiler, it's the entire reason why anybody went to see it. 🤣 But yes, he has no idea how to work out his duty vs. his dawning love for this adorable criminal. The winner? Christmas!


Fred had become the highest-paid actor in Hollywood (and the fourth highest-paid man in America!!!) by playing the sincere, befuddled foil to America's greatest screwball comediennes (including 4 pictures with Carole Lombard, with whom he remained close friends, and Katherine Hepburn, whom he gave a career-reviving hit after she'd had a long string of flops).

Forgotten now but a huge hit at the time, the sparkling comic and romantic chemistry between Fred and Barbara in Remember The Night is part of why Double Indemnity landed so hard. He'd played a heel or two early, and so had she, but nobody saw THIS coming.

It was a little less shocking to see him play such a sleaze in The Apartment, but only a little. He'd already made an impact in live action Disney comedies in the years immediately before this (the two Flubber movies ABSOLUTELY hold up for what they are, and are highly recommended; The Shaggy Dog less so, but still better than average)....but when strange women were beating him with their purses in the street and scolding him for taking such a nasty part, he decided he'd had enough, and stuck with nice, befuddled guys from then on. (My Three Sons might have been the very next year, iirc.)

Nothing wrong with that! Nobody did it better! He really was a gem.

And Remember The Night is too! You can find it streaming on Criterion and TCM with subscriptions, on Sling and Plex for free, and hybrid-style on YT Premium, Roku and others. Really worth tracking down!
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Tonight I will watch Bad Santa. Billy-Bob Thornton's classic performance of a misunderstood shopping mall Santa whose heart grows three times by the end of the film. Don't get me started on Bernie Mac's overlooked Oscar calibur performance...

@TimWilson , I will watch plenty of the films you mentioned. Thanks for the suggestions. I love good movies but know too few who appreciate good ones. The Apartment was a suggestion from Google, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Jack Lemon is a special kind of actor...as is Shirley McClain and Fred MacMurray.
Last night watched Remember the NIght. My computer was so slow that it didn't make it through the film before I got frustrated and picked up the uke. I will try again, but not now. Today I am watching Mixed Nuts. Some hilarious moments, almost every performance was over the top, which was disturbing. Would have been better without the horribly overdone stereotypical New York accents too, but whatcha you gonna do? All-in-all a very funny Christmas comedy about unstable people working at a Suicide Hotline. You don't see too many suicide comedies, especially Christmas ones. Adam Sandler, Madeline Kahn and Liev Schreiber were fantastic, as was Steve Martin. Adam also plays uke in this film.
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