Top 40 Christmas Movies (Part 2 of 4)

Well, with everybody else getting in on it this time of year, I guess that’s my cue to put out a list of some of what I consider the “best” Christmas movies.  I will be doing this over several posts, with about 10 movies per post.  I am NOT ranking them, just putting them together in whatever order, whether it be the various musicals listed together, or war films, or whatever, just as long as the list is 10 movies long.  I know the blog has been covering films from the silent era up through the sixties, but, for a list of Christmas movies, there are some that are more recent that I, personally, just HAVE to include (somebody has to)!  And if you click on the movie titles, you will be taken to that movie on Amazon.  So, here we are with part two:

  • Balalaika (1939)
    • In this movie starring Nelson Eddy and Ilona Massey, he plays a Russian prince who poses as a student to spend time with a singer at the Balalaika (whose family is helping to plot the revolution).  There is a brief section that takes place at Christmastime (I’m not sure whether it is the famous Christmas truce of the first World War, but we do hear the Germans singing to celebrate the Russian Christmas, and hear Nelson Eddy singing “Silent Night” in German).
  • Battleground (1949)
    • Moving ahead in time to the WWII, this movie tells the story of the Battle of Bastogne (part of the Battle of the Bulge), written by a screenwriter who was actually there for that battle.  The movie takes place around Christmas 1944, with some hints of Christmas at the very beginning of the movie, and a short Christmas service near the end of the movie.
  • Stalag 17 (1953)
    • In Stalag 17, we find ourselves in a German POW camp, where some of the prisoners try (and fail) to escape the Germans.  This movie takes place around Christmas of ’44 as well (and makes some references to the Battle of Bastogne, so it almost feels like a good companion movie to Battleground), and we do see the prisoners get a Christmas party.
  • Since You Went Away (1944)
    • With Since You Went Away, we come to the homefront in WWII, to see the struggles of a mother (Claudette Colbert) and her two daughters (Jennifer Jones, Shirley Temple) while her husband goes off to war.  The end of the movie takes place around Christmastime, with a wonderful Christmas miracle to end the movie.
  • I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
    • Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotton star in this movie about a prison inmate (Rogers) given a few weeks of freedom wither her aunt and uncle before she has to return to the prison, and the soldier she meets and falls in love with on the way there.  We spend both Christmas and New Year’s Eve with this family, as we see the relationship develop.
  • Bachelor Mother (1939)
    • Ginger Rogers and David Niven star in this movie about a seasonal worker (Rogers) laid off as the holidays come to a close, who finds a baby left at an orphanage and is mistaken for the mother.  Again, the movie covers both Christmas and New Year’s as she comes to love the child as her own while falling in love with the son of the store’s owner.
  • The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
    • In this movie starring Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell, he plays a con man who gets himself into trouble when he accidentally gets a mobster’s girlfriend to place a bet on the wrong horse, and he is forced to pay off before Christmas.  The song “Silver Bells” was written for this movie, and is a scene well worth watching the movie for!
  • Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
    • In this Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney) film, Andy’s girlfriend Polly is leaving for the Christmas holidays, and Andy finds himself with girl trouble as he tries to find a date to a dance!
  • It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
    • In this Christmas classic, James Stewart stars as George Bailey, as he learns just how much his life has meant to those around him, thanks to some help from an angel named Clarence.
  • Pocketful Of Miracles (1961)
    • In this final movie from director Frank Capra (It’s A Wonderful Life), Dave the Dude (Glenn Ford) tries to help Apple Annie (Bette Davis) try to pose as the society lady she had been claiming to be all along!  While it doesn’t really have much connection to Christmas itself, the movie does make use of various Christmas music, including the Nutcracker suite, in the background, along with some Christmas trees.

Part 1

Part 3

Part 4

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