Festive Laziness

Natalie Wood,

Christmas sloth — I don’t usually go in for lists, but this IS the season for such things, and every now and then one feels like relaxing one’s standards. Plus, this might serve a valuable purpose, particularly if you have illicit access to movies via the internet, or a large heap of unwatched movies you’re having trouble choosing from –

NON-SICKLY SEASONAL MOVIES

BRAZIL (Terry Gilliam)

THE APARTMENT (Billy Wilder)

CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS (Joseph L Mankiewicz)

PSYCHO (Alfred Hitchcock)

THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (George More O’Ferrall)

THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK (Preston Sturges)

WE’RE NO ANGELS (Michael Curtiz)

TALES FROM THE CRYPT (Freddie Francis)

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY (Robert Siodmak)

THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST (Theodore J. Flicker)

THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE (Victor Sjostrom)

THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE (Julien Duvivier)

THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (William Keighley)

Picture 48

CHILD-FRIENDLY, BUT ADULTS MAY DIG ALSO

THE TWELFTH DAY (Wendy Toye)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Richard Williams)

THE INSECTS’ CHRISTMAS (Ladislas Starewicz)

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Ladislas Starewicz)

GREAT RUPERT (George Pal)

THE SNOWMAN (Diane Jackson, Jimmy T. Murakami)

Picture 10

GOOD SNOW SCENES

DERSU UZALA (Akira Kurosawa)

THE HEROES OF TELEMARK (Anthony Mann)

THE SAVAGE INNOCENTS (Nicholas Ray)

IN A LONELY PLACE (Nicholas Ray)

CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Orson Welles)

THE BALLAD OF NARAYAMA (Shohei Imamura)

THE FOX (Mark Rydell)

KWAIDAN (Masaki Kobayashi)

THE GREAT SILENCE (Sergio Corbucci)

DAY OF THE OUTLAW (Andre De Toth)

Picture 9

UNDER-APPRECIATED FEELGOOD CLASSICS AND WEEPIES

REMEMBER THE NIGHT (Mitchell Leisen)

L’ASSASSINAT DU PERE NOEL (Christian-Jacque)

SOMEONE TO REMEMBER (Robert Siodmak)

BEYOND TOMORROW (A. Edward Sutherland)

LYDIA (Julien Duvivier)

ONE MORE SPRING (Henry King)

This last section is of particular value, I think.

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11 Responses to “Festive Laziness”

  1. Well spotted! No Christmas is complete without marauding Chinese-American housepets!

  2. La Faustin Says:

    Lavish trees + impoverished hearts: ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (Sirk), DOUCE (Autant-Lara and scenarist Aurenche)

    Pre-Code snowglobes: 24 HOURS (Gering) and NIGHT WORLD (Henley)

  3. Gill Fraser Lee Says:

    Splendid, thank you, I shall investigate those I don’t know. I have already watched my festive favourite, The Dead, and am currently enjoying sickly but brilliant Scrooge (1951) on Channel 5 with the tv’s colour turned down.
    Apologies, my Late Films entry (Donat’s Magic Box) has struggled to 2 paragraphs and no more, displaced by urgent work. I shall return to it in January. A very late Late Film entry …

  4. “L’ASSASSINAT DU PERE NOEL (Christian-Jacque)”

    Yes! I would like to second this one.

    Christian-Jaque was partly responsible for Jacques Demy’s film career… and Demy’s Donkey Skin has a good snow scene (and makes for generally nice holiday viewing since it’s a fable with happy ending): http://deeperintomovies.net/journal/image09/donkeyskin1.jpg

  5. Good suggestions! I’ve been meaning to watch Douce…

  6. Don’t forget Leo McCarey’s GOOD SAM and Stanley Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT as well.

    And, what the heck, It’s A Wonderful Life! too.

  7. And the Christmas scene that always strikes me as the most authentic, maybe because I was a kid in the 70s: Ken Russell’s Tommy.

  8. A nod to the lovely and haunting CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE, and equally moving THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT.

  9. And because we all know what movie everyone’s going to see today —

    Victor Sings Again!

  10. Thanks! Despite my admiration for all things Hathaway, I have little urge to see this.

    I hear good things about Pathe’s silent version, the longest of them all at seven hours, I think. The Raymond Bernard version with Harry Baur apparently borrows a certain amount from it, including the spooky Snow White forest where Valjean meets little Cosette…

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