Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Christmas In Connecticut" 1945

"Christmas In Connecticut"

I hadn't seen this movie before last weekend.  I had watched "The Bishop's Wife" and right after it was "Christmas In Connecticut" and "The Shop Around The Corner".  It was getting late, so I set them to record. 

I should note here that late for me is 9:30 PM.  Give me a break, I usually get up at 4 AM in the morning.

I like Barbara Stanwyck even though she reminds me of a little of Drew Barrymore, the way she talks out of the side of her mouth.  She is great in "Stella Dallas". 

She plays Elizabeth Lane, a columnist for a housekeeping magazine who is very creative with her article.  She tells her readers all about her Connecticut farm, her loving husband, adorable baby and the wonderful seven course meals she makes every night. 

The only problem is that none of things are true.  She is actually a single girl living in New York City who doesn't know how to boil water.   She has a restaurant owner, Felix, for a friend who provides her meals and her recipes.  She also has a boyfriend who she doesn't love, an editor covering her lie and a boss who has a big idea. 

Jefferson Jones is a returning war hero who survived 18 days on a little life boat after his ship sinks.  When he is recovering in the hospital he is craving a steak.  He gave part of his rations to his shipmate who is able to handle solid food and is getting great meals.  When he asks how his buddy is getting the good stuff he finds out that it is all about romancing the nurses.

 He does too well at the romancing and ends up engaged to Mary.  When he is trying to wiggle out of the relationship he starts going on about how he's never had a home and doesn't want one. So Mary writes a letter to the magazine Elizabeth works at asking if he can visit her and have Christmas with her family in order to show him how great a home can be.

The owner, Alexander Yardley, gets the letter and decides that his perfect housewife is the perfect hostess.

He also decides that since his own family isn't coming for Christmas he will join the party.   

This puts Elizabeth into a panic and next thing she knows she is engaged herself to her boyfriend, even though she explains she doesn't love him.  He has a farm in Connecticut that will be just right to keep her job and save the day.

So she agrees to go to Connecticut with her chef friend to help with the cooking and gets ready.  Her fiance has thought of everything, a judge to marry them and even a loaner baby to play her child.

This is where the wacky hijinks begin.  First the quickie ceremony is interrupted by early arrival of guests.  When Jefferson Jones arrives it is love at first sight.

Then Elizabeth is avoiding sealing the deal with her fiance to spend time with Jones.  And who can blame her?  He is dashing and polite.  He brings her a gift and compliments her.  He also knows how to bathe a baby and change a diaper.

Next thing you know they are spending time together and forgetting that they are both engaged.

They go dancing and end up stealing a sleigh which lands them in jail overnight.  This makes Elizabeth confess to her lies so she can be with Mr. Jones.

But at that moment Mary shows up to see her fiance, but she has something to confess herself.

Jefferson Jones: [telling Liz that he isn't engaged anymore] She married my shipmate.
Elizabeth Lane: She did!
Jefferson Jones: I'm as free as a bird!
Elizabeth Lane: Oh, that's what you think.
[she kisses him]
So they live happily ever after.  There are a lot of sweet moments and Felix the chef offers great comic relief. 

My husband's favorite part about these old movies is that the credits are nearly non-existent.  There are four or five slides of the cast and minimal crew, the the closing is just "The End". 

There are no craft services or key grips, just the main people.  It is interesting.  So if it's on, catch a cute little old fashioned Christmas.

Be careful though.  When I was searching for this movie, I found a remake from the nineties with Dyan Cannon and Kris Kristorfferson.

The really weird part.  It was directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Not good.  Not good.

Go for the original. 

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