As we lead up to Christmas, TCM is gifting us with some of my favorite movies.
Tonight starts the festivities with two of the very best Christmas films and one I just don’t get the appeal of. That one, The Bishop’s Wife (8 PM, all times Eastern), I’m trying to watch yet again, in the hopes that this time, I don’t wind up feeling that Loretta Young should leave her pastor husband (David Niven) and run off with the angel (Cary Grant). I suspect it’s not going to work, though, since the casting gets in the way of the story for me. Still, it has a nice message about avoiding obsessing about money (as Niven’s character is doing, fundraising for church) in favor of family.
After that comes my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas in Connecticut (10 PM), which I’ve talked about several times before here, so I shan’t go into detail again. It’s followed by The Shop Around the Corner (Midnight), a Lubitsch film in which Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart fight at work but fall in love through letters. (Letters! Can you believe it? If you must have email, then you want the remake, You’ve Got Mail, the Blu-ray of which comes with a DVD of The Shop Around the Corner, but it’s not nearly as Christmassy.) All three movies tonight are heart-warming and romantic in various ways, just right for a cozy holiday evening. Take a break and recharge among the shopping and decorating and expectations.
If heart-warming doesn’t work for you for relieving the seasonal stress, how about outstanding comedy? Tomorrow, Saturday, the evening brings four Katharine Hepburn classics, pairing her in each case with Cary Grant. Beyond the well-known and deservedly praised Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story, there’s the underrated (and preferred by me) Holiday and the cross-dressing Sylvia Scarlett.
Sunday opens with another holiday-ish family film, the 1933 version of Little Women (6 AM), again with Hepburn as our favorite Jo. If you’d rather have more Cary Grant, then Monday’s your day, with seven films, from the gangsterish Mr. Lucky (10 AM) to the moody Hitchcock Suspicion (6 PM) to Grant’s last film, Walk Don’t Run (Noon).
Tuesday night is all about holiday movies that deal with shopping and department stores. Neat idea, but not what I’m looking for right now. Thursday night is more my speed, with a marathon of all six Thin Man movies. That’s a week early, though, since Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) are much better suited for the drinking parties of the New Year.