Friday, December 14, 2018

Classic Christmas Movie List

I have loved classic movies since I was in the second grade. I used to go to the local library and borrow all the movies from the 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's I could get my hands on. Names like Doris Day, Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire, and Betty Grable were often on my 8-year-old lips. To this day, I still prefer an old movie to a new one. And when people say: "I love Christmas movies!" my mind always goes to the great classics, instead of the newer ones on Hallmark or Netflix.

Here is a list of my favorite classic Christmas movies, in no particular order, with the release date, stars, and synopsis of each. I hope you take the time to watch a couple of these this holiday season.

Remember the Night (1940)
Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray
A shoplifter and her prosecuter fall in love, creating tensions in their family lives.
It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)
Starring Don DeFore, Ann Harding, and Charles Ruggles
A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.

Holiday Inn (1942)
Starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire
At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.

The Bishop's Life (1947)
Starring Cary Grant and Loretta Young
An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan
A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Starring Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn
When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

White Christmas (1954)
Starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye
A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Starring Donna Reed and James Stewart
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

All Mine to Give (1957)
Starring Glynis Johns
An immigrant family in 1850's Wisconsin prospers until tragedy strikes and the oldest brother is forced to find homes for his siblings on Christmas Day.

Have you seen any of these on the list? Do you have any to add? What are your favorite Christmas movies?

If you're looking for a beautiful Christmas book, my recent release, A Christmas Promise, is available in the Victorian Christmas Brides Collection with eight other delightful stories.

Experience a Dickens of a Christmas

Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?

A Christmas Promise by Gabrielle Meyer
London, England, Christmas 1899

Lady Ashleigh Pendleton is hosting a houseful of guests for Christmas when railroad executive Christopher Campbell unexpectedly arrives from America with a mysterious agreement signed by their fathers before their birth.

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events. 

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  1. Great list! I've heard of all but the first two and can't wait to check them out. I also prefer the classics to the more recent movies (including Rudolph and Santa Clause is coming to town), but my favorite is probably Holiday Inn, with The Shop Around the Corner a Close Second. We own and watch It's a Wonderful Life several times a year. Merry Christmas!

    1. I'm so happy to hear that you already enjoy many of these movies and that I was able to share a couple you hadn't heard about. Thanks for stopping by! Merry Christmas.

  2. I've watched them all. So fun. You have an old soul like my daughter. I watched them on TV after school when a local channel played old movies. My daughter still seeks them out at the library. There are two different versions of Shop Around the Corner. There is one older then the one you mentioned with Jimmy Stewart. It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite.

    1. I have always had an old soul. :) That's one of the reasons I love writing historical novels. I love knowing that your daughter has an old soul, too. The library is such a gift. The Shop Around the Corner does star Jimmy Stewart (like I shared), but there were also two remakes. One was In the Good Old Summertime (a musical version) starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and You've Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It's such a classic story.

  3. I have seen It's a Wonderful Life. Not sure about Miracle on 34th St. Some of these I've never heard of!! I'll have to see if I can find them on Netflix or Prime. Thanks for bringing these up.

    1. I'm happy to share some new movies with you! I hope you enjoy them. Merry Christmas.

  4. I have seen several on the list. I love the Hallmark Christmas movies. My favorite is The Christmas Card.

    1. I also like the Christmas Card! There are some really great Hallmark/Netflix Christmas movies. I really like The Spirit of Christmas, which incorporates some slip time elements into the story set at a bed and breakfast. Christmas movies are such a fun way to celebrate the holidays.

  5. I love all these movies! One of my favorites is "It Happened on Fifth Avenue". I do love "It's A Wonderful Life". :-)

    1. A kindred spirit! :) So happy you enjoy these movies. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks for this, Gabrielle. My daughter and I are watching all the old Christmas movies. I have just added three more to our list!

  7. I have heard of most of these. The shop around the Corner is a favorite.
    I would add almost any of the earlier versions of Dickens A Christmas Carol. Alistair Simm version is our favorite. We watched the 1935 version tonight. Along with what I think should be a new classic: The Man Who Invented Christmas about how Dickens wrote the story!

  8. I've seen all but the first one and the last one and all but Little Shop were at a movie theater when they first released. My mother took my sister and me to see a Christmas movie every year back when tickets were cheap. I was 6 years old when we went to Holiday Inn and I loved it. I also fell in love with the remake, White Christmas. I think of Meet Me in St. Louis as a Christmas movie and watch it every year. I saw Little Shop later, but I don't remember exactly when, but I remembered the story and went to the two remakes and liked them as well. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  9. Oh what a wonderful list Gabrielle! I discovered Holiday Inn last year and added it to our own list of must-watch Christmas movies. Looks like I need to add a few of these you've mentioned here!

    Fun fact, last year my husband and I attended a play at our small local playhouse "It's a Wonderful Life". I thought the actors and actresses did an excellent job portraying the movie. And the year before was A Christmas Carol. It was fun to see them played out in front of us :-)

  10. I havent't seen Remember the Night or All Mine to Give but I love all of the others that you've mentioned!