Movie Name: Christmas in Connecticut
Studio: Warner Bros.
Release Date(s): August 11, 1945
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
A war veteran named Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) finds the nurse named Mary Lee (Joyce Compton) who has nabbed him as a fiance is trying to teach him what it is like to have a home at Christmas which she hopes will encourage him to marry her. Jones is getting his wish to spend Christmas with the top writer in America whose stories of her life on a farm with her husband and child are read nationwide. The problem Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is only writing stories. Her single life in New York City where she can’t even cook is going to cost her the job unless she can fool Jones. Elizabeth and John Sloan (Reginald Gardiner) decide to try to pull a fast one and keep off her publisher Alexander Yardley (Sydney Greenstreet) by getting married over the holiday. Unfortunately, when Elizabeth meets Jefferson, the plans begin to go awry.
Directed by Peter Godfrey, Christmas in Connecticut is a classic Christmas film. The movie airs frequently during the holidays and was part of the whole classic romance style from the time period.
Christmas in Connecticut is one of those movies that you could start the plot and tack on “hijinks ensue” at the end. The set-up feels very modern in the idea of this elaborate plan to pull one over on the poor soldier and editor just so can keep her job…sounds just like something like I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry which involved a couple pretending to be married to get insurance. As you can see, this is a classic set-up, but the absurdity of the plot isn’t that crazy in the long standing of plays and film.
The story is aided by nice writing and actors to pull it off. I enjoy performance of Barbara Stanwyck as the star since she has to hold the film together. Little aspects like Stanwyck always calling the baby “it” and not having any interest in “it” would be amplified today. Both her romantic leads Dennis Morgan and Reginald Gardiner are rather generic and Morgan doesn’t really have much of a personality…good thing their love is scripted. There are also two fun performances by supporting cast members S.Z. Sakall as Felix Bassenak and Sydney Greenstreet as the duped editor.
If you haven’t seen Christmas in Connecticut, it is worth checking out. It isn’t as classic as some of the other Christmas films, but it is still fun. The movie was remade in and directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger for TV in 1992…however, you probably should just stick to the original.