Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

christmas in connecticut poster 1945 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some nice visuals and decent actors

Outlandish story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Christmas in Connecticut

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Genre(s):  Romance/Comedy/Seasonal

Release Date(s):   August 11, 1945

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

christmas in connecticut barbara stanwyck dennis morgan

I’m going to have to get a faux divorce for my faux marriage…crap

A war veteran named Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) finds himself engaged to nurse Mary Lee (Joyce Compton), but Mary Lee realizes that Jefferson Jones is in love with the writing of food and homemaker Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck).  In the hopes of sealing their relations, Mary Lee arranges for Jones to getting his wish and spend Christmas with Elizabeth Lane and her family in Connecticut.  The only problem is Elizabeth Lane is also a creation.  Elizabeth lives a single life in New York City where she can’t even cook is going to cost her the job unless she can fool Jones and her pushy publisher Alexander Yardley (Sydney Greenstreet).  Elizabeth and John Sloan (Reginald Gardiner) decide to try to pull a fast one and 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 screwball holiday romance film.   The movie airs frequently during the holidays.

christmas in connecticut barbara stanwyck sz sakall pancake scene

These guys are really into their pancake flipping

I did not see Christmas in Connecticut on much as a kid and as a result I did not see the whole movie until much later.  Despite being a bit of a newbie to the classic film, Christmas in Connecticut feels so familiar that you might think you have seen it before.

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.

christmas in connecticut sydney greenstreet barbara stanwyck

I don’t understand anything that has happened to me in the last 24 hours

The movie dives heavy into Christmas Americana.  You have snow covered fields, horse-drawn sleighs, and Christmas trees galore.  Much of the humor involves moving characters in and out of the scenes and it is a little less slapstick than you might expect from a movie like this.

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 and can get you in the spirit of the holidays.  The movie was remade in and directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger for TV in 1992…however, you probably should just stick to the original.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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