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  • Holiday jewels on film

  • In the world of classic Christmas movies, few remain as iconic as the tender Frank Capra jewel "It's a Wonderful Life." And if you love big-hearted films from Hollywood's Golden Age such as "White Christmas" or "Miracle on 34th Street," I'd like to suggest adding a trio of lesser-known offerings for cozy, firelit nights.
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  • In the world of classic Christmas movies, few remain as iconic as the tender Frank Capra jewel "It's a Wonderful Life." And if you love big-hearted films from Hollywood's Golden Age such as "White Christmas" or "Miracle on 34th Street," I'd like to suggest adding a trio of lesser-known offerings for cozy, firelit nights.
    One is "Holiday Affair" (1949) with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. It's the tale of a young widow and mother torn between the affections of two very different suitors. Wendell Corey plays a successful lawyer, offering stability for Connie Ennis (Leigh) and her boy while Steve Mason (Mitchum) is an unemployed architect with big ideas.
    Stealing the limelight is Connie's son, Timmy, and his contagious delight at receiving a toy train — a gift from Mason, who knows the way to a woman's heart. The tender relationship between Connie and Mr. Ennis, as she calls her son, feels genuine and is pure joy to watch. Will she allow the young but wise Mr. Ennis to help her move on?
    Another marquee moment is delivered by "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1942) starring Monty Woolley and Bette Davis. Crazy, wacko, screwball — all three adjectives are necessary for this holiday romp through an Ohio family's living room. Once Sheridan Whiteside (Woolley), sophisticated author/lecturer, tumbles on the ice in front of the Stanley home, he moves in to stay and thenceforth fills the screen and the bourgeois family's living space with bombastic demands.
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