Google+ Followers

Thursday, December 25, 2014

SOME CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS


(Originally posted December 22, 2011)
                                             
                                         James Stewart and Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu) in "It's a Wonderful Life." (RKO Studios, 1946)
Image result for Jimmy stewart and karolyn grimes photoLast night I dusted off my DVD of Miracle on 34th Street (1947) to give it its yearly viewing. Of the three greatest Christmas films I have seen, this one leads the way followed closely by The Bishop’s Wife (1947) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).                                              There are other great Christmas films and I would be amiss if I didn’t mention A Christmas Story (1983) which as always will be shown for twenty-four hours over Christmas on WTBS. We all have our favorites and it’s comforting to watch them every year during the holidays. 

Miracle on 34th Street is a great example of Hollywood’s use of the fine character actors of the day to produce a fine, heartwarming film about Christmas. The stars are John Payne and a beautiful 27 year old Maureen O’Hara with nine year old Natalie Wood playing her daughter. Edmund Gwenn stole the show and won an Oscar for his role as Kris Kringle.

Probably the most important thing to remember when watching the classic films is to watch them in the form in which they were originally intended. That means that if they were filmed in black and white, that is the way to see them.

Years ago when Ted Turner bought the libraries of the MGM and Warner Brothers films, he thought colorization of the black and white classics would be a genius idea. It wasn’t. A good example of the failure of colorization is what it did to the Jimmy Cagney classicYankee Doodle Dandy. Cagney won best actor in 1942 for his portrayal of George M. Cohan and to see him dancing across the stage in a powder blue jacket that looked like a poor excuse for a leisure suit reject, was incredible. Fortunately, viewers agreed.

I guess I am old fashioned about Christmas. Like all kids, I loved everything about the Christmas holidays and there was never any dissension about the day just because it was a Christian holiday. We would have a tree in our grade school classrooms and the schools would always have a Christmas show. Any kids who were'nt Christian went along for the ride with no concern about the Christian aspect. I think they and their parents figured "What the hell." The one thing we all agreed upon was how great it was to get off school at noon on December 24 if it landed on a school day.

Today is December 21 which is my wife’s birthday. That means a celebratory trip to the casino with dinner at the Orange Sky restaurant on the roof of the Talking Stick Resort. The views there are incredible. After that we might make a late night of it by turning on the Christmas tree lights and watching The Bishop’s Wife.

That may sound corny to some but I can’t think of a better way to end the day.


19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Jim.

jack and Sam

AHiredGun said...

Jim: A belated Merry Xmas to you and your wife, and a Happy New Year.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Joe. Same to you.

JM

Jim McAllister said...

Greetings Jim

As usual, Jim's Christmas blog was beautifully written - you do have talent for writing Jim!Belated Happy Birthday wishes to Barb. You celebrated in a lovely way.

Today is the Feast of Stephen, when Good King Wenceslaus Looked Out, if you remember that song.

Our Christmas, yesterday, was delightful with gifts and breakfast at our daughter's home, then they all came to our house fro Christmas dinner at 5. Our 3 granddaughters are in town, two with husbands, and one couple with little 2-year-old Julian. Duv sent up the Christmas train, so Julian had fun pushing the buttons to make the train go forward or back, and to make the car with Santa on it say Ho, Ho, Ho. They all went out to say Merry Christmas to Duv's Arabian horse, JD Fanciman.

We hope to see you in the New Year.

Joy and Duv Wiseman

Jim McAllister said...

From Jack Reed

Merry Christmas Jim.

Jim McAllister said...

From: nativekentuckian

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY 2015 ...JIM & BARB!.........PS......LEON AND
I MOVED TO ARIZONA CITY A COUPLE WEEKS AGO AND LOVE IT.....

Jim McAllister said...


And a Merry Christmas to you and yours!

My gift this year is I'm still here!

Jim and Loretta Johnson

Jim McAllister said...

Sonny,

That's great news; you guys are still close to Phoenix and Tucson. I'm glad you decided to stay in the area instead of moving to KY. Keep me in touch of what you are up to. My best to Leon.

Barb says "Hello."

Jim McAllister said...

Jim,

Merry Christmas to you and your family. I really enjoy your blogs.
John

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Doc. Have a great holiday.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Jim.

Good to see you still hanging in there. Best to Loretta.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Jack.

I hope all is well in Glendale.

Jim McAllister said...


ken honeyman
Dec 25 (1 day ago)

to me
Forgot to send ya Christmas, and New Year's BEST wishes for health, and HAPPINESS! Here are the people that TCM has listed for this year. SOON, our friend, Lon Cross, will have a more complete list. Have i sent yha his 'LIVING LEGENDS' list from prior years? If not, i will.

ken honeyman

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Ken.

As always a lot of familiar names, young and old. Efrem Zimbalist sure made it a long time going deep into his 90s.

JM

Jim McAllister said...

Jack and Sam,

Thanks, guys. Same to you.

SteveBuzzardo said...

Jim,
I'm a little late with Merry Christmas, but Happy New Year!

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Buzz. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Jim,
I love your 'corny' viewpoint on the celebration of your wife's birthday (by the way, my wife's birthday is also Dec. 21, 1946).
We too spend the week leading up to Christmas by viewing our favorite holiday films which we have on disc: Scrooge with Alistair Sims (the best version), Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, and (okay laugh) Ernest Saves Christmas with the late Jim Varney). Allen

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Allen.

That's quite a coincidence on our wives' birthdays.

I hope all is well with you.