Christmas Eve (and Christmas Day)
TCM has more classic holiday films to make your spirit bright! Daytime programming on December 23 begins at 2pm ET with the Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds gem Susan Slept Here. Then at 6am ET on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we will present a total of 15 seasonal perennials guaranteed to brighten your holidays. For primetime on Christmas Eve, as preparations are being made for Santa, we have scheduled an additional lineup of five holiday classics. And the primetime lineup on Christmas day is a series of five comedies that are not related to the holiday but should be ideal for families who want to wind down from the festivities with some effervescent fun.
Of the many Christmas Classics, be sure to catch Glynis Johnson in All Mine to Give (1957) and Little Women, the 1933 film directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn as Jo. Comedies with Christmas settings abound included Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), Bachelor Mother (1939), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Christmas in Connecticut (1945) and Bundle of Joy (1956). Representing the 1960s is Fitzwilly (1967), starring Dick Van Dyke in the title role as a butler who'll do anything to help his eccentric employer (Edith Evans) maintain her lifestyle - including robbing a department store on Christmas Eve!
Christmas musicals are represented by two gems from the 1940s: Holiday Inn (1942), with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire performing a score by the great Irving Berlin; and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), in which Judy Garland performs the definitive rendition of the Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
Christmas Eve programming spotlights another version of A Christmas Carol - this one filmed in 1938 for MGM and starring Reginald Owen as Scrooge. And The Shop Around the Corner is revisited in the form of In the Good Old Summertime (1949), a musical version of the story that affords Judy Garland another opportunity to introduce a classic holiday song, "Merry Christmas" by Fred Spielman and Janice Torre.
These non-holiday comedies promise a laugh-filled Christmas night: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941), Monkey Business (1952), Some Like It Hot (1959) and Lover Come Back (1961).
by Roger Fristoe