Christmas Classics in December
Join TCM in this holiday month for a celebration of all your favorite things about Christmas movies, including crackling fires, candy canes, tinsel-laden trees, carols and, of course, sparkling entertainment!
In primetime each Saturday and Sunday evening in December, we will present a double feature of specially selected Christmas classics. On the month's first Saturday and Sunday, TCM prime host Ben Mankiewicz will sit with Jeremy Arnold, TCM writer and author of Turner Classic Movies: Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season (2018). The book, available through the TCM Shop, provides a history of the best and most beloved yuletide favorites over a period of eight decades.
Our Christmas Classics will introduce three TCM premieres that are new to our Christmas programming. Trail of Robin Hood (1950) is a Roy Rogers Western in which Roy foils a plot to poach Christmas trees and, with the Riders of the Purple Sage, sings a song called "Ev'ry Day is Christmas Day in the West." The Holly and the Ivy (1952) is a British drama starring Ralph Richardson as a clergyman whose neglect of his grown children creates tensions at a family gathering. Little Women (1994) is one of several film versions of the beloved Louisa May Alcott novel about Massachusetts sisters growing up during and after the Civil War. Gillian Armstrong directed this version, which stars Winona Ryder as Jo March.
Saturday and Sunday programming also includes holiday romances with such potent star combinations as Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in Remember the Night (1940); Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart in The Shop Around the Corner (1940); David Niven and Loretta Young (plus Cary Grant!) in The Bishop's Wife (1947); and Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum in Holiday Affair (1949).
And, of course, no lineup of classic holiday films would be complete without Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Our Sunday programming features a British version that was released in the U.S. in 1951 after having been shown in Great Britain under the title Scrooge. Alistair Sim stars as the curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge, and critic A.O. Scott considered this as the best of all movie versions of the story.
by Roger Fristoe