TCM celebrates the holiday season with a festive array of Christmas-related movies presented on Sundays throughout the month, as well as certain other dates including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The films range from the years 1938 through 1959, with Sunday primetime hours devoted to Christmas Double Features and weekday programming organized by themes.
The double feature on December 16 includes a rare and fascinating treat: the TCM premiere of the made-for-television movie Carol for Another Christmas (1964). A retelling by Rod Serling of the Dickens A Christmas Carol with an anti-war theme, the film aired only once, on ABC in 1964. An all-star cast includes Sterling Hayden, Peter Sellers, Eva Marie Saint and Ben Gazzara, and the director is the distinguished Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The film is presented in tandem with the 1951 A Christmas Carol, with Alastair Sim as a definitive Scrooge.
Other Christmas double-headers include the 1949 Little Women teamed with 1957's All Mine to Give; We're No Angels (1955) paired with Lady in the Lake (1947); and The Bishop's Wife (1947) shown with It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947).
The theme Christmas in Uniform on December 17 ranges from The Fighting 69th (1940), which includes a scene on Christmas Day 1917 in its story of an Irish-American outfit in World War I; to Never So Few (1959), in which an American unit is attacked on Christmas Eve while trying to hold off the Japanese in Burma in World War II.
December 18's Christmas in Song has pitch-perfect performances from two of the movies' greatest vocalists, with Doris Day singing "Merry Christmas All" in On Moonlight Bay (1951) and Judy Garland warbling "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) as well as "Merry Christmas" in In the Good Old Summertime (1949).
Among movies celebrating Christmas in New York on December 20 are Holiday Affair (1949), with Robert Mitchum as a department-store clerk romancing Janet Leigh as a war widow with a small son; and The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), the Bob Hope comedy that introduced the holiday perennial "Silver Bells."
Robert Osborne's Christmas Eve Picks follow a daytime lineup of Holiday Classics and include the heartwarming Come to the Stable (1949), with Loretta Young and Celeste Holm as enterprising French nuns who come to America in hopes of building a children's hospital; and the rib-tickling Auntie Mame (1958), starring Rosalind Russell as the eccentric relative whose adventures include finding the bright spots in a meager Christmas. On the 25th, after a daytime fest of Religious Favorites, TCM will spend Christmas with the Hardys - six movies featuring the family that surrounded Mickey Rooney as Andy Hardy in his popular series of the 1930s and '40s. The movies range from Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) to Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941), both costarring Judy Garland.