Christmas in Connecticut


1h 42m 1945
Christmas in Connecticut

Brief Synopsis

A homemaking specialist who can't boil water is forced to provide a family holiday for a war hero.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Holiday
Release Date
Aug 11, 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 27 Jul 1945
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,134ft

Synopsis

Although Elizabeth Lane, author of the popular magazine column "Diary of a Housewife," lives alone in a New York apartment and cannot cook, she writes about a bucolic life on a Connecticut farm with her husband and child and publishes as her own recipes she obtains from her chef friend, Felix Bassenak. During his recovery, Nurse Mary Lee reads Elizabeth's column to injured war hero Jefferson Jones and, hoping to interest Jeff in marriage, writes to Jonathan Yardley, the magazine's publisher, asking him to arrange for Jeff to spend Christmas on Elizabeth's farm. Yardley, who is a stickler for the truth, has no idea that Elizabeth has been inventing the details in her column and insists that she invite Jeff for the holidays. To make matters worse, Yardley invites himself to join them. Convinced that she is about to lose her job, Elizabeth accepts the marriage proposal of her friend, architect John Sloan, even though she does not love him. When Elizabeth's editor, Dudley Beecham, learns that John owns a Connecticut farm, however, he suggests that they use it to recreate the situation she has devised for the column. John arranges for the local judge to marry them at the farm, and Felix agrees to do the cooking. The practical John even arranges for a stand-in baby--one that his maid Norah cares for while its mother is at work in a defense plant. The planned marriage ceremony is interrupted when Jeff arrives earlier than scheduled. Elizabeth is immediately attracted to him and begins to regret her promise to marry John. Yardley's arrival completes the party. Elizabeth successfully carries out her deception despite a slight setback when she learns that the baby is a girl, not a boy as she first assumed. Felix, pretending to be Elizabeth's uncle, cooks a wonderful meal, and while Elizabeth decorates the Christmas tree, Jeff sings Christmas carols. After everyone has gone to bed, the judge returns, but once again the wedding is canceled when Yardley and Jeff sneak downstairs for a snack. When Jeff helps Elizabeth put the cow in the barn, she discovers that he is also attracted to her. On Christmas morning, Elizabeth confides in Felix, who eagerly comes to her aid. When the judge returns, Felix lies that the baby has swallowed a watch, and once again the wedding is postponed. That evening, at a community dance, Jeff and Elizabeth have eyes only for each other. They take a walk outside and sit in a sleigh to continue their conversation. Feeling their weight, the horse wanders off, and the couple is arrested for stealing the sleigh. Meanwhile, Yardley has returned to the farm and sees the baby's mother carrying her out. He believes that the baby has been kidnapped and notifies the police. In the morning, Elizabeth and Jeff return home, and Elizabeth tells the incredulous Yardley the truth. Furious at the deception, Yardley fires Elizabeth. Then Elizabeth and John quarrel and break up. The way seems clear for Elizabeth to marry Jeff, but her hopes are dashed when Mary arrives and announces that she is Jeff's fiancée. Soon, however, Felix learns that Mary has married another man and then convinces Yardley to rehire Elizabeth. Although Yardley offers Elizabeth a raise and offers John a contract as well, Elizabeth refuses to return. Then Jeff proposes, even though Felix warns him that Elizabeth cannot cook.

Photo Collections

Christmas in Connecticut - Movie Posters
Here are a few American release movies posters from Christmas in Connecticut (1945), starring Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Holiday
Release Date
Aug 11, 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 27 Jul 1945
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,134ft

Articles

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)


Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan star in Christmas in Connecticut (1945), a romantic comedy set during the holidays at wartime. Stanwyck plays Elizabeth Lane, a columnist for "Smart Housekeeping," THE magazine for aspiring homemakers. Every month she details her domestic triumphs from the idyllic setting of her farm in Connecticut. Touted as the "greatest cook in the country," she seems to have it all - a beautiful home, a happy husband, an adorable baby and of course, plenty of livestock. Elizabeth Lane is a role model to millions of readers who turn to her every month for guidance and inspiration.

One such reader is wartime hero, Jefferson Jones, played by Morgan. Lost at sea for many days without food, he dreams of elaborate meals such as those described in Lane's column. As a promotional stunt for the magazine, the publisher arranges for Jones to spend the holidays at Lane's farm. Sydney Greenstreet, more commonly associated with films noir than light comedies, plays the role of publishing magnate, Alexander Yardley. Yardley is so enthused with the idea of a war hero coming "home" for the holidays that he decides to join the festivities on the farm. The only hitch is that there is no actual farm, house, husband, child or livestock, for that matter. All of the material in Lane's monthly column comes from one place - her imagination. And of course, it is this same source that she must draw upon in order to continue the elaborate charade without losing her job.

Best known as a serious actress - Stanwyck's most notable role was in Double Indemnity (1944) for which she received an Oscar nomination. Early in her career she alternated between dramatic and comedic roles. Apparently, Stanwyck preferred to take on lighter roles in an effort to unwind after working on a serious film.

Director Peter Godfrey, who got his start in productions on the London stage, had only been in Hollywood six years when he began work on the film. It was the first of three in which he directed Stanwyck-the others Cry Wolf (1947) and The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947) dealt with weightier matters than the first. The two became close friends after their collaboration on these films. In fact, Godfrey was close to many of the cast members on this particular film. He and Sydney Greenstreet, another veteran from the London theatre, were as successful off-screen in their comedic talents as on-screen. The pair was notorious for keeping both cast and crew doubled over in laughter with their witty spoofs. The chemistry among all involved paid off. Christmas in Connecticut was well received at the time of its release and remains a treasured holiday classic today.

Director: Peter Godfrey
Producer: William Jacobs
Screenplay: Aileen Hamilton (story), Lionel Houser, Adele Comandini
Cinematography: Carl E. Guthrie
Editor: Frank Magee
Art Direction: Stanley Fleischer
Music: Adolph Deutsch (uncredited), Frederick Hollander
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck (Elizabeth Lane), Dennis Morgan (Jefferson Jones), Sydney Greenstreet (Alexander Yardley), Reginald Gardiner (John Sloan), S.Z. Sakall (Feliz Bassenak).
BW-102m. Close captioning.

by Mary Anne Melear
Christmas In Connecticut (1945)

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan star in Christmas in Connecticut (1945), a romantic comedy set during the holidays at wartime. Stanwyck plays Elizabeth Lane, a columnist for "Smart Housekeeping," THE magazine for aspiring homemakers. Every month she details her domestic triumphs from the idyllic setting of her farm in Connecticut. Touted as the "greatest cook in the country," she seems to have it all - a beautiful home, a happy husband, an adorable baby and of course, plenty of livestock. Elizabeth Lane is a role model to millions of readers who turn to her every month for guidance and inspiration. One such reader is wartime hero, Jefferson Jones, played by Morgan. Lost at sea for many days without food, he dreams of elaborate meals such as those described in Lane's column. As a promotional stunt for the magazine, the publisher arranges for Jones to spend the holidays at Lane's farm. Sydney Greenstreet, more commonly associated with films noir than light comedies, plays the role of publishing magnate, Alexander Yardley. Yardley is so enthused with the idea of a war hero coming "home" for the holidays that he decides to join the festivities on the farm. The only hitch is that there is no actual farm, house, husband, child or livestock, for that matter. All of the material in Lane's monthly column comes from one place - her imagination. And of course, it is this same source that she must draw upon in order to continue the elaborate charade without losing her job. Best known as a serious actress - Stanwyck's most notable role was in Double Indemnity (1944) for which she received an Oscar nomination. Early in her career she alternated between dramatic and comedic roles. Apparently, Stanwyck preferred to take on lighter roles in an effort to unwind after working on a serious film. Director Peter Godfrey, who got his start in productions on the London stage, had only been in Hollywood six years when he began work on the film. It was the first of three in which he directed Stanwyck-the others Cry Wolf (1947) and The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947) dealt with weightier matters than the first. The two became close friends after their collaboration on these films. In fact, Godfrey was close to many of the cast members on this particular film. He and Sydney Greenstreet, another veteran from the London theatre, were as successful off-screen in their comedic talents as on-screen. The pair was notorious for keeping both cast and crew doubled over in laughter with their witty spoofs. The chemistry among all involved paid off. Christmas in Connecticut was well received at the time of its release and remains a treasured holiday classic today. Director: Peter Godfrey Producer: William Jacobs Screenplay: Aileen Hamilton (story), Lionel Houser, Adele Comandini Cinematography: Carl E. Guthrie Editor: Frank Magee Art Direction: Stanley Fleischer Music: Adolph Deutsch (uncredited), Frederick Hollander Cast: Barbara Stanwyck (Elizabeth Lane), Dennis Morgan (Jefferson Jones), Sydney Greenstreet (Alexander Yardley), Reginald Gardiner (John Sloan), S.Z. Sakall (Feliz Bassenak). BW-102m. Close captioning. by Mary Anne Melear

Christmas in Connecticut - The 1945 Version on DVD


A year after the great Barbara Stanwyck burned up the screen as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity-a performance that ranked number 8 on the American Film Institute's list of greatest screen villains-Stanwyck would once again prove her amazing versatility in Warner Bros.' frothy confection Christmas in Connecticut, which would also provide perennial screen-heavy Sydney Greenstreet a chance to show his "lighter side."

Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) is a naval officer whose destroyer goes down in the Pacific. After eighteen days on a life raft with no food, Jones is rescued and brought back to the states to recuperate in a hospital, where he's kept on a steady diet of mush to allow his system to readjust to food. While convalescing, Jones dreams of nothing more than a sumptuous meal of the kind described in glowing detail by Elizabeth Lane (Stanwyck) in her column in the glossy Smart Housekeeping magazine. Along with menus, Lane offers heartwarming, poetic glimpses into her life as a Connecticut farm wife, offering tips on housekeeping and gardening.

In an attempt to win Jones over to idea of marriage, Jones' love-struck nurse pens a letter to the publisher of Smart Housekeeping, Alexander Yardley (Greenstreet), asking to arrange for Jones to spend Christmas with Lane and her family on their Connecticut farm, so that Jones can get an idea of what happy domestic life would be like. Yardley seizes on the idea as a patriotic gesture and a great way to boost circulation. What he doesn't know is that Lane's home life is a complete fiction created by the journalist and her editor Dudley Beecham (Robert Shayne), and the mouth watering menus are provided by their long-time friend, restaurateur Felix Bassenak (S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall). Although Lane tries to talk him out of it, the overpowering Yardley not only convinces her that it's her duty to open her home to the wounded serviceman for the holiday, but invites himself along as well.

Certain that she will lose her job when Yardley learns the truth, Lane resigns herself to giving in to the latest marriage proposal from her loquacious suitor John Sloan (Reginald Gardiner): but when she and Beecham remember that Sloan has a Connecticut farm, they hatch a plan to save their jobs by having Lane quickly marry Sloan and pretend that they've always been together. Unfortunately for Sloan, the quickie ceremony is interrupted by the early arrival of Jones for his visit, and they must pretend to be married while Lane attempts to play the role of a domestic expert. Lane's simple plan for duping the young officer and her publisher becomes hopelessly complicated when she finds herself falling for Jones.

Christmas in Connecticut is rather like a sweet-potato casserole with melted marshmallows: a treat so curious it defies explanation, and yet so irresistible that no Christmas season would be complete without it. The film's success lies squarely on Stanwyck's broad shoulders: she is so consummately versatile that she was equally at home in ultra-light comedy as she was in hard-bitten drama (the year after Connecticut she would give another of her most searing performances in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers). Here Stanwyck shows her infallible ability to tailor her talent to the material. As Elisabeth Lane, Stanwyck never appears to be working too hard to make the role funny, but instead breezes through the film like a breath of fresh air. In the first half of the film, while trying to hide her ignorance of domestic life, Stanwyck perfectly balances her attempts to appear at ease with the fact that Lane is walking a mine field in which any common domestic task may expose her duplicity.

Dennis Morgan proves a charming leading man in a role that is not overly demanding but could've easily been overdone, and Sydney Greenstreet is a pleasure in one of his rare good-guy roles (it's a particular pleasure to see him re-teamed with Casablanca co-star Sakall).

For more information about Christmas in Connecticut, visit Warner Video. To order Christmas in Connecticut, go to TCM Shopping.

by Fred Hunter

Christmas in Connecticut - The 1945 Version on DVD

A year after the great Barbara Stanwyck burned up the screen as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity-a performance that ranked number 8 on the American Film Institute's list of greatest screen villains-Stanwyck would once again prove her amazing versatility in Warner Bros.' frothy confection Christmas in Connecticut, which would also provide perennial screen-heavy Sydney Greenstreet a chance to show his "lighter side." Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) is a naval officer whose destroyer goes down in the Pacific. After eighteen days on a life raft with no food, Jones is rescued and brought back to the states to recuperate in a hospital, where he's kept on a steady diet of mush to allow his system to readjust to food. While convalescing, Jones dreams of nothing more than a sumptuous meal of the kind described in glowing detail by Elizabeth Lane (Stanwyck) in her column in the glossy Smart Housekeeping magazine. Along with menus, Lane offers heartwarming, poetic glimpses into her life as a Connecticut farm wife, offering tips on housekeeping and gardening. In an attempt to win Jones over to idea of marriage, Jones' love-struck nurse pens a letter to the publisher of Smart Housekeeping, Alexander Yardley (Greenstreet), asking to arrange for Jones to spend Christmas with Lane and her family on their Connecticut farm, so that Jones can get an idea of what happy domestic life would be like. Yardley seizes on the idea as a patriotic gesture and a great way to boost circulation. What he doesn't know is that Lane's home life is a complete fiction created by the journalist and her editor Dudley Beecham (Robert Shayne), and the mouth watering menus are provided by their long-time friend, restaurateur Felix Bassenak (S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall). Although Lane tries to talk him out of it, the overpowering Yardley not only convinces her that it's her duty to open her home to the wounded serviceman for the holiday, but invites himself along as well. Certain that she will lose her job when Yardley learns the truth, Lane resigns herself to giving in to the latest marriage proposal from her loquacious suitor John Sloan (Reginald Gardiner): but when she and Beecham remember that Sloan has a Connecticut farm, they hatch a plan to save their jobs by having Lane quickly marry Sloan and pretend that they've always been together. Unfortunately for Sloan, the quickie ceremony is interrupted by the early arrival of Jones for his visit, and they must pretend to be married while Lane attempts to play the role of a domestic expert. Lane's simple plan for duping the young officer and her publisher becomes hopelessly complicated when she finds herself falling for Jones. Christmas in Connecticut is rather like a sweet-potato casserole with melted marshmallows: a treat so curious it defies explanation, and yet so irresistible that no Christmas season would be complete without it. The film's success lies squarely on Stanwyck's broad shoulders: she is so consummately versatile that she was equally at home in ultra-light comedy as she was in hard-bitten drama (the year after Connecticut she would give another of her most searing performances in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers). Here Stanwyck shows her infallible ability to tailor her talent to the material. As Elisabeth Lane, Stanwyck never appears to be working too hard to make the role funny, but instead breezes through the film like a breath of fresh air. In the first half of the film, while trying to hide her ignorance of domestic life, Stanwyck perfectly balances her attempts to appear at ease with the fact that Lane is walking a mine field in which any common domestic task may expose her duplicity. Dennis Morgan proves a charming leading man in a role that is not overly demanding but could've easily been overdone, and Sydney Greenstreet is a pleasure in one of his rare good-guy roles (it's a particular pleasure to see him re-teamed with Casablanca co-star Sakall). For more information about Christmas in Connecticut, visit Warner Video. To order Christmas in Connecticut, go to TCM Shopping. by Fred Hunter

Quotes

Trivia

The Connecticut home is the same set used in the classic Bringing up Baby (1938).

Notes

The film's title card reads: "Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet wish you a merry Christmas in Connecticut." A press release notes that John Alexander was originally cast as "Elizabeth's" suitor. According to a April 13, 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item, Barbara Stanwyck replaced Bette Davis, who had been announced as the lead two months earlier. The story was remade for television in 1991, starring Kris Kristofferson, Tony Curtis and Dyan Cannon.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video November 3, 1987

Released in United States Summer August 11, 1945

Broadcast over TNT (colorized version) December 11, 1989.

Released in United States Summer August 11, 1945

Released in United States on Video November 3, 1987