Thursday, December 22, 2022

Three Great Old Christmas Movies To Watch And Enjoy This Holiday Season

Every holiday season I watch a lot of old, familiar Christmas movies on TV, from my DVD collection, and on the Internet. 

There are perennial favorites, such It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story. 

I love these movies, but my three favorite Christmas films may not be on your list, or even on your radar. 

I love O. Henry’s short stories and I love the 1952 film, O. Henry’s Full House.    

The film offers five adaptations of O. Henry’s great short stories with Christmas themes, featuring five fine directors, fine screenwriters and a fine cast.  

The film presents some of my favorite short stories from one of my favorite writers.  

The O. Henry stories - The Clarion Call, The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of Red ChiefThe Cop and the Anthem, and The Last Leaf - offer humor, drama, pathos and irony.   

I especially like the crime story The Clarion Call, with Dale Robinson and Richard Widmark (seen in the top photo).

You can watch the film, which features the late, great actor Charles Laughton and a young Marilyn Monroe (seen in the above photo), via the below link:

 O. Henry's Full House (1952) - YouTube

Although 1951’s A Christmas Carol is another perennial favorite, and actor Alastair Sim is nearly everyone’s favorite Scrooge, I love the film with George C. Scott as Scrooge. 

The 1984 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol offers a powerful performance by Scott, who is strong, willful and downright mean and nasty. 

If you have not seen this film, I suggest you watch it. 

You can watch the film via the below link:

 A Christmas Carol George C Scott 1984 - YouTube

One may not think of a James Bond film as traditional Holiday fare, but every Christmas season I watch On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

The film, which was released in December of 1969, has a Christmas setting and takes place in the snow-covered Swiss Alps.

The film, despite not having the late, great Sean Connery as Bond, is one the best in the series in my view.  

Considering that the new Bond, George Lazenby (seen in the above photo), had to follow Connery in the role, and that he had not acted before, I believe he delivered a better than fair portrayal of Bond.  

He looked like Ian Fleming's Bond, and he was very good in the fight and action scenes.

The film was also graced with the late, great Diana Rigg (seen in the above photo) as Tracy, a strong, yet troubled woman with whom Bond has a serious, if ultimately tragic, love affair.

Although I would have preferred a European actor to portray Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Telly Savalas (seen in the above photo) was a commanding, brilliant and truly mad Blofeld. The supporting actors were also very good.

The director of this fine film was Peter Hunt, who edited the earlier Bond films. Hunt was faithful to Ian Fleming's novel, even going with the thriller's dark ending. Peter Hunt gave us a true James Bond thriller.

The film also offers a terrific soundtrack by John Barry. 

You can watch the film's trailer via the below link:

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) - Official Trailer - George Lazenby Bond Movie HD - YouTube

You can also watch scenes and listen to John Barry's great love song sung by the late, jazz great Louie Armstrong via the below link:

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Louis Armstrong - John Barry - Maurice Binder [HD STEREO] - YouTube

Enjoy the films. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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