The best Christmas movies from the ’40s to watch now Get into the holiday spirit.
What better time than now, to start with our Christmas movies watch list! Everybody has favourite films to watch around this time of the year. For many, the movie that puts them into the festive spirit is Love Actually. For others, The Grinch is a common front runner.
But this year, the movie list we composed is new. Or rather old. Let’s say it’s a new list, with only old Christmas movies from the ’40s that may have faded into obscurity.
The 1940s were the golden years for the American film industry. Additionally, it was in the ’40s that Hollywood produced the first big Christmas movies, which achieved massive success.
So prepare a bowl of popcorn and cuddle up under your blanket to enjoy the following Christmas movies:
1. The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
An American romantic comedy based on a Hungarian play, Parfumerie.The two big stars of that era, Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, play two co-workers in a store who disagree about almost everything. They are both in love with their penpals. Little did they know… well, you’ll have to watch this famous Christmas movie of the ’40s to find out what happens next.
2. Holiday Inn (1942)
A Christmas classic, this musical movie famously introduced, in the ’40s, the song “White Christmas” to the world. The romantic comedy, starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale, happens at an inn that only opens during the holidays.
3. Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
Another ’40s romantic musical movie that is perfect for Christmas time. Four sisters (one of them played by Judy Garland) learn about life and love at the time of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The film in colours, was directed by Vicente Minnelli, father of Liza Minnelli.
4. Christmas In Connecticut (1945)
This Christmas movie starring Barbara Stanwyck is about a writer in a women’s magazine who pretends to be a farm wife and mother living in Connecticut in the ’40s. In reality, she’s a New Yorker who can not even cook and will get in trouble when she falls in love with a fan of her column.
5. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
The most classic of all Christmas films ever, the iconic movie was directed by Frank Capra in the ’40s. With James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore, it’s the story of a desperate man about to end his life when an angel is sent to help him realise what a wonderful life this is.
6. Miracle on 34TH Street (1947)
This Christmas comedy-drama movie released in the late ’40s stars Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and Natalie Wood. Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, a nice old man who works as a Santa at Macy’s every year. When he claims to be the real Santa Claus, he is institutionalized as insane. A young lawyer decides to defend him and help prove his identity.
7. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
Cary Grant, the charming angel, comes down to earth to help a bishop and his wife raise money to build a new church. With David Niven and Loretta Young, this ’40s movie is still a Christmas hit today.
8. Holiday Affair (1949)
Janet Leigh plays a widow torn between two men in this romantic movie that was not successful in the ’40s but has become a Christmas classic with time. The film also stars Robert Mitchum and is based on the story A Christmas Gift.
Title image courtesy of MGM.