“Forgotten Hollywood”- Happy Christmas (War is Over)…

Posted on December 22, 2020 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`With a reference to the title of a John Lennon yuletide classic, it occurred to me that a spate of holiday cinema emerged as World War II ended. Between 1945 and 1948, the United States was looking for escapism to jumpstart the citizenry into an era of good feeling.  These capable productions provided romance, a touch of fantasy, and in some cases, several nods to the war effort.

“`The initial film that went into principal photography was Christmas in Connecticut, which was released just days after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A traditional romantic comedy, the story is about an unmarried magazine writer who falls for a returning war hero. The soldier angle was written into the script after the Allies marched into Berlin.  It featured Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sidney Greenstreet, and S. Z. Sakall.

“`The Bells of St. Mary was an worthy sequel to the hugely popular Going My Way, the previous year. This story follows Father O’Malley’s efforts in saving a condemned inner-city school building during the holidays. Bing Crosby reprised his part as the genial priest.  This film was on the bill at the bijou in Bedford Falls during the climax in It’s a Wonderful Life (an obvious promotional plug). Henry Travers offered steady support for Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. The next year, he would take on his most memorable role as Clarence the Angel.


“`Much has been shared about It’s a Wonderful Life and the war connection is documented. This was James Stewart’s first assignment after spending his military duty flying bombers into Germany. He returned from his tour a changed man… sober and gaunt.  Unknown to the cast, Stewart harbored the horrors of combat. Today this is called P. T. S. D. During more desperate moments of the tale, the actor cried real tears as he attempted to expunge pent up memories of battle. He would later accept work in edgy Westerns directed by Anthony Mann.

“`Santa Claus went on trial in Miracle on 34th Street. Edmund Gwenn earned an Oscar for his performance as the intrepid Kris Kringle.  Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and a very young Natalie Wood round out the cast.  Macy’s Department Store and its annual parade are the backdrop to this delightful look at the economic boom that followed the war.


“`The Bishop’s Wife combines many of the sentimental elements found in The Bell’s of St. Mary and It’s a Wonderful Life. An angel (named Dudley) helps a priest who has lost their way during Christmas. Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven share in the mischief. The daughter is played by Karolyn Grimes, who was also Zuzu in It’s a Wonderful Life.

“`In Good Sam, Gary Cooper follows the advice of his minister and performs kind actions at the expense of his family’s livelihood. As Christmas approaches, his faith is reaffirmed by the kindness returned by friends and neighbors in the hamlet. Ann Sheridan co-stars. Todd Karns had previously appeared in It’s a Wonderful Life as Harry Bailey.

“`In 2020, we fight a different war due to Covid-19. Have a safe and healthy Christmas!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 1:40 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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