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Bring on the Holidays

We at Red Carpet Cinema want to help enrich your holiday season with movies to match. If you love the classics, then this list is for you!

Click on each image for more info about the movie.

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On Moonlight Bay (1951)

Sort of a-year-in-the-life of the Winfield family, this film delivers great feelings of home life with a little mischief and an emphasis on the spirit of the season. Great period tunes sung by Day and MacRae in vibrant Technicolor! We recommend starting your holidays with this and its sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953).

By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)

This follow-up to On Moonlight Bay continues the story of the Winfield family with more hijinks and more holiday atmosphere. Thanksgiving features very prominently here as does a beautiful Wintery sequence.

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Beyond Tomorrow (1940)

A true gem, this Christmas fantasy is one that should be experienced by all. It’s charming and touching. Sadly, this film fell into the public domain, so finding a quality copy may prove challenging, but totally worth it. There is also a colorized version. Also known as Beyond Christmas.

Remember the Night (1940)

The first of four pairings of Stanwyck and MacMurray, and one that is shockingly overlooked. Sturges’ script delivers laughs, offers warmth, and provides all the “feels” you’d want for the holidays.

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The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

This ought to be a holiday staple. The Lubitsch touch is all over this, balancing perfectly humor and sentiment. Don’t skip this. Never skip this. Remade twice: the Technicolor musical In the Good Old Summertime (1949) and You’ve Got Mail (1998).

Holiday Inn (1942)

The movie that introduced to the world the highest-selling song of all time - White Christmas. There’s a lot to like here. Great songs. Great humor. Great, great, great! You should know there is a scene with blackface. It is meant to be in homage and not ridiculing, but still can be jarring.

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Larceny, Inc.   (1942)

Robinson turns his stereotypical hoodlum character on its head in this Christmas caper comedy. The story was later lifted and was turned into the Woody Allen yarn Small Time Cooks (2000).

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

Got a cold, snappy, intellectual female role needs filled? Call Bette Davis. Want a jolly, likable, pleasant woman for a Christmas movie? I guess you also call Bette Davis. It’s a shame she didn’t take on more roles like this; she’s really quite good at it. Thankfully we have this seasonal hit for our enjoyment!

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The Cheaters (1945)

This jolly gem has somehow slipped through the cracks over the years, and it’s a shame. Billie Burke (The Wizard of Oz (1939)) is at her quirkiest here and is darn likable. Schildkraut (The Shop Around the Corner (1940)) hands in a good performance in a role that was originally meant for John Barrymore. If you can track this one down, it would be so worth the effort. Also billed as The Castaway.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

So, Barbara Stanwyck was known for turning out great dramatic performances. But, man, was she also so good with comedy! This film is probably her lightest of films and it is splendid for the season. Remade as a TV movie in 1992 directed by, no joke, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Lady on a Train (1945)

Maybe you’re not in the mood for the typical holiday RomCom or musical, but still want to enjoy something filled with the spirit of the season. Well, how about a Christmas mystery? Deanna Durbin cheers in this noir/comedy/thriller/romance. Yep, that about covers it.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It is difficult to believe that this perennial favorite was such a flop upon its initial release that it bankrupted its production company. After being condemned to be shown on television, it began gaining traction over the years and won favor from audiences and is now a holiday standard.


The Bishop's Wife (1947)

There were four Christmas movies released in 1947: Miracle on 34th Street, It Happened on 5th Avenue, Christmas Eve, and this one. Grant is delightful in this somewhat supporting role, a role which he chose. Oscar-nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. Remade in 1996 as The Preacher’s Wife. 

Christmas Eve (1947)

A gentle and touching drama, dusted with some comedic points, this is another film missed by many that deserves a viewing. It was actor Randolph Scott’s final non-western role.

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It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)

Enough can’t be said about this picture which should be on everyone’s must watch list for the holidays. Go ahead. Watch it. See if you don’t like it.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Upon receiving his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Edmund Gwenn said, “Now I know there is a Santa Claus.” Indeed Gwenn is convincing as the jolly old elf and equally convincing is the young Natalie Wood. This movie snagged two other Oscars for Best Original Story and Best Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture. Remade under the same title in 1994.

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Holiday Affair (1949)

Silver screen tough guy Robert Mitchum had a bad rep in his personal life at this time. He had just been arrested for possession of cannabis when his agent landed him this role as a way of winning back audiences. It worked! It’s not quite a lightweight comedy, nor is it a heavyweight drama. It falls somewhere in the middle with Christmas all around.

Mr. Soft Touch (1949)

Sixth and final film to feature Glenn Ford and Evelyn Keyes, this crime/drama might be a good change of pace for those seeking something a little more thrilling in giftwrap.

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The Great Rupert (1950)

What a holly, jolly movie from producer George Pal (The War of the Worlds (1953).) This is a treat the whole family can enjoy. Later colorized and retitled A Christmas Wish.

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)

Ever wonder where the song “Silver Bells” came from? Yeah, it’s from this movie. A little on the goofy side, but Hope’s wit is unparalleled.

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Susan Slept Here (1954)

This quirky little comedy was a huge hit and saved RKO. This was Dick Powell’s final film as an actor, and he would continue his career as a director. The picture is draped in beautiful Christmas color and is a lot of fun for the season!

White Christmas (1954)

Paramount’s first venture with VistaVision which was true high-definition filmmaking. It would be silly to have a list of holiday movies and not include this standard. It’s lush. It’s vibrant. It’s Christmas.

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We're No Angels (1955)

Well, White Christmas it ain’t, but this gorgeous VistaVision picture has a lot of laughs and is a great entry in the holiday classics. Bogie is good, but Ustinov really steals the show. Slightly remade as We’re No Angels (1989).

All Mine to Give (1957)

Brace yourself. This RKO title is not to be messed with. It’s moving. It’s heartbreaking. It’s based on a true story. It’s the real deal, folks. Beautifully filmed in Technicolor, it also showcases a remarkable performance by Glynis Johns.

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Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

Part of the deal for Columbia Pictures to loan out Kim Novak to Hitchcock for Vertigo (1958) was that Jimmy Stewart had to star in one of Columbia’s pictures. This is that picture. It is hip and fun and equal parts Halloween and Christmas. Lemmon and Kovacs are really on their game in this one.

Fitzwilly (1967)

My goodness, what a fun movie! Lots of laughs and Christmas cheer in this hilarious caper of sorts.

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And So They Were Married (1936)

Fun little screwball comedy set in the snow and taking place across Christmas and New Year’s. Hilarious and holiday-filled.

Bachelor Mother (1939)

This one works more as a New Year’s Eve flick, but Christmas is still in the background. Rogers and Niven are tops in this, and Charles Coburn does what he does best. Great writing and sort of side-stepping some Production Code rules. Remade in 1956 as the widescreen, Technicolor musical Bundle of Joy.

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Repeat Performance (1947)

This noir/fantasy is so cool. New Year’s Eve features prominently and is a key part of the story. Preview audiences’ reports were so positive about Richard Basehart’s performance that the studio moved his name into the third billing, and this was his first film!

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