Christmas In Connecticut (1945)

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Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

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Director: Peter Godfrey

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Christmas In Connecticut (1945) Movie Review


If you're only familiar with the Christmas in Connecticut through the awful Arnold Schwarzenegger-directed remake, you owe it to yourself to check out the original, a funny and witty film featuring Barbara Stanwyck in one of her lightest roles on film.

The story is remarkably complex and underhanded for a) a comedy and b) something dreamed up in 1945. Stanwyck is Elizabeth Lane, a newspaper columnist who writes "Smart Housekeeping" full of recipes, homemaking, and parenting tips. Turns out, alas, she's a total fraud: She can't cook, she doesn't have a famous farm in Connecticut, and she isn't even married.

Her boss (who isn't in on all of this) invites himself over for Christmas. As a publicity stunt, he's bringing along a war hero, which will soehow make headlines. Naturally this will lead to all kinds of trouble, as Elizabeth can't change a diaper, has to bring in a helper to cook dinner, and, of course, falls in love with the soldier.

While this movie today would have to contend with Martha Stewart's not-quite-what-she-seems image and the problem of misrepresentation in the media -- something that, I guess, didn't exist in the 1940s -- we get the opportunity to see Stanwyck in a wildly screwball comedy, where mess upon mess is made of what ought to be the simplest things. It's not a terribly satisfying story, as the river of deceptions eventually becomes so distasteful it becomes difficult to have much sympathy for Lane's life -- much less applaud the doubling of her salary by the end of the film.

But it's all in reasonably good fun, and Stanwyck actually overcomes the role's limitations. As her boss, Sidney Greenstreet is particularly memorable too -- even though he wouldn't last a day on The Apprentice.


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Christmas In Connecticut (1945) Rating

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