Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Peter Godfrey
The other night I was drinking and, as one does, decided what I really wanted to see was Sydney Greenstreet in a movie. And, of course, it is the holiday season - and what better choice than Christmas in Connecticut (1945) when it comes to your Syndey Greenstreet/ Christmas movie viewing needs.
Basically a classic farce (but only with a hint of the bedroom about it), Christmas in Connecticut gets a lot of play, but seems like it never quite makes it into the zeitgeist like a lot of other films - even if it deserves to more than a lot of modern holiday favorites. Genuinely funny with a terrific set-up and everyone on the same page giving sharp, punchy performances - it's got classic comedy chops to spare.
Stanwyck plays a cooking and homelife columnist for a popular "Good Housekeeping" style magazine. She's essentially posing as America's perfect housewife - complete with husband, child and a picturesque farm house, when she's really living the life of a single-gal in the big city. Fortunately, her uncle if a terrific chef and just tells her how he makes his best dishes, and she adds the purple prose.
But her pushy publisher (Greenstreet) is sent an idea for a promotion - the famous guru should take in a hero sailor (the movie is WWII contemporaneous) and show him true American hospitality. But, of course, she can't do it - so she fakes it.
People are in and out of doors, people hidden from one another, and Una O'Connor plays the domestic not in on the shenanigans. And - while faking a marriage she's actually dodging to a bore of a man (who owns the farm), Stanwyck meets the sailor in question and the smittening is mutual.
It's a terrific film - perfect for a comedy about the holiday that doesn't take it too seriously. And, of course, Sydeny Greenstreet is brilliant. As always.