Celluloid Christmas: Holy Hollywood! "Meet John Doe"
My 12th, and final, pick for the 12 Films of Christmas was directed by legendary Frank Capra, but it’s not the one you might think. In 1947, Capra helmed “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which was Jimmy Stewart’s big comeback role after World War II. My selection is an earlier film—a movie, in fact, that was made before America’s involvement in the war. “Meet John Doe” debuted in May 1941; Pearl Harbor would occur a scant seven months later. This movie is set in a country that is sti
Celluloid Christmas: Holy Hollywood! "Scrooge"
I don’t think I’m going out on a Christmas-tree limb when I say that Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is the most influential source material for holiday interpretations. The Dickens novella has everything that a fan of literature and an enthusiast for the Yuletide season could crave. It’s funny, dramatic, uplifting, scary, and, above all, entirely relatable. That’s why I’m choosing “Scrooge,” the less-frequently-seen musical version of the tale, as my ninth selection in
Celluloid Christmas: Holy Hollywood! "All Is Bright"
The sixth entry of my 12 Days of Christmas marathon is “All Is Bright,” a 2013 dramedy from Phil Morrison. Morrison achieved much acclaim back in 2005 for “Junebug,” a movie that he directed and was honored with an Oscar nod for Amy Adams. This quirky “fish out of water” film launched Adams’s career into the Hollywood A-list stratosphere. Strangely, the director Morrison didn’t achieve a similar fate. It is eight years between “Junebug,” his motion picture debut, and his soph