These forgotten films offer wonderful holiday entertainment. Most are available on DVD and usually are shown on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) during the holiday season.
Babes In Toyland (1934). Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the classic comedy team, intervene to keep the “old woman” from being evicted from her “shoe” while helping along a romance between Bo-Peep and Tom-Tom.
Holiday (1938). Cary Grant plays a carefree nonconformist who is engaged to Katharine Hepburn’s snooty sister. Once he gets to know the real person behind the sister’s façade, it’s Kate who wins his heart.
Bachelor Mother (1939). When a salesclerk (Ginger Rogers) picks up a baby that had been abandoned on a doorstep, her coworkers think that the infant is hers. When Ginger’s employer’s son (David Niven) gets involved, the results are hilarious.
Remember the Night (1940). Barbara Stanwyck is a shoplifter who is arrested just before the holidays. The court’s prosecutor (Fred MacMurray) takes pity on her and offers to bring her home to his house for Christmas.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940). If you liked the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie You’ve Got Mail (1998), you’ll love the original, starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, who dislike each other in real life but adore each other as pen pals.
The Cheaters (1945). A self-centered rich family invites a has-been actor (played by Joseph Schildkraut) to be their guest for the holidays and eventually are taught the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945). Barbara Stanwyck stars as a Martha Stewart–type who writes an article about what she plans to prepare for her family for their Christmas meal. Stanwyck is put on the spot by her boss, who, as a publicity stunt, invites himself and a famous war veteran (and the press) to her Connecticut home for Christmas.
Lou Sabini is a noted film historian, writer and archivist currently conducting film screenings throughout Connecticut and New York. He is writing a book called Hollywood Exposed, which includes many forgotten films of the 1930s and 1940s worthy of rediscovery. www.LouSabini.org