December 9 – It Happened on 5th Avenue – 1947 – 116 minutes
The movie is set in New York City right after World War II. The characters include a wealthy gentleman, who prides himself on being “the second richest guy in the world” and thinks that since he has so much money, he has everything. The wealthy gentleman thinks he is happy with all his wealth, but in reality, the only thing he has to show for his life is his stomach ulcer. It is not until an unlikely set of circumstances combine with an unusual cast of additional characters (a middle-aged hobo, a young guy fresh out of the military who is looking for a job and an apartment, along with some other supporting characters) that the “rich guy” finds out the true meaning of life.
December 16 – It’s a Wonderful Life – 1946 – 125 minutes
George Bailey spends his entire life giving up his big dreams for the good of his town, Bedford Falls, as we see in flashback. But in the present, on Christmas Eve, he is broken and suicidal over the misplacing of an $8000 loan and the machinations of the evil millionaire, Mr. Potter. His guardian angel, Clarence, falls to Earth, literally, and shows him how his town, family, and friends would turn out if he had never been born. George meant so much to so many people; should he really throw it all away?
December 23 – Scrooge – 1970 – 113 minutes
Albert Finney is perfection itself as Ebeneezer Scrooge, proving as effective as a young (un-made up) man as the old skinflint we’ve grown to love. The Three Ghosts who turn the miserly Scrooge’s life around on Christmas Eve are portrayed by Edith Evans (Past), Kenneth More (Present) and Paddy Stone (Yet to Come). Our favorite among the huge, predominantly British supporting cast is Sir Alec Guinness as a fussy, slightly effeminate Marley’s Ghost. Best of all, Finney performs his many songs “live” and not lip-synched to a pre-recording. Scrooge is more than satisfactory Yuletide entertainment.