Holiday Classics: Christmas in Connecticut

December 2, 2013

IN DECEMBER, my evening habit is to make a mug of real cocoa, enrich it with a sensible amount of Kahlua, and then head upstairs to the library. There, curled up on a comfy blue sofa, I spend an hour or two watching classic holiday movies. Tonight’s feature is Christmas in Connecticut. Are you familiar with this 1945 farce that stars Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan? Here’s the plot:

The plot: Elizabeth Lane (Stanwyck) is a highly-regarded food-writer and domestic goddess. In her monthly column for a national housekeeping-magazine, she creates recipes, and describes, for readers,  her life on a large Connecticut farm where she lives with her husband and baby.

The only problem? Elizabeth Lane doesn’t live on a farm. Nor does she have a husband. Or a baby. And she absolutely, positively can’t cook. In fact, she lives alone in a tiny NYC apartment. The recipes, which she claims as her own, are  created by her friend Felix (the character-actor S.Z. Sakall), who owns a Manhattan bistro.

All is well until a returning World War II vet (Dennis Morgan) asks the magazine if he can have Christmas dinner with “America’s Best Cook” and her family at their romantic Connecticut farm. The publisher, imagining a publicity coup, readily agrees to the proposal.

Is the charade over for Miss Lane?

Well, you’ll just  have to see the movie!

Are you a fan of classic films, too? You can let me know by leaving a comment.

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Decorating the Fireplace Mantel
Decorating the Christmas Tree
Recipe: Cognac Cookies

Comments

  1. Sandy says:

    Love that movie but my all time favorite is The Bishop’s Wife.

  2. Sandy – I love The Bishop’s Wife, too. I’ll probably include the film (the original version with Cary Grant) in this series.

  3. Rosemeri says:

    This is a great movie and I plan to watch it too. Ditto on The Bishop’s wife with Cary Grant. Another great one is The Shop Around The Corner with Jimmy Stewart.

  4. mike says:

    How about a neo-classical? “A Christmas Story” (1983)
    Ralphie’s desire for a Red Ryder BB gun with built-in compass and sundial.

  5. Joyce says:

    I love this movie… haven’t seen it for a long time.

    You made me run to the TV to check TCM schedule. I guess you’re watching your own copy!! Love old movies cause I’m old and they look familiar!! We just got TCM in a cable switch and so I’ve been busy watching and recording. Don’t know what TCM shows for Christmas movies.

  6. Deb says:

    My favorite is “It’s a Wonderful Life” ~ never get tired of watching it over and over and it always makes me tear up with happiness from all the family and community love and of course when Clarence gets his wings.

  7. Maggie says:

    I’ve never heard of this movie but would love to see it. it would be great if our local cimema ran classic movies such as this instead of the great majority of the movies I don’t go to see now. I hope I find a way t see it.
    I sad down to my computer with my real cup of cocoa and read this post first, no Kahlua in mine, and no book, but instead this computer screen with your lovely post, the book I am in the middle of reading is getting neglected while I do this. I don’t have winter outside, either, just the airconditioner inside and 37 degrees C (100F) outside. Cold and rain tomorrow, but summer has struck with a vengeance today in this part of Australia and I’ve been doing a lot of watering of the garden over the last few days. I think I remember you saying a similar thing happened to you at the beginning of your summer in US. Perhaps we are just being copy cats here. ( My cocoa was my choice instead of my 3rd cup of coffee for the day, or my water bottle I have been drinking out of. Time to go and move the hose, to make sure the plants I planted in winter and have been growing so well don’t coil up their toes and die, and the worms that are turning my clay and stable compost into soil in my garden don’t descicate and go to sleep for the summer!!

  8. Kate says:

    Sounds like a delightful movie! I’ve never tried Kahlua and hot chocolate. I’ll add them both to my list, thank you!

    I’ve finals throughout the next two weeks so no extra time to speak of. We received a lot of snow tonight which,while fabulously fun to play and hike in, takes longer to drive in.

    My begonias are still flowering although I did manage to cut one down when it wasn’t blooming.Hopefully, the new bits sprout..

    Hope your birthday week is filled with joy!
    cheers!

  9. Cary Bradley says:

    LOVE your winter evening habit! Thanks for the reminder of great Christmas movies and aren’t we lucky to have terrific access to them now? Agree with the gang at the top that The Bishop’s Wife is stellar. Ack, gotta get to work. Love you, Kevin! Thanks for the new feature! :)

  10. Debbie says:

    I watched Christmas in Connecticut over the weekend and it is one of my favorites. I really like The Bishop’s Wife (with Carey Grant, David Niven & Loretta Young), The Shop Around the Corner and Scrooge-the version with Alistair Sims. I never get tired of all the great classic films!

  11. Scott Trudell says:

    My all time favorite holiday movie classic is Meet Me in St. Louis. A close runner up would be In the Good Old Summertime. It stars Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and is a 1949 remake of The Shop Around the Corner. Also, most any of the many versions of A Christmas Carol.

  12. Martha says:

    And I love White Christmas with Gene Kelly and Bing Crosby….thanks for the inspiration, and look forward to hearing more about these.

  13. Cathy says:

    OMG, Yes – I love the Christmas Classics – my favorite is White Christmas – I cry everytime the general sees his outfit @ his ski lodge!!

  14. Wilma says:

    Our holiday movie isn’t a Christmas movie, but it’s part of our holidays anyway.
    In 1951 the Brits released a film of the Offenbach opera “The Tales of Hoffmann”. My then boyfriend took me to see it (complete with reserved seating, a program, and an intermission … predated the Met’s big screen stuff by quite a few years). In October the following year, I married him. A year or two later he mentioned he had really enjoyed the film so I went looking for a copy of the score (they weren’t doing VCR tapes or DVD disks yet) and found one. We began listening while baking his family’s Bohemian sandtart recipe for the winter holidays. Then, a few years ago, Criterion films released reprints and we began watching “… Hoffmann” rather than just listening. We’ve been watching on Christmas Day ever since. Sort of a gift of memory to each other. Only oops is that two scenes from the original have been lost. Oh well … we can still see them in our minds’ eyes.
    Am also a fan of “Christmas in Connecticut” (I loved Dennis Morgan) and “The Bishop’s Wife” (there’ll never be another Cary Grant), But they aren’t on our holiday film list. May have to add them.
    Oh yes, we now listen to the Patrick Stewart recording of “A Christmas Carol: while baking sand tarts.
    Blessings for your birthday and wishes for a great holiday season for the two of you.

  15. Sheree Ashapa says:

    It’s a Wonderful Life! – the original with Jimmy Stewart.
    An annual tradition to help remind me of what is really important in life.
    Happy Holidays!

  16. Larry McChesney says:

    This movie is in the same genre as “Mr. Blandings builds his Dream House”. Did any of you know that the original house is in New Milford, Ct. and still standing in good repair?

  17. Sharon Shade says:

    I spent a year in Chicago and learned to drink hot cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps in it. Now at Christmas it seems to me to be the only drink to have before the fire.

    I love Christmas in Connecticut which most people have never seen but I also feel I have to watch White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street (the original version) and It’s a Wonderful Life. Those 4 movies are required holiday watching for me!

  18. How wonderful to find another Christmas in Connecticut fan! I absolutely LOVE this movie! And, of course, the original Miracle on 34th Street is a requirement, as is It’s a Wonderful Life and the “newcomers” (both coming perilously close to being 50 years old) of the animated Grinch and Charlie Brown’s Christmas. Once I’d done all those, it’s okay — Christmas can come.

    Have a great holiday season!
    –arden–

  19. Oriane says:

    I love classic films and will look this one up as I’ve never seen it.

    Curled up on your beautiful blue sofa with a cup (or two) of hot cocoa and Kahlua watching a good movie; no one spreads the holiday spirit like you do, thank you.

  20. Cathy in Cleveland says:

    I would have to “triple-dog-dare” anyone to best A Christmas Story!

    We can all turn to Kevin should the Bumpuses dogs steal our Christmas dinner.

    Happy Holidays!

  21. Sonja says:

    We watch Christmas in Connecticut every year. In fact, some of our family phrases have become “hunky-dunky” and “katahstroff.” Haven’t had cocoa & Kahlua, but now it’s on my list…with a candy cane stirrer, perhaps? All the best, Kevin!

  22. Lorena Keech says:

    I try to watch Christmas in Connecticut, Holiday Inn and White Christmas every year. Love them all.

  23. Deb says:

    One of my all-time favorites is one many of you may never have seen. Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory starring Geraldine Page. I believe it was a “made for tv” movie back in the 60s about a young Truman and his Aunt Sook with whom he was living at the time. They were poor and dependent upon his other two stuffy aunts. They hung onto the excitement and the true meaning of Christmas no matter how hard times got. It’s been years since I last saw it yet to this day it remains my favorite!

  24. Joan says:

    Kevin – You always make my day reading your wonderful posts. Love your dog too. Please just keep doing what your doing and -oh those recipes.

  25. Pam says:

    I don’t believe I’ve seen that movie! Thank you, it sounds hilarious! Oh, and the hot chocolate and Kahlua is a very good idea! Some peeps in winter wonderland use peppermint schnapps as a little additive. I like the previous idea. ;) Hope you have enjoyed your bd Kevin, and to many more!

  26. Pam says:

    PS Congrats on getting another chapter done for you cook book!

  27. Toni Burgau says:

    LOVE !! Christmas in Connecticut….wouldn’t you like to live in that time?

    Thank you for the information you share (the recipes especially) !! Made the
    chive pesto this summer – YUM !!

    Can you share your hot cocoa recipe ?? Made some last year (from scratch – was good)
    Also, made my own homemade marshmallows – everyone enjoyed them.

  28. Julie B says:

    C in CT is a new one to me; we’ll have to check it out. One of our longest running favorites, however, is Holiday Inn. It’s about time to carve out an evening in front of the fire with it.

  29. Sheila says:

    Don’t forget The Bells of St Marys with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman!

  30. Rhonda Strahler says:

    I haven’t seen this one, but I’ll bet my classic-movie-buff brother-in-law has it – he DROOLS over Barbara Stanwyck!! I’ll have to ask if he has it & borrow it. I have found that many times I can find old or obscure movies at my local library – if they don’t have it they will search their entire system to find & get it for you!! My favorite is “Christmas Story”, tho – I crack up at that FRA-GEE-LAY leg lamp every time! There is a house near my home (Marietta, Ohio) that has a large picture window – showcased year-round in that window is a full-sized leg lamp! I drive out of my way occasionally just to see it!

  31. paula K says:

    Enjoying these posts of favorite holiday films, need to catch up with some of them…Does anyone remember An American Christmas Carol with Henry Winkler? It’s one of my favorite spins on the Classic. I think it was a TV movie years ago, we have an old VHS copy—-One we do not watch is a Muppets Christmas Carol–scared our daughter SO badly, it was a really rough few days after… to this day we avoid it and i’m a grandmom now!

  32. patty h says:

    I love the classic movies. White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney is my favorite!

  33. Lisa Grandstaff says:

    I always watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and two versions of “Christmas Carol” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas”… my own copies, and then whatever I can find in the library system, but I have to admit, I’d never even heard of Christmas in Connecticut. Maybe I’ll cross its path sometime soon.

    I am NOT a fan of the 80′s “classic” Christmas Story, so am content to let others love on it. By the way, I have no idea where Marietta OH is since I’m from PA, but the house used in the movie for the exterior shots is in Cleveland, and has been restored to function as a museum.

    Check it out here:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/auction-offers-night-stay-cleveland-christmas-story-house/story?id=21148534

  34. Laura says:

    I, too, love all the above mentioned movies, but I also try to watch The Bells of St. Mary, Going My Way, and Little Women(Kathryn Hepburn edition) during the Holiday season. All of them are feel-good classics! They are made even more special while viewed in a room lit with just the lights from the Christmas tree and a cup of hot coffee and Baileys! Or the other way around!

  35. Roseann says:

    I watch this movie also. It is one of my favorites to watch every Holiday season! I have also watched the re-make with Dyan Cannon but love this one best.

  36. Sharon says:

    I should start watching the classics, looks like fun!
    Looking forward to seeing some posts about summer entertainment! New ideas are always fun to implement, and you always have some good ones.

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