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Christmas in Connecticut

Barbara Stanwyck , Dennis Morgan , Peter Godfrey    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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This is a holiday film that plays 365 days of the year. Barbara Stanwyck gives a brilliant, sardonic performance as Elizabeth Lane, a columnist for Smart Housekeeping magazine, whose enticing descriptions of the exquisite meals she prepares for her husband and baby on their bucolic Connecticut farm earns her fame as "America's Best Cook." A writer, she is; a cook, she is not. As she types the words, "From my living room window, as I write, the good cedar logs cracking on the fire..." the view is of clothes flapping on the line outside her bachelorette Manhattan apartment. An able supporting cast keeps her lie on life support: her editor, her stuffy and detestable architect suitor, and the wonderful "Uncle" Felix (S.Z. Sakall), an English-garbling Hungarian chef who provides the recipes that fill her column.

Cut to Jefferson Jones, a sailor adrift at sea for weeks after his destroyer is torpedoed. Memories of the food described in Lane's columns are central to his survival. After his rescue, as he's recuperating in a naval hospital, a marriage-minded nurse thinks she might nudge Jones to the altar if he could only experience a real domestic Christmas. And it just so happens that she was nurse to the grandchild of Alexander Yardley, the wealthy and powerful publisher of --you guessed it--Smart Housekeeping magazine. And so, she pens the letter that could unravel Lane's carefully constructed fraud. She writes to Yardley asking that Jones be included in America's ultimate Christmas--the one to be held at the Lane family farm in Connecticut. The pompous Yardley (ably portrayed by Sidney Greenstreet) believes the Lane myth and instantly sniffs a story that will send his magazine's circulation skyrocketing. And staring down a lonely holiday, he decides to join the Lanes for Christmas on the farm, too. Now, all Lane has to do is come up with a farm. And a husband. And let's not forget the baby. Christmas in Connecticut is classic screwball entertainment of the best kind, with its on-target skewering of social convention and house-of- cards-about-to-tumble tension: a perfect farcical vision of domestic blitz. --Susan Benson

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Stanwyck's better romantic comedies Dec 22 2002
Format:VHS Tape
My favorite female performer in the history of film is Barbara Stanwyck. Unlike many actresses, she could excell in sympathetic roles, comedic roles, and sinister roles. We could love her or hate her. Unfortunately, this enormous versatility of hers kept her from making as many romantic or screwball comedies as I would have liked. As great as she could be in comedy (especially in her three great comedic pictures, BALL OF FIRE, her other, even better, holiday film REMEMBER THE NIGHT, and the incomparably brilliant THE LADY EVE, which provided her with one two or three greatest screen roles, and which also took place partly in Connecticut), she made comparably few.
CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT is a good film, and Stanwyck is Stanwyck, but despite many fine and enjoyable moments, it does not rank among her very best. The problem does not lie with her, but with her costar Dennis Morgan, who although quite handsome and possessed of a beautiful baritone, was more than a little stiff as an actor, and not terribly good at comedy. The supporting cast, however, is utterly first rate. The film provided S. K. "Cuddles" Sakall one of his finest roles, as Felix, the person who provides columnist Stanwyck her recipes. Reginald Gardiner is also excellent, as the would-be and more than a little dull suitor, less oily and dislikable than most of his other roles. Sydney Greenstreet is great in a role that we more normally associate with Charles Coburn in the forties.
But a couple of things keep me from liking this film as much as I might have. First, there is the aforementioned Morgan. I find him just a little too dull. A good singer and serviceable in musicals, but not a comic talent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmastime is here Feb. 22 2007
I have to admit, I don't really like most holiday movies. They tend to be too sugary and whimsical for my taste.

But "Christmas in Connecticut" is a delicious exception, being less a holiday movie than a romantic comedy that happens to be at Christmas. Sure, i it's a bit on the fluffy side, but it never dips into the sentimental or syrupy, and the country Christmas makes a delightful setting for a more grown-up Christmas story.

Navy officer Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) nearly starves to death after his ship sinks. While he's recovering, his nurse is convinced that if he spends Christmas at a "real home," he'll go all domestic and marry her. So she writes magazine mogul Yardley (Sydney Greenstreet) for assistance. Yardley decides to send Jones to stay with his hottest asset: perfect wife/mother/cook/columnist Elizabeth Lane (Stanwyck), on her farm in Connecticut.

Problem is, she's actually an urban singleton who can't cook to save her life. So to keep up the ruse, Elizabeth hastily accepts a proposal from an old friend, stuffy John Sloan (Reginald Gardiner) -- who happens to have a farm in Connecticut. But when she arrives at the farm, she's instantly smitten with Jones, and starts to rethink the whole marriage thing... especially when her charade starts to collapse.

"Christmas in Connecticut" is just a funny, romantic, heartwarming little Christmas movie. It straddles the fence between a screwball and a straightforward romantic comedy, and director Peter Godfrey keeps it all looking effortless. It's just fun, fun, fun, even when Elizabeth's secret inevitably comes out.

Instead, Godfrey deftly juggled the romantic and screwball aspects of the movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Warm And Charming Dec 20 2000
Format:VHS Tape
From the perspective of the hectic, contemporary world in which we live, the so called "good old days" always seen so much more serene and innocent; an idyllic era gone by of which we have only memories and shadows that linger on the silver screen, as with "Christmas In Connecticut," a warm and endearing film directed by Peter Godfrey. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Elizabeth Lane, a popular "Martha Stewart" type magazine columnist who writes about life on her beloved farm in Connecticut, always with the latest recipe at the center of the story. One of her biggest fans is Alexander Yardley, played by Sidney Greenstreet, the publisher of the magazine for which she writes. Yardley has never visited her farm, and in response to an idea expressed to him in a letter from a nurse, Mary (Joyce Compton), he decides to spend an old fashioned Christmas with Elizabeth, her husband and child and, as a special guest, a certain Mr. Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan), a sailor just recovered from spending fifteen days at sea on a raft after his ship was torpedoed. Elizabeth of course cannot refuse her boss, but there are problems; not the least of which is the fact that she has no farm and writes her column from the comfort of a high-rise in the city. It makes for a precarious situation for her as well as her editor, Dudley Beecham (Robert shayne), as the one thing Mr. Yardley demands from his employees is total honesty. What follows is a charming and delightfully romantic comedy that transports the audience back to a seemingly more simple time and place, to share a Christmas Past where a warm hearth, good food and kindness prevail. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great acting brings back fond memories
Published 1 month ago by Eek
1.0 out of 5 stars Ne comprend pas de doublage en français
Cela doit être la quatrième fois en peu de temps que j'ai cette désagréable surprise. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Luc Bautmans
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good.
Terrible. Not worth the money. Supposed to be a classic? It's not funny, the characters are shallow, and it's badly acted. Glad I didn't pay much for it... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Christmas Nut
5.0 out of 5 stars tradition
I love watching the old black and white movies at Christmas, and this is one of my favourite ones to see
Published 9 months ago by JoAnne Drouillard
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I love this movie, and for some reason had never seen it before. Barbara Stanwyck plays a great role in this -- I didn't realize she was so funny.
Published 17 months ago by JB
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! :)
This feature film is the type of movie that puts a smile on my face. It is one of my favorite Christmas movie that I watch in the last two weeks prior to Christmas day. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2010 by SlyFox
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas MUST!
The ORIGINAL "Christmas in Connecticut" is one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time, not just one of my favourite Christmas flicks. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2004 by coopermom27
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Christmas movie
Forget all the others that people think are "must sees" at Christmas time. This is the best and, seemingly, the least well known. Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by Miss Tresninos
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas Fare
I look forward to seeing this romantic comedy of errors each year at Christmastime. Barbara Stanwick is superb, and it's great to see Sidney Greenstreet in a comedy. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Michele's First Review
This was a wonderfully comical and good hearted movie based on old fashioned values. It's a definite classic, in my opinion!! Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2003 by Chelly
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