The 1940s was the decade for Christmas movies because more of them were released during this period of time than any other ten year span. There was, of course “It’s A Wonderful Life” which was, curiously enough, not released as a Christmas movie but became one of the most beloved of that decade. However, this decade brought us the classics we grew up with and still watch today and are a good reason as to why this era was known as Hollywood’s Golden Age.
While you may love the newer Christmas movies such as “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story” two of the most popular films played during the season, you might want to check out Netflix or Turner Classic Movies to catch some or all of these 5 best classic Christmas movies of the 1940s:
1. The Bishop’s Wife. 1947 starring Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young. Cary Grant is the charming angel who falls in love with Young while trying to teach her bishop husband (Niven) how to live. If nothing else, watch this one for the ice skating sequence.
2. The Bells Of St. Mary’s starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Sparks fly between the priest and nun but all turns out well for the school and everyone else in this family classic from 1945.
3. Miracle on 34 th Street – The beautiful Maureen O’Hara winds up falling for the gorgeous John Payne and a young Natalie Wood has us all believing in Santa Claus and Peace between Macy’s and Gimbels in this 1946 classic that never gets old.
4. Christmas In Connecticut – 1945 with Barbara Stanwyck as a career woman who pretends to be a bit more domestic than she really is. This is a great romantic comedy and a lot of fun as Stanwyck winds up with the handsome Dennis Morgan in the end.
5. Shop Around The Corner – Jimmy Stewart, of “It’s A Wonderful Life” made this classic that was eventually remade as a musical. In this 1940 version Stewart bickers a bit with his co-worker, played by Margaret Sullivan, but they eventually fall in love. This is a great movie and if it doesn’t put you in the spirit, nothing will.
Other notables to watch around this time of the year include Holiday Affair, Holiday Inn, Tenth Avenue Angel, Penny Serenade and The Man Who Came To Dinner. The 1940s was definitely the decade for Christmas movies.