Christmas movies in the 50s certainly didn’t seem as bound up by commercialism as those of today do, but then it was a different time and the luxuries that we have today weren’t quite as available or even thought of all that much. When you really think about it the standards of living were different as well since those that were well off might be considered more like average citizens into today’s landscape. But Christmas was a much simpler time it seems and didn’t suffer from an overabundance of presents and advertisements promising people a better life or at least a happy and content family if they bought certain things and appeased their family with items they wanted but didn’t really need. Christmas was about being together and being decent human beings at that point, as we seem to forget with each passing year.
Here are some of the best Christmas movies from the 50s.
5. We’re No Angels
Three escaped convicts decide to hide out in a small town in order to plan their escape, but somehow end up getting sentimental over a family that takes them in and shows them a measure of trust they’re not used to. When the film is nearing it’s end they’re still contemplating making good on their escape, but instead they figure that the outside world might not be too different from prison in a way, and turn themselves back in. It’s a touching but slightly frustrating movie since you would think they would want their freedom. But given that convicts on the outside stand to receive harsher punishment for escaping when they’re caught, turning themselves in was probably the better option.
4. Susan Slept Here
For a Christmas movie this is kind of disturbing since it features a young woman that’s been rather troublesome and has been foisted onto a struggling screenwriter that is trying to write about juvenile delinquency and having troubles. This is the worst-case scenario of bringing your work home with you, since once Mark finds out that Susan is going to be in juvenile detention until she’s 18 (she’s 17 in the film) he impulsively marries her and causes all kind of rumors and gossip to spread. This of course enrages his long-term fiance, who tries to take it out on Susan but is restrained, and mires Mark in a great deal of controversy since he won’t consummate the marriage. By the end Susan is in love with him and explains all the reasons why they should be together.
3. The Holly and the Ivy
It’s amazing that all you really need to do in order to get along with people is to communicate with them. Martin’s kids are so terrified that he’ll disapprove of everything they’re doing that they make themselves miserable and don’t want to spend the holidays together as they would rather go back to their separate lives and be as irritable as possible. But when they finally talk to him they discover that not only is not the religious fanatic that they believe him to be, but he’s also very understanding of their problems and is highly supportive of the decisions they make near the end of the film.
2. White Christmas
One thing that is always nice to see in any Christmas show is fellowship, and this movie has it in spades. There are of course plot twists that are devised in order to make the story interesting and move it along so as to keep the audience entertained and keep some sort of conflict that has to be resolved, but otherwise this is a very touching and very well-thought out film that manages to show the bonds that are formed between individuals and the lengths to which some people will go to please those that they care about and want to see happy. It’s also one of the classics that many people expect to watch during the Christmas season.
1. A Christmas Carol
This is a tale that has been told numerous times and in roughly the same way each time, with some variations throughout the years. It was originally titled Scrooge, but was renamed A Christmas Carol in the states. To say that many people already know the tale is enough, but to remind anyone that hasn’t seen it in a while the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge is a lonely one since he cares only for money and has no pity for those that have none. He’s the kind of man that will gladly turn away from the poor and needy and insist that they’re not working hard enough or should be jailed as an alternative to their holding their hands out for a pittance. But when he’s visited by three ghosts during the night he’s shown the harsh reality of his attitude towards the world and the next day is a changed man.
The Christmas holiday is on its way, and the movies are a-rolling.