Every Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movie leading lady has, in some ways, been following Barbara Stanwyck’s lead as a woman finding domestic bliss beneath her career woman exterior in a film that charms, despite its dated ideas about femininity.
Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
There’s a scene in 2005’s The Family Stone where characters get emotional watching Judy Garland croon “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in this film. Their tears are justifiable, given the sweeping sadness at the center of her performance in a happy-go-lucky big-budget musical.
Holiday Inn (1942)
Who wouldn’t want to spend their holidays tucking in with a classic big-screen musical starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, particularly when Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” is being sung on film for the first time?
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Before Nora Ephron dreamed up 1998’s You’ve Got Mail, there was Ernst Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner starring a pre-It’s a Wonderful Life Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan as feuding shop employees. As luck would have it, the pair’s real-life tensions shield the fact that they’re secret pen pals!
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