By Raymond Benson
Another handsome, beautifully-illustrated, and affordable entry in Turner Classic Movies’ series of books on film history, genres, and trivia, comes just in time for the holidays. Christmas in the Movies—30 Classics to Celebrate the Season offers a selection of excellent choices in chronological order. Author Arnold, a film historian and TCM commentator, provides enough background, offscreen anecdotes, and justification for his picks to satisfy the most critical movie buff.
Christmas in the Movies manages to tick all the obvious suspects, but Arnold also throws a spotlight on some lesser-known gems such as Remember the Night (1940), with a screenplay by Preston Sturges—although I’d haggle that the Sturges’-helmed piece, Christmas in July (also 1940) might be a better option. Other worthy entries include The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), 3 Godfathers, The Lion in Winter (1968—Christmas in medieval England with Henry II and Eleanor!