Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet
Director: Peter Godfrey
Running Time: 101 mins
Christmas In Connecticut is an American film about a magazine writer who pretends to be a housewife at a farm for a popular column. However, problems arise when her boss and a returning serviceman seek to stay for Christmas at her non-existent farm.
An enjoyable farce with an added bit of festive magic, Christmas In Connecticut features yet another brilliant leading performance from Barbara Stanwyck that’s as steely as it is comical, as well as a fun-loving story with a really good heart throughout.
For the most part, Christmas In Connecticut is all about making you laugh, and as such it’s quite a lot sillier than many of Stanwyck’s most famous films. The classic leading lady has proved herself in pretty much every genre in Hollywood, and she brings her inimitable style to this movie, really helping to make it a thoroughly enjoyable watch.
While the movie and its story is almost entirely farcical, Stanwyck manages to bring a blend of enjoyably silly comic sensibilities and steelier, more assured acting, which makes her and her character far more captivating than a leading lady who just falls over and blunders all the time.
That plays into the movie’s charm, which follows a successful and well-liked woman as she desperately tries to cover up a preposterous deceit surrounding her job. A wealthy New Yorker in reality, she writes magazine columns pretending to be a salt-of-the-earth wife who lives on a farm, and when her boss wants to get to know her lifestyle a little better, she has to cobble together a home that she really knows nothing about.
From there, the film plays out in delightful fashion as Stanwyck tries to stay one step ahead of all the people she reluctantly has over to her pretend house for Christmas, all the while blatantly failing to act like a woman well-adjusted to farm life as her column suggests she is.
Admittedly, Christmas In Connecticut isn’t the fastest-paced or zaniest comedy of its day, but its enjoyable cast of characters that includes Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan and in particular the hilarious Sydney Greenstreet make it such a fun, farcical watch throughout.
And while it’s set at Christmas, the film isn’t the cosiest festive production of all time, rather using the holiday as a convenient situation for the frenetic events of its story to play out. Having said that, there are a couple of moments here and there which deliver a really nice dose of Christmas magic, only adding to the film’s likability.
On the whole, I really enjoyed Christmas In Connecticut. It’s not a perfect film, and doesn’t quite stand as either the best comedy or Christmas movie of its era, but it does feature some great laughs throughout, a heartwarming Christmas vibe and a brilliant lead performance from the wonderful Barbara Stanwyck. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4 overall.