Tag Archives: merry christmas

Merry Christmas from Backlots!


From beautiful, unseasonably warm New York City, where I have spent the past week engulfed in research, I wish you a very happy holiday! Here are some photos of classic Hollywood stars celebrating.

marion davies UCLA Children's Clinic Xmas party 1954 LAPL

The Marion Davies Children’s Clinic, 1954

Marion Davies founded her children’s clinic in 1926, and every year she sponsored a party for the patients and their families, which included entertainment for the children and a Christmas turkey and groceries for the parents. Here in 1954, she celebrates with the children and Santa Claus, played by her husband, Horace Brown.

During the war, many celebrities participated in fundraising activities for the war effort. In this scene, Bette Davis plays a mother teaching her onscreen children the value of war bonds.

Judy Garland sings “Silent Night,” 1937.


Claudette Colbert with her Christmas wreath, 1932.

Angela Lansbury sings “We Need a Little Christmas,” from the original Broadway cast recording of Mame.


Colleen Moore sings Christmas carols.


Lucille Ball with a wreath in the late 1930s.

Here’s to a wonderful day today, and see you next time!


Merry Christmas from Backlots!

To all those who celebrate it, I wish my readers a very merry Christmas with lots of quality time with friends and family!

The holiday of Christmas has heralded some of the most beloved movies of all time. In celebration of the season, I am profiling a few of my favorites here. Have a wonderful holiday, and if you have a free moment, check out some of these movies!


Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan, it tells the story of a “perfect housewife” columnist who doesn’t exactly have the life her column suggests…and when her boss requires her to host a war veteran at her home for Christmas (and insists upon coming along himself), she has some arranging to do! A sweet situation comedy that is defined by Barbara Stanwyck’s delightful performance and that of the adorable S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall as the character of Uncle Felix.


This one is a true classic, and often I find myself disillusioned with the fact that with its great popularity has come a colorization that has now taken over AMC every year at Christmas as well as a 1994 remake, that has become more prevalent than the original on the other more commercial channels. But this, I believe, is the one and only one to see. Natalie Wood stars as a little girl skeptical of Santa Claus, until a Macy’s Santa Claus played by Edmund Gwenn makes her think twice. It is a fantastic children’s movie and also holds up extremely well for adults–if you haven’t seen it since your childhood, now is a wonderful time to revisit it!


This is a lesser-known gem with which I first became acquainted last year at Noir City X-Mas. It is a sweet, low-key comedy that stars Janet Leigh as an engaged war widow who falls in love with a department store clerk while undercover on her job as a comparative shopper. Though she already has a fiancé, her young son takes to the department store clerk (played by Robert Mitchum) and there begins to be some tension due to her son’s clear preference for Mitchum’s character. The movie is light fare, but good fun. One of the best performances in the movie comes from the little boy, played by Gordon Gebert. His acting career never took off but he found a second talent in adulthood–after studying architecture at UCLA, USC, and MIT, Gebert is now a very prominent professor at New York City’s College School of Architecture.