Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa runs Hollywood.

Loretta Young and Cary Grant go ice skating in The Bishop's Wife
Our next documentary is going to blow the lid off this little know fact - Santa runs Hollywood. Exhibit A: there are plenty of great Christmas movies, but few to none with Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Winter Solstice themes. Hopefully, this will change as Santa becomes more inclusive in his green lighting of scripts.  

It's a Wonderful Life (1946), is the usual and can't miss choice for holiday viewing - others include Miracle on 34th Street (1934), White Christmas (1954), A Christmas Story (1983), Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) (seriously, it's bizarrely festive!). They're all great, but why not try one of our favorite Christmas movies, The Bishop's Wife (1947), directed by Henry Koster, starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven and the always fantastic, Monty Woolley. Two of the creative talents on this film - screenwriter, Robert E. Sherwood, and composer, Hugo Friedhofer, were also involved in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), which goes to show you that a certain combination of talents consistently produce gems...but we digress. The Bishop's Wife is a wonderful story that captures the fanciful idea of an angel (Cary Grant) sent to earth to guide a flawed human being (David Niven) through the maze of an important moral question. The fun twist in this story is that the fanciful angel slowly becomes seduced by mortal life.  It is a truly uplifting story that transcends Christmas and Christianity to speak to that place in all of us that yearns for self-knowledge and to live a full life.

The Bishop's Wife is not on The National Film Registry, but should be. Why not nominate it for the 2011 list.  You can send emails of support for this movie to Donna Ross at the Library of Congress:

IMDB for The Bishop's Wife:
IMDB for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians:

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