One of the perennial favorites for TV broadcast at this time of year is the 1945 film Christmas in Connecticut, starring Barbara Stanwyck. I sat down for the first time in years to watch the entire movie, and gave it my full attention in a way that I never did while I was wrapping presents or chatting with relatives or trimming the tree. As I suspect from my half-assed viewing of the film over the years, Christmas in Connecticut is a very slight movie; if it weren't related to Christmas, or didn't star Stanwyck, most of us might never have heard of it.
The plot is pretty lame: Liz Lane (Stanwyck) has gained career success by writing a series of columns about the joys of being a housewife and mom on her farm in Connecticut -- a Forties version of Martha Stewart. Trouble is, she's really a single NYC career girl who can barely boil water, and who gets her recipes from her Uncle Felix (S.Z. Sakall), who runs a restaurant. This was never an issue until her publisher Alexander Yeardley (Sydney Greenstreet) decides to accompany war hero Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) to Liz's Connecticut farm for Christmas to experience home cooking and happy holiday domesticity. Liz talks her longtime cold fish of a suitor into lending his farm, they bring Felix along to cook, and even manage to borrow a baby ... but can they pull this off without Liz and her editor losing their jobs?