It’s holiday movie season and yearly there appears to be a deluge of latest Christmas movies coming from Hallmark and Netflix. However for many people, it’s additionally the time of yr to go to some basic favorites like It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story. However what if you need one thing new to you, however with that very same basic film heat? Put in your coziest sweater, get some egg nog or sizzling buttered rum, and prepare to fall in love with these under-seen classics streaming now on HBO Max, Criterion Channel, and for hire on digital platforms.
From glowing romantic comedies to basic movie noir to obscure animated household movies, there’s positive to be one thing for everybody on this record whether or not they’ve been naughty or good.
Learn on for 10 of the lesser-known Christmas motion pictures to observe on streaming companies this vacation season.
Employed as short-term vacation assist, salesgirl Polly Parrish (Ginger Rogers) receives a dismissal discover from the John B. Merlin and Son division retailer in New York Metropolis simply days earlier than Christmas. On her method dwelling she sees a lady go away a child on the steps of an orphanage and decides to take it dwelling out of the chilly. Later, the proprietor’s son David Merlin (David Niven) mistakenly believes that Polly is an unwed mom. After arranging for her job again, he begins to fall in love. In the meantime his father believes David is the daddy of Polly’s little one. With charming performances, this screwball comedy is as bubbly as a glass of champagne.
Keep in mind The Night time
Written by Preston Sturges and directed by Mitchell Leisen, this romantic comedy stars Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray — 4 years earlier than their iconic pairing in Double Indemnity. Lee Leander (Stanwyck) is arrested for stealing a bracelet, however her trial is delayed till after Christmas on technicality as a result of District Lawyer Jack Sargeant (MacMurray) doesn’t need a jury full of vacation cheer. Nonetheless, he additionally doesn’t need her to spend Christmas Eve in jail. En path to Lee’s estranged mom, the 2 discover themselves stranded in rural Pennsylvania, and naturally, falling in love. A movie completely balanced between finish of the yr melancholy and vacation cheer.
Girl within the Lake
Primarily based on the novel of the identical identify Raymond Chandler, star Robert Montgomery not solely takes on the position of Los Angeles non-public detective Phillip Marlowe, however directed the movie as effectively. Shot nearly solely from the standpoint of Marlowe, characters converse on to the digital camera. Montgomery’s Marlowe is generally heard, his face solely seen sometimes as a mirrored image in a mirror. When publishing government Adrienne Fromsett (Audrey Totter) hires Marlowe just a few days earlier than Christmas, he finds himself in a twisted thriller involving lovely, but devious ladies, endless greed and coldblooded homicide. Whereas the digital camera gimmick can get just a little nauseating at occasions, there isn’t actually anything fairly prefer it.
It Occurred on fifth Avenue
Launched the identical yr as the unique Miracle on thirty fourth Road, this Roy Del Ruth’s ensemble comedy follows the houseless Aloysius T. McKeever (Victor Moore), who takes up residence each Christmas season within the boarded-up Fifth Avenue mansion of the second richest man on the planet (Charles Ruggles) whereas he’s away on trip. The great-hearted McKeever will get greater than he bargained for when he lets ex-G.I. Jim Bullock (Don DeFore), his warfare buddies Whitey (Alan Hale, Jr.) and Hank (Edward Ryan) and their households, plus 18-year-old Trudy “Smith” (Gale Storm) share the mansion with him. Though it immediately addresses the post-WWII housing disaster, Del Ruth’s interrogation of how America fails its veterans nonetheless resonates at this time.
It Occurred on fifth Avenue is accessible to stream on HBO Max.
Vacation Affair (1949)
Brimming with vacation cheer, Robert Mitchum, forged in opposition to kind to be able to rehabilitate his picture following a marijuana bust, oozes appeal as a bohemian seasonal gross sales clerk who romances Janet Leigh’s warfare widowed single mom. They meet when comparability shopper Connie (Leigh) inadvertently prices Mitchum his job after she buys a toy practice from him. Additional complicating the state of affairs are Connie’s moist blanket boyfriend Carl (Wendell Corey), and her precocious music Timmy (Gordon Gebert), who thinks the practice is a gift for him. The chemistry between Leigh and Mitchum is off the charts. Their first kiss is sizzling sufficient to roast chestnuts.
Vacation Affair is accessible to stream on HBO Max.
Susan Slept Right here
Shot in wonderful Technicolor, Susan Slept Right here is a type of plots that solely make sense in basic movies. Dick Powell (in his final movie position) stars as Mark Christopher, a Hollywood screenwriter affected by author’s block after successful an Academy Award. On Christmas Eve his buddy, Vice Squad Sergeant Sam Hanlon brings 17-year-old vagrant Susan Landis (a buoyant Debbie Reynolds) to his luxurious bachelor pad so she doesn’t must spend the evening alone in jail. Though it does spark an concept for a juvenile delinquency movie, the state of affairs additionally places Mark in a decent spot together with his longtime fiancée Isabella (a glamorous Anne Francis). In the meantime Glenda Farrell as Mark’s boozing secretary Maude practically runs away with the entire film.
Susan Slept Right here is accessible to stream on HBO Max.
Bell, E-book and Candle
Maybe the coolest-looking Christmas film ever made, this midcentury fantasy romance stars Kim Novak as a classy Greenwich Village dwelling witch-turned-art supplier named Gillian whose vacation blues are cured when she falls in love along with her writer neighbor Shep (Jimmy Stewart). On Christmas Eve, Shep and his fiancée Merle (Janice Rule) go to the Zodiac Membership, the place they run into Gillian, her aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester), and her bongo-playing warlock brother (Jack Lemmon). Decided to have Shep, Gillian makes use of her her Siamese cat and acquainted Pyewacket to forged a love spell on him. Nonetheless, ultimately Gillian learns that human love isn’t fairly that straightforward.
Bell, E-book and Candle is accessible to cable subscribers on Watch TCM.
On this pitch-black Spanish comedy from director Luis García Berlanga, a bunch of pious ladies in a small provincial city manage a Christmas marketing campaign that includes the motto “Feed a poor man at your desk.” Because the movie progresses the wealthy individuals of the city compete to point out off the poor particular person they helped, whereas barely hiding their disgust for them. On the heart of the marketing campaign is Plácido, a poor man who’s dragged from one exercise to a different and thus is unable to make the funds on his newly acquired motorbike. ‘Tis the season for goodwill in direction of man, however this movie serves to remind the privileged that many individuals battle all yr lengthy and performative charity does little greater than soothe their very own consciences.
Plácido is accessible to stream on Criterion Channel.
Nestor the Lengthy-Eared Christmas Donkey
Produced by Rankin/Bass, this forgotten ’70s particular is essentially the most miserable of all of them. Primarily based on a music written by Gene Autry, it follows Nestor, a donkey with abnormally lengthy ears dwelling durning the Roman Empire. Shunned by their village, Nestor and his mom flee, just for his mom to die defending Nestor from a bitter chilly. Later, Nestor meets a cherub who tells him he’s wanted in Bethlehem. His lengthy ears assist him information Mary and Joseph to security throughout a sand storm. Very similar to Rudolph the Crimson-Nosed Reindeer, it’s a narrative of an outcast who learns his variations are okay solely as soon as they show useful to others. Fa la la la la.
The Silent Associate
Written on spec by Curtis Hanson, who would later make the final word Christmas crime movie L.A. Confidential, The Silent Associate follows listless financial institution teller Miles (Elliott Gould) as he finds himself drawn right into a world of crime after discovering the financial institution is about to be robbed by a person dressed as a mall Santa. As an alternative of informing his bosses, he begins hiding money, figuring he can report all of it as lacking when the theft lastly takes place. Nonetheless, when the thief, a psychopath named Harry Reikle (Christopher Plummer), figures out the scheme, he turns into obsessive about Miles and decided to get all the cash for himself. Bleak and bloody, this movie really will get that greed is the rationale for the season.