This weekend brings the second Saturday of the month which means it’s time for another classic film series screening at Roanoke’s historic Grandin Theatre. This month’s offering is the 1945 holiday comedy treat “Christmas in Connecticut” starring the great Barbara Stanwyck. Presented by Friendship Retirement, the movie will play December 14 at 10 a.m. in the theatre’s main auditorium. Admission is free.
Stanwyck, a highly versatile and four-time Oscar nominated actress, played just about every character type imaginable in a lengthy career that spanned both film and television and that included some unforgettable classics. She was a dynamic reporter in Frank Capra’s funny and touching 1941 Christmas classic “Meet John Doe.” After giving us film noir’s greatest scheming murderess in 1944’s “Double Indemnity,” she brought us the screen’s most helpless victim in “Sorry Wrong Number” (1948). Yet many best remember her as the western matriarch of television’s “The Big Valley” (1965-69). Here she plays columnist Elizabeth Lane, the perpetrator of the greatest Christmas hoax ever.
Elizabeth writes hugely popular magazine stories as the perfect wife and mother cooking delicious meals on the family farm. However, she’s actually a single woman in New York who gets great recipes from her friend Felix (the delightful S. Z. “Cuddles” Sakall), who just happens to be a chef. A series of events sees a wounded war vet (Dennis Morgan) and Elizabeth’s boss (Sydney Greenstreet) inviting themselves to the farm for the perfect Christmas. It will take great favors from friends, terrific imagination, luck and dodging romantic complications to pull off this huge and hilarious holiday sham.