The Christmas Spirit, Part 4

Here are a couple more holiday offerings.  First is an episode from Ellery Queen.  This was a short-lived TV series that was so good it was canceled after just 21 episodes.  Network TV programmers…who can figure them out?  Jim Hutton played mystery writer and amateur sleuth Ellery Queen who often helped his father, Inspector Queen (played by the great character actor David Wayne) solve murders in 1940’s New York.  This is a perfect example of good TV can be.  It’s finally available in a 6-DVD set with all the episodes, including the pilot movie, uncut and fully restored.  Awesome!  Anyway, the holiday-themed episode is called “The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne,” and takes place during the 1947 holiday season.  A prominent business man is murdered and Inspector Queen must solve the mystery before the stroke of midnight.  It’s up to his son Ellery to find out who-done-it.  It’s a great mystery with a great cast.

Next is a really touching sequel to “Going My Way” called “The Bells of St. Mary’s.”  Bing Crosby (who would be nothing without Christmas, I guess) returns as the unorthodox Father O’Malley.  This time, he is sent to a run down Catholic school, St. Mary’s.  There he and Sister Ingrid Bergman engage in a friendly rivalry in their attempts to save the school.  This is one move that makes you laugh and brings a tear to your eye.

Finally, forget the sequels because the original “Home Alone” is the best.  This is one funny holiday movie.  I recall when it first came out, I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen.  Two decades later, it’s still hilarious.  Kevin’s parents leave on vacation but they forget to take their young son with them!  This is the story of how Kevin survived without his family and saved his home from burglars.   There’s a second, minor story that follows Kevin’s mother as she desperately tries to get home to her son.  The scenes with the late John Candy leave me in stitches.  “Home Alone” is good fun guaranteed to make your face hurt.

The Bells of St Mary’s Poster

 

Song taken from this album, which in turn took the song from the movie

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