Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

“He’s sending me a sailor for Christmas.”

Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is a popular columnist for Smart Housekeeping Magazine. Her articles are supposedly written from the Connecticut farm she shares with her husband and her baby. She’s considered a domestic goddess by her millions of fans, and housewives all over America idolize her lifestyle and culinary talents. Her columns describe the wonderful seven-course meals she cooks and serves, her herb garden, and even her spinning wheel. But there’s a big problem–in reality, Elizabeth is single, lives in New York, and can’t even fry an egg.

When Elizabeth’s bombastic publisher Alexander Yardley (Sydney Greenstreet) insists on inviting himself and war hero Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan) home to Elizabeth’s Connecticut farm for Christmas, she schemes to fabricate the life she brags about in her column with the assistance of a faithful friend, Hungarian restaurateur Felix (S.Z. Sakall) and would-be lover, stuffy architect John Sloane (Reginald Gardiner). Unfortunately, Sloane, who’s been waiting in the wings for Elizabeth for years, see this as an opportunity to press his long-rejected marriage proposal, and Elizabeth feels pressure to give in and accept. Elizabeth acts as a hostess for Yardley and Jones at Sloane’s idyllic Connecticut home. Felix has Elizabeth’s best interests at heart, and while he’s supposed to assist in the deception, he’s also devilishly good at stirring trouble, and he’s an excellent foil for Greenstreet’s character.

Smoothly directed by Peter Godfrey, a lively comedy of errors ensues that includes borrowed babies, pancake tossing, and even kidnapping. The humour here is light, good natured and forgiving of all the characters’ flaws, and a great deal of the fun is generated by Elizabeth’s complete lack of domesticity. Barbara Stanwyck is marvelous as always, and it’s wonderful to see her in a comedy role. Christmas in Connecticut finally made it to DVD, and DVD extras include the trailer, and the short Star in the Night.

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