For 2021’s “Christmas at the Movies” YouTube clip, I’ve selected scenes from six classic Christmas movies that feature the ubiquitous carol “Jingle Bells.”
First are two scenes from Miracle on 34th Street (1947). The first is part of the film’s opening where Kris Kringle discovers the drunken Santa Claus just before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins. One of my favorite character actors, Percy Helton, plays the inebriated Santa who sings a bit of “Jingle Bells” before passing out. The second 34th Street scene with “Jingle Bells” comes in the Post Office, as the letter sorter happily hits upon a way of getting rid of the thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus and unwittingly setting up the way of saving Kris in his trial.
The next clip comes from a short film produced in 1945: Star in the Night. This is a charming little film, directed by Don Siegel, who 26 years later would direct Dirty Harry.
Next comes one of my favorite quirky Christmas classics: The Great Rupert (1950). Jimmy Durante sings “Jingle Bells” with support from Frank Orth (Mr. Dingle), another favorite character actor. (Look for him as Duffy in HIs Girl Friday.)
“Jingle Bells” next shows up at the dance song of choice in the raucous office party in The Apartment (1960).
The seldom seen romantic comedy And So They Were Married (1936) features a lengthy rendition of “Jingle Bells” while some brattish children destroy a resort hotel’s Christmas tree. That’s Melvyn Douglas getting trapped in the garland.
Finally, my favorite movie “Jingle Bells” comes from Beyond Tomorrow (1940), another quirky Christmas classic. This one features the American Christmas carol being sung in multiple languages by the likes of Maria Ouspenskaya, Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Richard Carlson, Jean Parker, and Gino Corrado.
If you want to see links to our previous years’ “Christmas at the Movies” clips, see this page http://501roseneath.com/christmas-at-the-movies-2019/