"March of the Wooden Soldiers" (1934)
What are your Holiday Traditions? One of my traditions is watching classic Holiday films, BUT they have to be in a certain order. I always start out with this film, then "Miracle on 34th Street", then "It's a Wonderful Life", and the final film is "White Christmas".
"March of the Wooden Soldiers" was originally called "Babes in Toyland. It stars the hilarious duo of Laurel and Hardy. This comedic team was around even before Abbott and Castello were!
Stan Laurel played "Stannie Dum" while Oliver Hardy played "Ollie Dee". They lived in a show along with Mother Peep and Bo Peep in a Fairytale/Nursery Rhyme world. The mortgage of the shoe is owned by the villain of the story named "Silas Barnaby" (Henry Brandon).
And the madness ensues. Barnaby says he will forget the debt owed if he can marry Bo Peep but Bo loves another. The boy (Laurel and Hardy) do their best to help out but being bumbling "idiots" their plans never worked. In the end, not only do the boys get their chance to really help Bo Peep but they unleash their wooden soldiers (6 foot toys that they made by mistake when they worked in the toy shop) on Barnaby's Bogeymen.
Oh my this is an adventure and comedy that is a must see. A true classic in every sense because the story and its characters are so timeless. And come on, how can you not watch Laurel and Hardy--the original comedy dream team!!
"Miracle on 34th Street" (1947)
The original and in my humble opinion the best version of, "Miracle on 34th Street", stars the lovely Maureen O'Hara, the handsome John Payne, the talented and young Natalie Wood, and last but certainly not least, Edmund Gwenn.
Before I begin to share a little more about what this film is about I just have to share that Maureen O'Hara is with us at the beautiful age of 91!! And also very activity in her community as well. Here is some inside film information as well...Natalie would call Ms. O'Hara "Mama Maureen" until she passed and Maureen would call Natalie, "Natasha" which was her birth name. Also, did you know that Edmund Gwenn who plays "Kris Kringle" in this film is the cousin of Cecil Kellaway who was the priest in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Small world, isn't it?
The story follows Doris Walker (O'Hara) who works for Macy's and her young daughter, Susan (Wood) who Doris has taught to believe that there is no Santa Claus. In come Kris Kringle (Gwenn) and Mr. Gailey (Payne) who is Doris's neighbor and love interest and who becomes the lawyer representing Kris Kringle when his sanity is questioned.
The climax of "Miracle on 34th Street"
Non-believers become believers and the Christmas spirit lives on. How can one not love this film!!??
I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into these two phenomenal Christmas Classics. Watch them for yourself when you have the chance--they are also perfect to watch together as a family and children of all ages would enjoy them!