This article is part of the Winter in July Blogathon hosted by Moon in Gemini.
It's hot out there this summer, at least here in the Midwest (the temperature was 92 degrees Fahrenheit at 10 am this morning). I'm beating the heat by watching some of my favorite classic movies set in winter, so I thought I'd share my top five picks plus some runners-up and where you can watch them. The movies are in chronological order and the highlighted text has links to full-length articles.
Citizen Kane (1941), dir. Orson Welles
|Harry Shannon, George Coulouris, Agnes Moorehead, and Buddy Swan in Citizen Kane (1941).|
Wisconsin native Orson Welles filled his landmark film with references to snow. The Christmas Day scene where a young Charles Foster Kane (played by Buddy Swan) is taken from his parents is the linchpin for the entire film (it also happens to be a masterclass in deep-focus cinematography). The newspaper magnate spends the rest of the film trying to replace his stolen childhood with a mansion on the "deserts of the Gulf Coast" in Florida stuffed with artwork and, most significantly, a snowglobe. Runner-up: Welles second film, the Indiana-set The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), has a Christmas Eve ball and a delightfully snowy car ride. Citizen Kane is airing at 4:30 pm Aug. 27 on TCM. Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and video on demand. The Magnificent Ambersons is airing at 8 pm Aug. 27 on TCM. DVD and video on demand.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945), dir. Peter Godfrey
|Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan in Christmas in Connecticut (1945).|
Battleground (1949), dir William Wellman
|Ricardo Montalban, John Hodiak, and Van Johnson in Battleground (1949).|
The Thing from Another World (1951), dir. Christian Nyby
|James Arness in The Thing from Another World (1951).|
This science-fiction thriller from producer Howard Hawks is about a gigantic blood-sucking alien (James Arness) who menaces the inhabitants of an Arctic research station. Not nearly as scary today as it must have been in 1951, this film is still a lot of fun, especially the flirty antics of leads Kenneth Tobey and Margaret Sheridan and the performance of Robert Cornthwaite as the lead scientist. He spouts scientific gobbledygook likes his life depends on it while wearing a ridiculous-looking fur hat. The Thing from Another World is airing at 4:15 pm Oct. 6 on TCM. Streaming on FilmStruck, DVD, and video on demand.On Dangerous Ground (1952), dir. Nicholas Ray
|Ida Lupino in On Dangerous Ground (1952).|
Bonus: 'A Fine Romance' from Swing Time (1936), dir. George Stevens
Swing Time didn't make it in my top five, but I couldn't leave you without Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers warbling "A Fine Romance." This snowy musical number will leave you with a smile on your face. Swing Time is available for streaming on FilmStruck, DVD and video on demand.
As always, feel free to leave your picks in the comments section, and check out the other blogathon entries for more winter films.