The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945 NR) is not a Christmas movie. Father O’Malley (Bing Crosby) is the new principal of the Catholic school in which Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) is a lead teacher.
They immediately clash on how to run a school and discipline students. But watch how they clash. This is 1945. There is no back talk or angry words. Both use their own ways to try to influence the other to see things their way.
Bing Crosby is made for this role, playing a persuasive and charming man of faith. Ingrid Bergman is luminous in her nun’s habit, loving the children and passionate about her faith. Towards then end, when misunderstandings threaten their hard-earned friendship, she says so much just with her eyes. Especially in the final scenes. Amazing actress!
This scene where the kids put on their own Christmas pageant is adorable!
Did you ever see a Christmas pageant like this at your church?
Trading Places (1983 R) is a funny Christmas movie with a heartwarming message. But it is not for kids.
Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) is a successful investor working for the brokerage firm of wealthy brothers Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche). Randolph and Mortimer have a “nature versus nurture” debate. Is Winthorpe successful because he is naturally brilliant, or because he has always been given opportunities to nurture success?
To test “nature versus nurture”, Randolph and Mortimer randomly choose panhandler Billie Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) to trade places with Winthorpe. They manipulate to get Winthorpe accused of a crime, locked out of his home, fired from work, and abandoned by his snobby friends and fiancee.
Valentine grows successful.
Winthorpe grows desperate.
All this is handled in a very comedic way. Very funny! But still not for kids.
Boobs. Too many jiggling naked boobs. And the f-word, unnecessary to the dialogue.
Why did director John Landis add things to keep families from enjoying this Christmas movie together?