Hamish Downie’s Christmas Playlist Part 2

Editor Note: Hamish has a new treat for us today.

Hamish shares some of the films he has been recommending to his students.

This is a great opportunity to see through the eyes of Hamish of films he likes and feels others should experience.


Thanks to everyone who read last week’s playlist and even took my advice. I hope that you enjoy this week’s selections. Everything that I’m recommending is available to purchase or rent on DVD or Prime.
This magical film about an angel (played by the dreamy Cary Grant) who visits a new Bishop (played by David Niven) after he prays for guidance. Loretta Young plays the titular wife, who the Angel falls in love with, and also features Gladys Cooper and Monty Woolley in supporting roles. This is a film about focusing on what is really important in life and finding heaven here on earth. It is a lovely film and perfect for the season. And yes, it was remade in the 90s into a film for Whitney Houston.

This is a bit of a failed masterpiece, but that tends to happen when the Writer/Producer was the producer of the biggest box office film of all time (adjusted for inflation), “Gone with the wind”. Nothing is ever going to come close. But, he certainly is trying in this film about the Hiltons (not those ones), who must deal with life in American after their father goes to fight in WW2. There are more Stars and Oscar winners than there are in the sky in this effort, most forgotten today, except for Agnes Moorehead (in full Endora mode pre-“Bewitched”), Hattie McDaniel (from the aforementioned “Gone with the wind”), and Shirley Temple, who was in her teenage years. Of the forgotten stars, we have Claudette Colbert (who won the Oscar Bette Davis should have won for “Of Human Bondage”, and who later gave Bette Davis the greatest role of her career when she dropped out of “All About Eve”), Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotton (who if you see him in “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte” never seemed to age), Monty Woolley, Lionel Barrymore (Drew’s Great Uncle in a blink and you’ll miss it role), and Robert Walker (who also starred with Judy Garland in “The Clock” and was the moody heartthrob pre-James Dean). The biggest scandal in the film happened behind the scenes, as Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, who play teenagers in the first flush of love, were actually married but separated at the time of filming, and Jennifer Jones was having an affair with the producer, David O. Selznick, whom she later married. But, don’t let that turn you off the film. The epic three hour film is worth it just to see all these stars in their primes. The film is a bit treacly, but I did cry real tears watching
this film, so I cannot not recommend it. It is worth the watch.

If you’ve had too much treacle, then let me recommend the antidote – a good old-fashioned murder mystery. I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t even include the trailer (trailers give away so much these days). All you need to know that it was based on an Agatha Christie short story and hit play. It was adapted for the screen by genius director Billy Wilder, and stars Tyrone Power (The Mask of Zorro, and the Tom Cruise of his day, in his last film), Charles Laughton, and in a star turn, Marlene Dietrich. It’s an incredible ride, and it had me clapping at the end. What a film! Watch it!
A Special Treat
In lieu of a trailer, allow me to show you the debut of “The Path”, a song by Deron Reynolds from my forthcoming feature film “Matcha & Vanilla”:

 Thank you again. I hope you enjoy the films, and remember that my film, “Matcha & Vanilla” will be coming to streaming on Gagaoolala
this Christmas.

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