There's a "Twilight Zone" episode early in the first season where Ida Lupino plays a Norma Desmond
-type screen star: aging, resentful, a little nuts and holed up in a dark Hollywood mansion lost in the glory days that run endlessly on an old film projector. The final Serling-esque twist is that she ends up transporting herself into one of her own 25 year old films where she can live forever in a sophisticated romantic celluloid dream, always young always beautiful, where the world is as she believes it should be.
For some reason Serling presents that twist as though it's a bad thing. I don't know, sounds like a plan to me, and if there's one movie-world on this list that I would want to transport myself into it would be "Christmas in Connecticut
This 1945 Warner Brothers' charmer is as light as the souffle Barbara Stanwyck’s magazine writer, Elizabeth Lane, pretends she can cook for thousands of magazine readers and now will have to in reality if she’s to keep her job. Using recipes from her Uncle Feliz (the terrific S.Z. Sakall
), Lane has crafted an identity for her readers and employers that doesn’t exist. Everyone believes she’s a Connecticut housewife with a newborn baby living on a storybook farm when in reality she’s single, childless, can’t boil an egg, and living in a cramped New York City apartment. As expected, topsy soon goes turvy and for the Christmas holidays her boss (an absolutely delightful Sydney Greenstreet
) decides to offer a returning soldier (Dennis Morgan) a Christmas weekend with Lane on her storybook farm. Oh, yes, and the boss would like to join them.
You can see how the story will unspool from here but it doesn’t really matter because the fun is in watching these immortal players bounce around the effortless plot complications and somehow work it all out in the end.
But at the center of it all is the stunning Stanwyck, whose screen presence was a trifecta of perfection: Brains and incredible sex appeal without ever losing that girl-next-door quality -- though that's not the only reason I would like to live in this movie.
What a wonderful place to visit: America in 1945, the war all but won, in Manhattan and the countryside with a splendid group of character actors ... and my only competition Dennis Morgan, who I'm pretty sure I could eliminate as competition for the luminous Stanwyck with a frying pan from behind.