Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Movie: A Christmas Movie

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Movie is “Brother Orchid” (1940):

It’s getting harder and harder to find a good Christmas movie to recommend. All the usual suspects have been seen so many times.

“It’s a Wonderful Life”? Ain’t that the one Jimmy Stewart gets to see all those reruns of scenes from his life. “White Christmas”? Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye get to dance and sing. Love their dancing and singing but it’s time to take a break.

“A Christmas Story”? Okay, the kid doesn’t shoot his eye out. “The Polar Express”? I wasn’t that bowled over with Tom Hanks as a cartoon character. “How the Grinch stole Christmas”? Too much like real life this year. “Elf”? Will Farrell isn’t my cup of coffee. Or tea either.

“Home Alone”? Seems that’s the “Die Hard” of kids’ movies. “A Christmas Carol”? Way too many Scrooges for me. ‘Course there’s always “Bad Santa” “The Santa Clause” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. Seen about one hundred fifty-five and a half times or less.

So I went searching through the vault and found this one. It’s got Edward G. Robinson as the mob boss. He’s been so good at mobbing he decides it’s time he took a respite. He’s off to Europe and culture.

He leaves his girl, Ann Sothern, back in the states. And, oh yeah, he’s leaving his second-in- command in charge, Humphrey Bogart, in charge of the piggy bank.

“Take good care of things till I get back,” he orders.

Right. I’ve seen Bogie in too many tough guy movies from the thirties to know that he’s going to hand the goodies back over to his ex-boss. And, for good measure, he’ll take charge of the girl as well.

Edward G. returns with all sorts of class and culture. And what do you know. He finds himself on the run. Where to hide out? Where to hide out? In a monastery, of course.

Little does he know that his wise guy is going to turn into a truly wise man.

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