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It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

Director: Roy Del Ruth Run Time: 116 min. Release Year: 1947

Starring: Ann Harding, Charles Ruggles, Don DeFore, Gale Storm, Victor Moore

Country: United States
Language: English, Spanish

About the film:

Each Christmas, an industrial tycoon and his family travel from New York City to Florida to spend the holiday season in the sun. While they are gone, a drifter and his friends take up residence in the millionaire’s Fifth Avenue mansion. When the tycoon’s daughter returns early and discovers the house has been taken over, she fakes a life of poverty to stay in the house.

Nominated for Best Original Story at the 1948 Academy Awards.

About the filmmaker:

Roy Del Ruth was an American filmmaker who worked with various stars, notably James Cagney, and directed a number of popular musicals in the 1930s including Kid Millions (1934), Folies Bergère de Paris (1935), and Born to Dance (1936).

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Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Director: Vincente Minnelli Run Time: 113 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 1944

Starring: Judy Garland, Leon Ames, Lucille Bremer, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

In the year before the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Nominated for four Academy Awards, Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien star in this heartwarming tale famous for musical numbers seamlessly embedded into the narrative—an innovation at the time for Hollywood—including “The Trolley Song”, “The Boy Next Door”, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1994.

“a fine-tuned, pastel romp, worthy of its place among the best of the big brass Hollywood musicals”

—Luke Parker for Film Inquiry

About the filmmaker:

Vincente Minnelli was an American stage director and film director who helmed the classical musicals Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), An American in Paris (1951), The Band Wagon (1953), and Gigi (1958), which earned him the Academy Award for Best Director. Before he was one of the leading directors at MGM, Minnelli grew up performing with his family’s traveling theater company and settled in Delaware, Ohio, before attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He honed his craft as a photographer and costume designer before working his way up to stage director in New York City, catching the eye of major Hollywood studios.

Meet Me In St. Louis was adapted by Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finklehoffe from a series of short stories by Sally Benson originally published in The New Yorker magazine, and is a perfect introduction to the director described by French journal Cahiers du Cinéma as “an artist who could give substance to the world of dreams.”

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Elf (2003) on 35mm

Director: Jon Favreau Run Time: 97 min. Rating: PG Release Year: 2003

Starring: Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Will Ferrell

Country: United States, Canada
Language: English

“a breezily entertaining, perfectly cast family treat”

The Hollywood Reporter

About the film:

Starring Will Ferrell as the titular elf, this instant holiday classic tells the story of a human baby raised amongst the hard working elves of Santa’s workshop. Struggling to fit in (literally) with his adopted family, he sets out on a magical journey to the island of Manhattan in search of his birth father (James Caan), a naughty-list lifer in desperate need of some Christmas spirit.

About the filmmaker:

Jon Favreau has made his mark as one of the most exciting blockbuster directors working today. Initially working as a successful character actor,  Favreau transitioned into directing with his feature film debut Made and went on to create some of the biggest films in the last two decades.  With nine movies under his belt as a director, the self-taught filmmaker has explored small indie gems like Chef as well as some of the biggest blockbusters ever made. With a style that blends humor and warmth with technological innovation, Favreau found success helping to launch the Marvel Universe with Iron Man, as well as spearheading Disney live action classics like The Jungle Book and The Lion King.

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