“White Christmas” is still a favorite after first watching it with my best friend one dateless New Year’s Eve in our teens. We both kissed my dad at midnight. I don’t care if the story is lame. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney are hard to beat. And that scene when the old retired general, played by Dean Jagger, fights tears as his former troops march in singing We’ll Follow the Old Man always gets me. Always. I can generate genuine tears right now just thinking about it.
“Meet Me in St. Louis” rarely makes it onto anyone else’s Christmas list. In fact, my first memory of it was watching it in the middle of a hot summer, lying on the rug on top of a cool satin comforter. I was about eight years old. And while it’s not technically a Christmas story, the big emotional payoff comes on Christmas Eve when Judy Garland sings my all-time favorite holiday song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas to her tearful little sister, Margaret O’Brien. Such a sweet, sad, hopeful song.
Sure, I like newer movies, even funny ones, but these are on my “must-watch” list to get me in the spirit with a few happy tears. What’s on yours?