Everybody remembers classic 1950s Christmas movies like The Lemon Drop Kid and White Christmas.
But what of less conventional fare, or fare with dark secrets.
Well, there were offerings to fit that bill in the greaser decade, too.
Here, then, are five 1950s Christmas movies you might want to check again … or for the first time.
(And if you want something a bit more modern, check our list of 70s Christmas movies.)
A Christmas Carol (1951)
Every generation has to have an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, right?
Right. Maybe even every decade.
This is one of the classic versions, starring Alastair Sim as Ebeneezer Scrooge and Mervyn Johns as Bob Cratchit.
I won’t giveaway the ending, but let’s just say … the goose was cooked.
… the Tim was Tiny.
… the Scrooge was unScrooged.
And, if there is some extra-ghosty ghosty feels to this film, it might just be because the ghosts were ghosted in later.
Susan Slept Here (1954)
You’re a hotshot(ish) screenwriter who’s run into a wicked case of writer’s block as the holidays approach.
What you need is a good jolt to get you out of your rut. But the question is … what could possibly jolt you thusly?
Well, turns out that if you have a cop friend who knows your plight, and if said cop friend finds himself with an abandoned teenage girl on his hands — a juvenile delinquent in the vernacular of the day — he’ll be glad to help you out.
So that’s how young Debbie Reynolds comes to be your charge for the weekend and helps you break through in your attempts to write a story about, yes, a juvenile delinquent.
We’re No Angels (1955)
What happens when three convicts escape from prison at Christmastime and then descend on a poor, unsuspecting town and some generous shopkeepers.
Well, sort of …
Comedy mayhem, maybe.
The plan to do more no good on their way out of dodge sort of goes by the wayside as our baddies get caught up in the Christmas spirit and the hospitality of their would-be victims.
Classic holiday fare that helped inspire later films in the genre, with a healthy helping of Humphrey Bogart, to boot.
Trail of Robin Hood (1950)
If you’re perusing a list of best 1950s any kind of movies, you best believe there’s going to be a western or two in the mix.
And what better combination than cowboys and Robin Hood?
None. None at all.
Here, Roy Rogers rides in to save the (Christmas) day when loggers try to poach the holiday fun — and the logs — from a Big Bear Christmas tree farm.
No sightings of men in tights in this one, but you gotta figure some poor kids got their trees even though the rich logging companies wanted to spoil the yuletide cheer.
So there’s that.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
You can’t have a proper Christmas film fest, not really, without at least one serial killer flick.
Luckily, we have Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish to properly horrify us in this dark fare about a corrupt minister who goes on a killing spree and also attempts to seduce and swindle a grieving widow.
There’s also some happy-ending type stuff thrown in there, depending on your perspectives and propensities.
And it all revolves around Christmas, or trying to get there with your head, neck, and jewels intact.
There’s a theme here for everyone in the family, and some subtle reminders that folks can snap during the holidays.