Watching 1939: Miracle on Main Street (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film:  Miracle on Main Street (1939)

Release date:  Dec. 19, 1939

Cast:  Margo, Walter Abel, Jane Darwell, Lyle Talbot, William Collier Sr., Veda Ann Borg, Wynne Gibson, Jean Brooks (billed as Jeanne Kelly), Pat Flaherty, George Humbert

Studio:  Columbia Pictures Corporation

Director:  Steve Sekely

On Christmas Eve in the Spanish quarter of Los Angeles, Maria (Margo) is performing as a hoochie coochie in her husband Dick’s (Talbot) show. When one of the attendees is a police officer, the couple run from the police, but Dick says they should separate so they aren’t caught. Maria hides in a church where she finds an abandoned baby. While her husband remains absent for a year, Maria’s life is changed for the better by the baby and a new man she meets, Jim (Abel).

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Christmas on Film: “We’re No Angels” (1955)

Guardian angels can come in many forms, and in the film “We’re No Angels” (1955), help arrives from three convicts.


Early Christmas Eve, Joseph (Humphrey Bogart), Albert (Aldo Ray), Jules (Peter Ustinov) and Adolf the poisonous snake, escape from prison on French colonial Devil’s Island in 1895. Joseph embezzled money, and Albert and Jules are murderers. They are able to blend in easily in the town in their prison clothes, as many paroled convicts work out in the open.

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Musical Monday: Lemon Drop Kid (1951)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
The Lemon Drop Kid” –Musical #515

Poster - Lemon Drop Kid, The (1951)_02

Paramount Pictures

Sidney Lanfield, Frank Tashlin (uncredited)

Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Darwell, Andrea King, Fred Clark, William Frawley

Swindler Sidney Milburn (Hope), known as the Lemon Drop Kid, gives a notorious gangster a bad tip on a horse in Florida, ending in a $10,000 debt. The Kid has to come up with the money by Christmas Eve, or else. So he sets back to New York City to ask his friends and girlfriend Brainy (Maxwell) for money. The Kid’s elderly friend Nellie (Jane Darwell) can’t get into an elderly woman’s home. The Kid and his mob set up an old lady’s home in an old gambling parlor and starts a street corner donation Santa Claus racket with his mobster friends to with a guise that they are funding an elderly woman’s home–he really plans to use the money for his debts.

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