About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eva Marie Saint and Alfred Hitchcock

Tonight I had planned on attending the TCM Road to Hollywood show in Cleveland, OH. A local theater was screening Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece North By Northwest, hosted by TCM's own Robert Osbourne and featuring the Oscar-winning actress Eva Marie Saint. I know, right? Despite our best efforts and arriving an hour early, we couldn't find parking AND the long line of people out the Cleveland Institute of Art entrance and down the block was too disparaging. The promise of standing in that endless line--in the cold--brought my evening's plans to an abrupt end. (I saw my future: just as I stepped up to the theater entrance, a shade is lowered: SOLD OUT!)

Eva Marie Saint and Marlon Brando in 1954's 'On The Waterfront.' Go and watch the breath-taking scene again where these two talk by the swing set--GO NOW!

Despite my frustration and sadness, I'd still like to share here with you the tremendous contributions Eva Marie Saint and Alfred Hitchcock have made to Christmas programming.

Actress Eva Marie Saint has appeared in five Christmas TV movies:

--2000's Papa's Angels (see page 521 in my encyclopedia Tis the Season TV). This movie also stars Cynthia Nixon and Scott Bakula. It can still been seen each year on television (either Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel--maybe both).

--1988's I'll Be Home for Christmas (see pg. 327). This is my favorite World War II drama that takes place at Christmas. It also stars a very young Courtney Cox.

--1978's A Christmas to Remember (pg. 157). I haven't seen this one so if anyone else has, let me know!

--1964's Carol for Another Christmas (see pg.106). This is the VERY rare TV movie written by Rod Serling. Saint's role is small in this ensemble cast. It is a 1960s political adaptation of the Dickens classic.

--1947's A Christmas Carol. Rumor has it this TV version of the classic Victorian Christmas tale was Saint's TV debut. So little can be verified about this production, I wasn't able to put it in the encyclopedia. If you have seen it, let me know. IMDb says John Carradine also starred in it!

The anthology series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, known for its dark tone and suspenseful stories, produced three amazing Christmas episodes:

--1955's Santa Claus and the Tenth Avenue Kid
--1956's Back for Christmas
--1958's The Festive Season

All three are located in my encyclopedia Tis the Season TV on pages 13-14. All three are also easily available to watch on DVD. If you've read my book The Christmas TV Companion, you'll know I love the episode Back for Christmas which originated as a story written by John Collier and was later adapted into another TV episode--on Roald Dahl's TV series Tales of the Unexpected. (This episode is also available on DVD for viewing).

I'm a huge Brando fan--ENJOY!


  1. I'm sorry you missed the show. When she came to Chicago last year my friend and I waited about two and a half hours in line before they opened the doors.

    I didn't realize she was in so many Christmas films. I thought she was in a TV version of Miracle of 34th Street.

  2. For an actress working in the industry since the 1940s, she's had quite a career. I'm not aware of any appearance she's made in any adaptation of 'Miracle on 34th Street.' But there's always next year!

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