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on 7 January 2010
I can't recommend this highly enough! Four great films on two double-sided discs. While the Christmas content varies from film-to-film, this set is just right for curling up on a comfy chair on a Sunday afternoon in December.

A Christmas Carol - This was the first big American production of the classic Christmas story. I was really impressed with this. Many agree that the Alistair Sim version is the definitive one but this isn't far behind.

Christmas in Connecticut - The story is that a housewife and mother writes a magazine column about her life in the country. In truth she's a single journalist living in the city. With the owner of the magazine coming over to stay at Christmas, she has to invent a whole new life for herself!

The Shop Around The Corner - This stars James Stewart as shopworker who doesn't realise that his pen-pal actually works in the same shop. This is James Stewart's film - you're rooting for him just as much as his most famous part, George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life. This is the film that 'You've Got Mail' was based on.

It Happened On 5th Avenue - This is about a various people with no home who squat in the summer home of a millionaire property developer. Unbeknown to them, the owners daughter is also living with them. This is perhaps the weakest of the four films but it's still enjoyable to watch.

There a few DVD extras - Jackie Gleason in 'The Christmas Party' at which a number of Hollywood stars attend. Also included are the shorts 'Star In The Night' and 'Peace On Earth'. These are such good extras and not just fillers. Star In The Night is basically a 20th C Nativity and very good it is. Peace On Earth is a cartoon from 1939 about two squirrels whose grandfather tells them about WW1 voiced by Mel Blanc.

This collection has been well put together. If you know someone who loves It's A Wonderful Life, buy them this. They'll love you for it! BTW, although the front cover is in colour, all the films are in black and white.
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on 2 March 2015
An excellent set of lovely holiday films. Good picture quality and sound, plus subtitles.

"It Happened on Fifth Avenue" is a charming film about a homeless man who lives in a fancy mansion in NYC while the owner is away. Various other people with housing problems arrive as well, as do the owner's family (incognito). It is very sweet and full of human warmth.

"The Shop Around the Corner" is unusual in that it is set in pre-war Budapest and has a very authentic (to me) old European vibe in the way people live and talk. Reminiscent of Ninotschka in the way it depicts Lubitsch's old country. This is a slow film and it takes a while to get into the pace but once you do, it is well worth it.

"Christmas in Connecticut" stars Barbara Stanwyck as a career woman who has to pretend to know how to be a house wife. Charming, with added bonus of Sydney Greenstreet and S.Z. Sakall (both from "Casablanca") in a supporting roles.

Have not seen "A Christmas Carol" yet but wanted to post a review as the strength of the aforementioned 3 movies more than warrant a strong buy recommendation.
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on 29 December 2010
The Shop around the Corner is one of the all time classics. One of (according to the box) four films that Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart made together (I was well aware of at least one other about two Germans escaping as the country became more and more fanatically Nazi), and a Lubitsch classic. I was looking for a DVD of it, and this set was cheaper than the offerings on Amazon of just the one film.

So as far as I was concerned I was paying just over a tenner for one really great film. If the others were worth watching, that was a bonus.

On the positive side, the quality of the picture was excellent in all four cases. A further bonus was that Christmas in Connecticut starred Sydney Greenstreet who did not make all that many films. But don't get over-excited. Other Greenstreet films, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Mask of Dimitrios (when, oh when, will they release a DVD of this outstanding film?) are world beaters; this one is far from being one. Another positive is that some of the extras are definitely interesting, e.g. Judy Garland singing a verse of a Christmas carol.

On the negative side, the synchronisation between voice and mouth movements is not always good.

But the biggest negative is that the other three films are all just moderate to poor. I cannot see what the other reviewer sees in them. Christmas in connecticut and It Happened on 5th Avenue are based on really silly premises, and in both cases the writers struggle to bring them to a conclusion, in both cases failing badly. A Christmas Carol is Dickens without any depth, and frankly far less believable than other versions. OK, I am biased, I do not much like Dickens and I adore Alastair Sim, so I am bound to see an order of magnitude more in his version than in the one in this set.

So my advice is to buy the set if you like and want Shop Around the Corner, and not to be influenced by the presence of the other three films. But Shop Around the Corner is such a great film that its presence is reason enough to buy.
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on 14 February 2015
Bought just before last xmas as I wanted to see some different old Xmas films and I wasn't disappointed. I guess the main reason I bought it was for Christmas in Connecticut, which though good wasn't the best, Shop Around the Corner was really good, with James Stewart in it how could it not, but my biggest surprise was It Happened on 5th Avenue, yes it's a fairly obvious storyline from pretty early on, but the wonderful message it portrays is perfect for this time of year. Well worth investing in.
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on 3 November 2014
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on 9 December 2015
great box set have just watched Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck in superb form. She plays a fraudster and is ably
supported by a great cast of character actors. Very enjoyable.
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on 16 January 2015
Excellent value, four films on two DVD's
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on 26 April 2016
Love it
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on 11 December 2015
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