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Patrick Coffin Show: Christmas Classics & Clunkers—Steven Greydanus

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The Patrick Coffin Show podcast features weekly interviews with A-list influencers and outliers in the effort to recover the Judeo-Christian roots of the culture. Patrick is the Canadian-born former host of Catholic Answers Live, and he has raving fans around the world. He injects these fascinating interviews with his own distinctive blend of depth and levity. If you’re tired of politically correct mediaspeak, you want to see God back in the public square, and you’re not allergic to having a laugh, this is the place to be.

Introducing Steve Greydanus

It’s that time of year again when we review the notable “holiday” movies for their adherence to the real meaning of Christmas, production quality, and merits and demerits. Who better than the founder of Decent Films, Steven Greydanus? Steve is not only the father of seven and a permanent deacon with the Archdiocese of Newark, he is a prolific movie critic and newly minted member of the elite New York Film Critics’ Circle. Ever since the first A Christmas Carol silent film came out in 1901 (!), Christmas and movies have gone together like Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. Since then, there have been over 30 adaptations of the Dickens original to the big or small screen.

In this episode, here is a sample of the Christmas themed movies Steven and I talk about in this episode:   Elf, starring Will Farrell, produced by my friend Todd Komarnicki, who appeared in Episode 25  of the show Die Hard starring Bruce Willis. Is it really a Christmas movie? Discuss. And we do! A Midnight Clear C starring Gary Sinese. Biblical allusion galore in this tragically little-known war movie set at Christmas. Joyeux Noel, a multi-country co-production about the true story of a Christmas Eve impromptu cease-fire between the Germans and the Allies. It’s a Wonderful Life,  starring James Stewart. For my money the greatest film ever made. If you disagree, we can’t be friends. Want the story behind the story? Read this.

It’s what got the attention of my upcoming guest Mary Owen, daughter of actress Donna Reed, the incandescent Mary Bailey, wife of George. Meet John Doe starring Gary Cooper. The other Frank Capra movie about a good man tempted to suicide on Christmas Eve. Bizarrely forgotten classic, as I point out here. We also talked about the bad ones, like Ron Howard’s super-lousy How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a few other rancid things disguised as movies. Since this is a respectable joint—I ain’t linking to ‘em.