Directed by: Irving Pichel
Starring: Jimmy Durante, Terry Moore, Tom Drake
This was on my list of 25 Christmas movies to see before Christmas my girlfriend picked for me (which I’m almost done with! Four more to go!), and was chosen specifically because it features a stop-motion animated dancing squirrel. This is why my girlfriend is awesome.
Jimmy Durante and his poor family move into a house where their acquaintance with a dancing squirrel act used to live. The landlord and upstairs neighbor falls into some money, but he’s greedy and stingy, so he hides the whole thing in a hole in his wall, which subsequently falls on the poor family, who take it, believing it’s from heaven. Every week, Durante’s family gets another $1500 (dat was a lotta money in dem days!), and they use this money to invest in local businesses, to help the less fortunate, and to buy awesome polar bear rugs with radios built into their mouths. Eventually, their house burns down and they learn where the money came from, so they buy the asshole landlord a new house, and everybody lives happily ever after.
There’s a really weird moral to this movie, as it kinda touches on the concept of greed and money changing you, but there are never really any consequences for taking someone else’s money and spending it willy nilly. They even save the awesome polar bear rug from the fire. Also, there isn’t nearly enough stop-motion dancing squirrel in this film, but I suppose that’s true of every movie.