Hello, everyone! Welcome to week three of my Christmas with the Stars Series. I’ve really enjoyed sharing these finds with you over the past few weeks. I can’t believe we are already halfway through the series, but fear not, there are still more goodies to be found, and this one is a pinch hitter!
This week, I bring you not one, not two, but three stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age! Julie Andrews is back, (we kicked off the series with her marvelous The Sound of Christmas) accompanied by Jimmy Stewart as her special guest! Musical star Dan Dailey completes our merry trio with a brief solo number.
The show opens when after Julie’s introduction and jubilant opening number, “We Need a Little Christmas,” Julie and Jimmy make a deal that they will show each other what Christmas is like in their respective countries.
The merrymaking begins with Julie’s old fashioned English Christmas as the company sings traditional English carols, while the setting is like a page of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” come to life. The segment culminates with a goose dinner and a rendition of Dickens’ beloved tale with impressionist Rich Little playing Jack Benny as the miserly Scrooge and Alice Ghostley as Cratchit.
As we transition over to Jimmy’s small town American Christmas, Julie flies in a sleigh over the rooftops of a city then lands on a rooftop and dances with eight Santas! The tone, setting, and choreography of this fun segment reminds me of Mary Poppins and the “Step in Time” number.
In America, we meet Jimmy’s nephew, Rich Stewart, played by Rich Little. Little impersonating Jimmy is hilarious, but even better is Jimmy’s reaction to this. He is so gracious and is able to laugh at himself and have a good time with it.
The cast sings “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” to reflect the musical style of twentieth century America. The American version of Dickens’ tale plays out with Little reprising his role and Jimmy as Crachit. The segment culminates with a turkey dinner and Jimmy saying a prayer for peace at the dinner table.
In addition to Julie Andrews’ beautiful, emotive voice, I greatly enjoyed seeing Jimmy Stewart singing and enjoying himself on this program. His warm presence is definitely evident here, adding to the already wonderful watch.
It is a ridiculous understatement to say that Jimmy and Julie are wonderful together, but I don’t know how else to say it. Together, they encapsulate the joy of the season, spreading warmth and good cheer, but they also underscore the sacred, serious moments as well.
How this show remains hidden is beyond me. With stars of this caliber, it should be considered a classic and aired on television every year! Thank goodness for YouTube!
(Maybe that should have been the title of my series instead…)
“The Julie Andrews Hour Christmas Show” is absolutely delightful and should be required viewing for fans of Jimmy or Julie and for those who love the music and spirit of Christmastime.
Note: This show also contains a number of famous entertainers of the time such as Joel Grey, Cass Elliott, Carl Reiner, Steve Lawrence, and Sergio Franchi. The original commercials are also included in the video.
Watch “The Julie Andrews Hour Christmas Show” here:
Perfect Pairing: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
You are viewing Part 3 of my series, Christmas with the Stars: Holiday Specials on YouTube You Won’t Want to Miss. Join me as I uncover holiday gems featuring classic stars each week during the month of December!
Thanks for reading and for visiting The Classic Movie Muse!