1940, RKO Pictures
This movie had an interesting yet somewhat dark and complicated idea. Three lonely old men end up meeting a young man and then a young woman on Christmas Eve and they all spend the evening together and become friends. The young people fall in love, the older gentlemen die in plane crash (!!!) and then come back as ghosts to help keep the young couple together.
It’s trying to be a heart-warming tale but with the plane crash and then sending one of the ghostly men to hell later on and another being shut out of Heaven after refusing to leave until the couple gets back together… it’s just weird.
The actors and character are likable and there was potential here for a true sentimental Christmas classic, but it feels kind of slapped together and a bit dark at times. I love the film’s score though.
The movie is in the public domain, so you can find it cheap on DVD (and easily online for streaming) but 20th Century Fox released a colorized version in 2004 and retitled it Beyond Christmas. I wouldn’t mind watching the colorized version because the version I watched on DVD definitely needed some restoration work.