xmasChristmas Nostalgia
Heavenly Christmas Film Classics (DVD)
Stars: James Mason, Robert Hutton and Frances Rafferty
DVD contains film stories of the following:
Silent Night: Story of the Christmas Carol (1953, 13 min.)
Christmas in Magic (1953, 24 min.)
Star of Bethlehem (1956, 12 min.)
Three Young Kings (1956, 29 min.)
Star of Bethlehem (1954, 26 min.)
Starlight Night (1939, 30 min.)
Festival Films/Lost And Rare
Rating: no rating but could be PG
Running Length: 134 minutes
When one sees the name of a film company as “Lost And Rare,” one’s mind races through past movies and if they are considered lost and rare now. I'd seen a western as a child and looked for the film about a gang of stagecoach robbers trying to leave their canyon hideout ahead of a massive rock slide and found it was “McKenna’s Gold.”
This is the Christmas holiday season now, and Lost and Rare has put together six short films of the Christmas story, story of “Silent Night,” story of The Three Kings and stories of friendship and compassion. 
There are two stories of the writing of the carol, “Silent Night.” One is a documentary (“Story of the Christmas Carol"), filmed on location in Austria, and the other (“Starlight Night”) is a dramatization of how the carol came to be written. This one involves a broken family and an avalanche. This massive 1939 snow slide is as exciting as anything today.
Robert Hutton and Frances Rafferty star in a story of a war veteran (could have been written today) with amnesia. “The Star of Bethlehem” uses the silhouette animation of Lotte Reiniger in telling the story of the Journey to Bethlehem and of the Three Kings. If you have never seen this type of animation before, it is well-suited to this story.
In "Star of Bethlehem," actor/director James Mason has his daughter, Portland, star in the children’s production as Mary with Jerry Mathers (“Leave It To Beaver”) as Joseph. There is nothing like watching James Mason, with that elegant voice, read from Scripture and this is a lesson in speech for anyone. “Three Young Kings” is set in Latin America, where children received their presents on January 6 when The Three Kings arrived. Children from the local parochial school are chosen (in costume) to deliver the presents to the wealthy, but they have to pass through the poor section of town to get there. Decisions are made and some are happy and some aren't. The local priest must be peacemaker.
For families, each story gives an opportunity for questions and discussion, including Biblical themes, decision making, family troubles, and even filmmaking techniques that have changed through the years.  My favorite is “Three Young Kings” and the youthful king's banter as they ride their donkeys through the town.  Enjoy.
Copyright 2012 Marie Asner
A complimentary copy of “Heavenly Christmas Classics” was provided by Festival Films.
For another religious DVD see Phantom Tollbooth at:

{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}