A.O. Scott of the New York Times makes a glowing Christmas pick:
In a second I’ll tell you why this particular film fills me with a sense of Christmas well being…
It is near the close of the film, Christmas Eve, as the stage is set for the wonderful resolution you saw above… But, if you listen very carefully, before the tender ending, as Stewart and Sullavan prepare to lock the doors and shut off the store lights… You can hear the voice of the director… oh yes… you can. It’s a quiet sequence. I’ll have to review the film if any of you are interested and I can give you the time code for when it occurs… I believe it happens as James Stewart is dimming the lights and securing the door, and there must have been a bobble in the action because you can hear Lubitsch say something like, “that’s fine, keep rolling, keep going, keep rolling.”
And, when this happens, every year, I tear up and it feels wonderful. If you’re a regular reader you know I grew up in Hollywood. When I hear Lubitsch speak I sense time’s elasticity – putting me squarely in a place when my father was young and was falling in love with the movies. I have heard similar words spoken countless times on many sets – and it makes me feel right at home. At home, at Christmas, I wish you all the very best.