Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo has got in the habit of late of usually checking Turner Classic Movies in the evening to see if there’s anything on worth watching. Sometimes this pays off in the form of a new-to-me little gem.

An example of such turned up last evening in the form of “Come To The Stable” (1949). Starring Loretta Young and Celeste Holm, it’s a comedy about a couple of nuns from a French convent who, owing to a wartime vow, come to Bethlehem, Connecticut to establish a children’s hospital. Dooley Wilson (Sam from “Casablanca”) is also in it.

It would be tedious to try and spool out the plot here. The Sisters encounter perpetual money issues and are opposed by composer and local landowner Hugh Marlowe on NIMBY grounds. The plot features all kinds of cross-ties to the nuns’ Normandy convent, Marlowe’s military experience there, plagiarized Gregorian Chant, and a climactic tennis match in which one of the Sisters plays in full habit.

The film’s not exactly a laff-riot, but it is pleasant and charming all the way through. It’s also immensely respectful of the Church and, indeed, it is the Sisters’ faith that in the end resolves all the problems and brings about the happy ending. (I’ve read elsewhere that Loretta Young herself was an intensely devout Catholic.)

So good on TCM. Especially during Advent and with the approach of Christmas, Ol’ Robbo has been trying to wall off the temporal madness which seems to be gripping the Country and instead focusing on more Celestial affairs. The film proved to be a nice little re-enforcement of that effort.

Moar Moovies UPDATE: By a curious coincidence, after mentioning Dooley Wilson in this post earlier today, this evening I just got a notice from Netflix that “Casablanca” is on the way. Funny, that.

Second, posting about this film reminded me of another Church-friendly comedy, “Trouble Along The Way” (1953), starring John Wayne and Donna Reed. In it, the Duke plays a football coach hired out by a small Catholic college to boost its team in order to try and raise money to avoid bankruptcy. It’s been a while since I last saw this, but my vague memories are pleasant ones. Fortunately, Netflix still carries it. (I believe, by the bye, that Duke himself was a deathbed convert.)