Want yuletide tips for non-traditional Christmastime DVD rentals? For classic films in which cops work as Santa Claus is coming to town, there's 1947's Lady in the Lake. Robert Montgomery starred as private eye Phillip Marlowe dealing with Christmas carols and a killer. There's 1997's excellent L.A. Confidential. Russell Crowe as a bad-ass cop rips down an abusive husband's Christmas decorations before the LAPD gets involved with a big, bloody Hollywood murder mystery. Crowe co-starred with Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito and Kim Basinger. The bigger mystery was how she was the only one in cast who wound up getting an Oscar nomination for it.
Sundays and Cybele is a 1962 French movie that deservedly won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. The story ends at Christmastime. Handsome German actor Hardy Kruger played the Vietnam war pilot in therapy. A child was killed in his Vietnam bombing mission. He's now a civilian, back in France and in therapy because he suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. The war vet goes through life a shadow of his former self. He's like a big sad frame whose spirit has withered. War did that to him.