Like many people, Christmas in Connecticut (1945) is one movie I always make a point to watch at least once every holiday season. I love how charming and funny it is — and with a cast that includes Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, and S.Z. Sakall, how could I resist? But as remarkable as that cast is, the set for Elizabeth Lane’s picture-perfect Connecticut home is certainly a star unto itself.
After I watch movies, I often check out their IMDB entries to take a look at the Trivia section. In the case of Christmas in Connecticut, this entry caught my eye:
Since I’m a fan of both Christmas in Connecticut and Bringing Up Baby, I was curious to see if the country homes in both movies were, indeed, filmed on the same set. And since I’ve already compared the sets of White Christmas and Holiday Inn, I’d love it if a reused set appeared in another Christmas classic. So, are they the same set?
The Connecticut homes seen in both Bringing Up Baby and Christmas in Connecticut definitely have a very similar aesthetic with lots of stone and wood design elements. And they both look like homes that would be very nice to visit or live in if they were real homes. But when you really look at the two sets, it’s clear that they are very distinctly different. The layouts are quite different and the home in Bringing Up Baby has lots of stone walls and the one in Christmas in Connecticut has more wood paneling and wallpaper.
When I think about Christmas in Connecticut, one of the first things I think of is the shot of Barbara Stanwyck decorating the tree while Dennis Morgan plays the piano and they’re both next to the big windows in the living room area of the house. These windows get a lot of screen time in Christmas in Connecticut, but nothing comparable exists in the Bringing Up Baby house.
Aside from those windows, the staircase is easily one of the most prominent features of the house in Christmas in Connecticut. It’s clearly seen in several shots throughout the movie. The house in Bringing Up Baby does have a staircase as well, but it’s more of a curved staircase while the one in Christmas in Connecticut has very defined angles.
In both Bringing Up Baby and Christmas in Connecticut, split doors end up being a source of comedy. But in Elizabeth Lane’s country estate, the only split door we see is back in the kitchen when Sydney Greenstreet is greeted by the cow. In Bringing Up Baby, they’re much more prominent, featured in main, front areas of the house.
Bars are another feature that can be seen in both homes. In Bringing Up Baby, the bar is part of the front area of the house. In Christmas in Connecticut, it’s shown in a den just off of the main entry area of the house.
The fireplace in Christmas in Connecticut turns up in several shots. And, really, how can you miss it? It’s huge. While the fireplace in Christmas in Connecticut takes up lots of space, the one in the house in Bringing Up Baby looks very different from the one in Christmas in Connecticut and is more subtle in comparison.
In Christmas in Connecticut, there are a few scenes which take place in the kitchen and give us a clear look at the space. The kitchen is briefly seen in Bringing Up Baby, and while we don’t see a lot of it, we see enough to tell that it’s definitely not the same space. Most notably, there is a staircase that can be seen in the Bringing Up Baby kitchen which the Christmas in Connecticut house doesn’t have.
While it’s safe to say that these movies did not use the same set, they’re each very nicely designed sets in their own right.