Produced by: William Perlberg
Written by: George Seaton (screenplay)
Cinematography by: Lloyd Ahem, Charles G. Clarke
Editing by: Robert L. Simpson
Music by: Cyril Mockridge
Starring: Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, Edmund Gwenn, Porter Hall, Gene Lockhart
I have never believed in Santa Claus. My parents were pretty much of the same opinion regarding Santa as Maureen O’Hara’s character, Doris Walker, is in this film: Why lie? My younger sister, too, never believed, though it was more through my own efforts to “ruin” things for her as the older brother than any discouragement on my parents’ part. (I also ruined the Easter Bunny and Toothfairy for her, which makes her interest in the film Rise of the Guardians somewhat ironic, if not a result of some deep-seated resentment for having never believed in fairy tales — though I may be over-analyzing here.) So we basically grew up only understanding these figures as mythical characters, understanding that many other kids believed in these myths and that we shouldn’t ruin it for them, but never comprehending exactly how someone could. Read more…
Produced by: Dean Devlin
Written by: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
Cinematography by: Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Music by: David Arnold
Starring: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Randy Quaid, James Rebhorn, James Duval, Adam Baldwin, Harry Connick, Jr., Mae Whitman, Harvey Fierstein, Brent Spiner, Frank Welker (voice)
There’s an exchange between two characters in this film that I think perfectly sums up the whole attitude one should have when preparing to watch this film: “You really think you can fly this thing?” “You really think you can do all that bullshit you just said?”
The concept of a self-aware film has already become a familiar trope, but Independence Day acknowledges its nature as a big budget B-movie while never truly drawing attention to the fact. It’s all played straight, and yet it’s still hilariously playful, just the same. Here’s a film where you really have to turn off your brain and not really think too much about the action, lest you be driven into madness trying to nitpick all the little details of the plot and pinpoint all the ridiculous things that the characters within are saying and doing. Once you do that, you’ll likely find yourself enjoying it far more than the film probably deserves. Read more…
Produced by: Arthur Freed
Written by: Irving Brecher & Fred F. Finklehoffe (screenplay), Sally Benson (story)
Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor, Tom Drake, Marjorie Main
Music by: Roger Edens (score) Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane, Arthur Freed, et al. (songs)
Based on the stories of Sally Benson
While not strictly a Christmas movie in itself, Meet Me in St. Louis is often cited as one and, nonetheless, definitely teaches us to be in the holiday spirit all year round, as it centers around a lot of the traditional themes of mainstream Christmas: family, friends, love, and togetherness. Of course, despite featuring many other events over the course of a year, the film does ultimately feature its emotional climax around the Christmas season, and it is here that the film earns its status as a true holiday classic, if only because of what is arguably the film’s most lasting and famous contribution to the holiday, the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Read more…
Produced by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
Music by: Ira Newborn
After bringing the world four renowned teenage-centric films, John Hughes, director, producer, and writer, changed course and aimed for the adult crowd with this rare Thanksgiving holiday movie.
Uniting Saturday Night Live alum Steve Martin and SCTV‘s (a.k.a., Canadian SNL) John Candy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles has joined the ranks of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in becoming another of Hughes’ all time ’80s classics and has become such a staple of the Thanksgiving holiday that I’m certain you’ve passed by it on some marathon airing on cable TV and possibly didn’t even know it! And if you didn’t know of it, then that’s a mild crime, as the film deserves that status. Read more…
Hello everyone! Because I will have limited access to both time and internet this week, and because I’ll pretty much be on vacation, I am pretty much not going to be able to update very much until next week. However, I may make a few small updates here and there.
In the meantime, I recommend that you guys watch a little John Hughes film known as Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s a lovely family comedy starring Steve Martin and John Candy as two guys who keep crossing paths as they try to get home to their families on Thanksgiving. Heartwarming and touching, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll have a lot to talk to your kids about by the end about the importance of kindness. The scene at the counter with the woman on the phone is sure to stir you and touch you emotionally by Steve Martin’s performance.
… … Alright fine, so it’s not exactly family fare. But it is hilarious. I suppose you could watch Miracle on 34th Street for the millionth time, you bores, but you’ll be missing out!
The kids already sit at the kids table for dinner, so why can’t they have a kids TV too while the adults watch a more entertaining, actually-about-Thanksgiving movie? Your choice, I suppose. If you can tolerate language, you actually will find a surprisingly touching and hilarious film in the standard John Hughes form. I promise! And I wasn’t kidding about the performance in the counter scene. I know a lot of people are against swearing, but somehow this scene brings it up to an art form. Trust me, it’s much better in context!
Coincidentally, I found an English and German version of the scene in one video! It’s not Dutch, but you’ll have to pardon his French. Ha! Translate this language for the kids, Santa!
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ll be seeing you next week, likely five pounds heavier.