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Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

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Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby moira finnie » November 19th, 2009, 1:39 pm

Okay, compulsive collectors of all things cinematic, how about some recommendations for movies to rent for Thanksgiving to entertain a crowd from 8 to 80? Thanks in advance for any essential and non-essential ideas...
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby movieman1957 » November 19th, 2009, 2:55 pm

If it fits any Christmas movie works. "The Bishop's Wife" is a gentle enough way to start.
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby JackFavell » November 19th, 2009, 3:15 pm

Avalon

no wait.... maybe not.

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby JackFavell » November 19th, 2009, 3:43 pm

I'm thinking a nice Andy Hardy film fest would be very fitting for the day. But they do show these quite often, so maybe that's not your cuppa tea.

Perhaps some post 1935 Frank Capra? Or is that too close to the It's a Wonderful Life season?

Maybe because your post includes eight to eighties, or maybe because I think of it as a daylong event, my mind is running toward series - like Lassie.

Animal films? There are tons of heartwarming tales of animals and their journeys.

Or perhaps a group of films about human spirit - like The African Queen or The Miracle Worker, though this could be heavy going after awhile....

Or family films, I mean about families - like Meet Me in St. Louis, Cheaper by the Dozen and I Remember Mama ?

My daughter would happily sit and watch a day of Charlie Chaplin. She is STILL asking me when his birthday is, so she can see his movies again all in a row..... Her favorite is Modern Times.

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby klondike » November 19th, 2009, 4:25 pm

I'd nominate any good film with a Colonial Nor'easter setting - The Scarlet Letter, Johnny Tremain, The Plymouth Adventure, The Last of the Mohicans, The Devil & Daniel Webster, Northwest Passage, The Devil's Disciple (Lancaster, Douglas & Olivier!), Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (forget the Hallowe'en tie-in, works better here), Drums Along the Mohawk, or my Turkey Day favorite (by default) - The Time of Their Lives [also the only film in which I can tolerate Lou Costello].

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby ken123 » November 19th, 2009, 4:36 pm

The traditional food served on Thanksgiving is turkey which has a chemical that enduces sleepiness, So I suggestion TCM show films that one can sleep thru. So IMHO any Jerry Lewis film will be fine. :)

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby jdb1 » November 19th, 2009, 4:38 pm

Moira, as a New York City girl, Thanksgiving movie means only one thing (three things, actually): King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young. For years and years, these three (a/k/a "The Monkey Movies") were shown by Channel 9 on Thanksgiving Day.

There must be dozens of Classics that have an actual Thanksgiving theme, but aside from that dull one about the Mayflower, I can't think of a single one at the moment. I'm sure one of us knows them. Anything with little Shirley Temple would probably be welcome. How about some Little Rascals? They seem to have fallen off the radar these days. I find that most kids, even today's kids, enjoy the Gang. Something with Judy and Mickey? Stan and Ollie? Tracy and Hepburn? A screen version of a Broadway musical? Last holiday time, I showed the movie version of Damn Yankees to a group that was not familiar with the show, and they loved it.

And by the way, there was a docu on Showtime Family last night about Sid Caesar, which I watched with my young adult daughter. She laughed. Anyone who enjoys sketch comedy would probably appreciate Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour, which are on video. There's lots of classic TV on video that you might introduce the uninitiated to.

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby MichiganJ » November 19th, 2009, 4:53 pm

jdb1 wrote:Thanksgiving movie means only one thing (three things, actually): King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young. For years and years, these three (a/k/a "The Monkey Movies") were shown by Channel 9 on Thanksgiving Day.

And I looked forward to this every year. I only ever got to watch half of Kong each year, though. Just before they got to Skull Island was when we always had to leave for my grandma'ss house. By the time we got there, the big guy was already atop the Empire State Building.

May be too adult, but Hannah and Her Sisters celebrates two Thanksgivings and is a great Woody Allen film.

For getting home for the holidays, Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Disney's Pocahontas and/or Ratatouille

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Bergman's The Magic Flute

Celebrating friends and food, Babette's Feast

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Meet Me in St. Louis.

Joyeux Noel

Heaven Can Wait

Tati's Playtime

Chaplin's The Gold Rush, for the boot eating sequence and, of course, Mack Swain dreaming Charlie has turned into a big turkey. (Yes, I know it's a chicken, but pretend it's a turkey.)

For a silent with a real turkey, Harold Lloyd's Hot Water can't be beat.
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby JackFavell » November 19th, 2009, 9:49 pm

Michigan J -

I love your idea of Babette's Feast! What a fantastic film to show on Thanksgiving - a movie about how food brings an entire community back to life.....

Klondike -

I may just use your colonial theme this year. Those were great choices. Of course, I won't get to watch any of them because I will be cooking, then cleaning up....

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby Professional Tourist » November 19th, 2009, 9:59 pm

For me, and particularly as a New Yorker, Miracle on 34th Street is the ultimate classic Thanksgiving movie. And of course, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. :)

Driving Miss Daisy has a good Thanksgiving scene, too.

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby mrsl » November 20th, 2009, 12:00 am

.
Moira:

If you want to stay within the realm of food, family and Thanksgiving, I would recommend Tortilla Soup. As a Mexican father of 3 grown daughters, chef Hector Elizondo makes every Sunday dinner a feast in Los Angeles. Although not about Thanksgiving per se, at the end he offers thanksgiving for the love and support of his family. He has lost his sense of taste since Mother died and given his restaurant over to his brother, who although a fine cook, is not the chef that Hector is. In the meantime, his daughters are all going their own ways, or trying to find them, while he is making acquaintances with various people in the neighborhood including Raquel Welch and a cute little girl he meets at the bus stop. I don't know how many of you know Elizabeth Pena, a lovely Mexican actress who has been around for a while now and worked in both movies and TV. Through trials and torments, all comes together at the end with a very funny twist I doubt anyone expected while watching. It's a fun and joyful movie for any family. I have loved Hector ever since his Pretty Woman days, and never fail to watch something if his name is listed. In addition, watching some of the food being prepared adds another tier of interest.

.
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby JackFavell » November 20th, 2009, 12:14 pm

That makes me think of a couple other great food movies, though they are all extremely adult oriented -

Big Night, with Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub, is about two brothers who try to save their Italian restaurant by presenting a huge dinner to Louis Prima, popular musical star of the fifties. Shalhoub plays the artistic but temperamental chef, and Tucci plays the manager of the small, failing restaurant. Just be warned, there are f-bombs and bad language sprinkled liberally throughout the film.

Eat Drink Man Woman about an aging father and his relationship with his three marriageable daughters. The father cooks Sunday dinners for the three, lovingly slaving over the enormous gourmet meals. Each of the daughters view these meals and their tradition in a different way. The girls lives change when each becomes romantically involved. Directed by Ang Lee.

Tampopo - The first "noodle western" is an incredible tapestry about food, starting out with the entrance of two truck drivers into a ramen noodle shop. The two men (the gourmet equivalent of the Magnificent Seven), become saviors to the widow who owns the shop, showing her how to create the most savory soup in Tokyo. The rest of the film swirls around those who love food, and many sections of the film are simply short sketches about different characters and the way food invests relationships with something more. Again, adult themes are involved.

These films may not be suitable for watching with family members, but with a gang of grown up friends, it might make a worthwhile day of film watching. Just make sure you have plenty of good food available..... you will be hungry watching these.

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby kingrat » November 20th, 2009, 7:09 pm

How about any of the THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT films? Great for short attention spans and fitting movie-watching around chores. And I can always give thanks for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.

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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions...Not Necessarily Essential?

Postby srowley75 » November 21st, 2009, 2:05 am

moirafinnie wrote:Okay, compulsive collectors of all things cinematic, how about some recommendations for movies to rent for Thanksgiving to entertain a crowd from 8 to 80? Thanks in advance for any essential and non-essential ideas...


Well, my favorite film about a close-knit family that winds up enjoying a feast (among other things) would be Pink Flamingos, but I suppose that would hardly do for the 8 year olds. Though these days I'm not sure exactly how shocked an 8 year old would be by that film.

Here are some others that you might be more open to consider:

(1) The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942). Watching emotional films with family members can be excruciating. Therefore, I suggest comedy, first and foremost. I don't think this film version of the play is perfect by any means, but as it retains most of the sniping, insult-laden dialogue of the stage version, it'll help any family members bearing grudges or underlying hostilities to purge themselves and breathe easier.

(2) Auntie Mame (1958). Among other things, collective wish fulfillment. Everyone wishes, or hopes, that they had a Mame Dennis in the family: thoroughly open-minded, with few inhibitions and mostly good intentions.

(3) Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975). Oh come on, be brave. Give them something that'll make their eyes widen and wake them up after that heavy meal. And yes, there's violence, but less realistic than what the kids would've seen on any given episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Possibly the most hilariously bizarre kung-fu movie I've seen. A nice back-up choice would be an Angela Mao Ying film like Lady Kung Fu.

-Stephen


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