Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

In my family, the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving (or, some years, the day before).  Growing up, it meant going to grandma and grandpa’s house in Idaho and cutting down a Christmas tree.  The perpetual wafting of sage, thyme, garlic, and rosemary would accompany the two Als (Roker and Michaels), as parades, football, and good family conversation would culminate in the feast of feasts.  Continue reading

Scrooge (1970)

One of my family’s most treasured Christmas traditions is to watch Ronald Neame’s unique musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, named after the story’s main character, Ebenezer Scrooge.  Scrooge is, without question in my mind, the finest adaptation of this famous story ever committed to film.  Some of the more faithful adaptations (like the one starring Patrick Stewart in 1999) reek of Hallmark made-for-TV movies.   Others sacrifice the important emotion for the sake of Christmas commercialism, in what may be the most hypocritical move in the history of the industry.  But Scrooge…Scrooge is the perfect adaptation, integrating enough of its own originality into the purity of Dicken’s novella. Continue reading

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Image result for miracle on 34th street

So, it’s Christmastime.  Considering the fact that I have hit my recent “Great American Screenplays” saga pretty hard over the last few months, I think it is plenty fair to take a break and indulge myself—and you—a little holiday liberality. Continue reading