A Thanksgiving Treat

Thanksgiving is usually not the holiday that people associate with movies; that is more apart of the charm of Christmas.

With that said, I went on a mission to find out what films are considered to be the best Thanksgiving movies.

TOP 7 THANKSGIVING MOVIES
from about.com

Thanksgiving is about more than turkey and football: it’s a complicated celebration of the American family gathered around a table. Here are our top picks of the best Thanksgiving films.

7) Pieces of April
Can cute, edgy Katie Holmes really cook a turkey? She certainly tries in Peter Hedges 2003 indie drama about an independent young woman who invites her estranged family to her East Village apartment for the holidays. All is well until the stove breaks.

6) Miracle of 34th Street
What is Thanksgiving for, if not to get hyped up about the coming of Christmas? Nowhere is that more joyously clear than in the 1947 classic “Miracle on 34th Street,” starring Mareen O’Hara, John Payne and the super adorable, six-year-old Natalie Wood. The film starts at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and heads straight into the venerable department store. Let the shopping begin!

5) The Ice Storm
Oh, the Seventies in the suburban USA, when married couples had key parties to beat away the boredom and despair. Ang Lee adapted Rick Moody’s novel in 1997, and the tragic climax comes down on Thanskgiving day. Starring Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and young rising stars Tobey Maguire, Elija Wood and Christina Ricci.

4) Mighty Joe Young
What has this got to do with Thanksgiving? Nothing, except for the fact that Ernest B. Schoedsack 1949 classic film about a beautiful young woman (Terry Moore) and her beloved ape used to play every year on turkey day, and the two are forever linked in my mind. The film was remade in 1998 with Charlize Theron, but it’s essential you view the original.

3) The House of Yes
Indie film’s first reigning queen Parker Posey won a Special Recognition award at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival for her all-out eccentric performance as Jackie-O. Mentally deranged but charming in her pill box hats, Parker flies into a menacing jealous rage when her adored older brother (Josh Hamilton) brings home a girlfriend (Tori Spelling) for Thanksgiving.

2) Home for the Holidays
Jodie Foster’s directorial debut gets it just right: dinner with the family can be a nightmare – and also hilarious. The stellar cast includes Academy Award winner Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Claire Danes, and Anne Bancroft.


1) Hannah and Her Sisters
Woody Allen’s 1986 drama about three sisters is one of his very best. The film’s set piece is Thanksgiving, where Hannah’s (Mia Farrow) clan gathers together in a tremendous Central Park West apartment for the holiday celebration. The black maid polishes the silver, Mia’s mother drinks too much and plays the piano, hearts are broken and mended in startling ways. Barbara Hershey, Michael Caine, Diane Wiest, Carrie Fisher, and Woody Allen also star.

_______________

My favorite Thanksgiving movie of all-time? “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. Okay, so it’s technically TV special not a movie, but really, what is a holiday without good ol’ Charlie Brown and company?

Advertisements

The AFI’s 25 Greatest Film Scores


There is nothing I love more in this world than movie lists. At this point in my movie watching obsession I have only completed one. And let me tell you, that was no easy chore. It took me a little more than a year because most video stores (i.e. blockbuster) do not carry anything pre-1960’s -1970’s. Apparently kids today don’t appreciate Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Citizen Kane, or Chaplin as much. But enough ranting (and I could rant for a while) because┬áthe American Film Institute, on September 23, announced its most recent list….

The 25 Greatest Film Scores!!!!

Not that I would go out of my way to watch a movie just because the music is great, cool, or just weird, but having lists to highlight obsessively and endlessly makes me feel like I’m actually accomplishing something as I watch more and more movies.

And the complete list is:

1. Star Wars (1977); John Williams
2. Gone with the Wind (1939); Max Steiner
3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962); Maurice Jarre
4. Psycho (1960); Bernard Herrmann
5. The Godfather (1972); Nino Rota
6. Jaws (1975); John Williams
7. Laura (1944); David Raskin
8. The Magnificent Seven (1960); Elmer Bernstein
9. Chinatown (1975); Jerry Goldsmith
10. High Noon (1952); Dimitri Tiomkin
11. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938); Erich Wolfgang Korngold
12. Vertigo (1958); Bernard Herrmann
13. King Kong (1933); Max Steiner
14. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982); John Williams
15. Out of Africa (1985); John Barry
16. Sunset Boulevard (1950); Franz Waxman
17. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962); Elmer Bernstein
18. Planet of the Apes (1968); Jerry Goldsmith
19. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951); Alex North
20. The Pink Panther (1964); Henry Mancini
21. Ben-Hur (1959); Miklos Rozsa
22. On the Waterfront (1954); Leonard Bernstein
23. The Mission (1986); Ennio Morricone
24. On Golden Pond (1981); David Grusin
25. How the West Was Won (1962); Alfred Newman

This list reads like a whose who of Hollywood elite composers. John Williams, Elmer Berstein, Henry Mancini, Bernard Hermann, Leonard Bernstein, Max Steiner etc. making it perfectly clear how essential good music is to any classic film.

What is your favorite? Sound off below.

The 10 Movies I Plan on Seeing This Fall

Here’s the list I came up with….

10. ElizabethtownThe latest from Cameron Crowe, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Bloom plays not only an American but a character set in the modern world. (I don’t really care if this a bad movie, because I could stare at Orlando Bloom forever.)

9. Brokeback MountainSome of you may have already heard of this, as it is being called the “gay cowboy” movie. But it is much more than that. It is a touching story about two men who deeply care for each other as they try to hide from themselves in lives that are accepted as normal. Directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Heath Ledger gives an oscar-worthy performance.

8. Jarhead A movie about the first Persian Gulf War, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. It follows Swoff, a marine sniper, (Gyllenhaal) from boot camp to active duty as the film questions the meaning of war. Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty). And maybe Sarsgaard will finally get that oscar nomination he’s deserved for so long.

7. Capote – Read my preview here.

6. Match PointThe annual Woody Allen film (actually the second of this year) but for a change this one is supposed to be good. (Like in the good old days of Annie Hall and Manhatten , I hope). Only this one has no Woody and no New York. It is set in London and mixes tennis and sexual intrigue. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathon Rhys-Meyers.

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – just because it is Harry Potter.

4. King Kong The remake, I mean, the updating of the original. Could be good, may be bad. But it will definitely dominate the seasons box office.

3. Good Night and Good LuckThis film premiered Friday, Septmeber 22 at the New York Film Festival to huge amounts of critical acclaim. George Clooney directs and costars as CBS producer Fred Friendly, in the tale of broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow (played by David Strathairn). Its all about 1954 and Murrow’s battle against Sen. Joe McCarthy. Shot in black and white and a triumph for Clooney.

2. Walk the LineThe biopic about legendary singer Johnny Cash, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Already generating Oscar buzz and neing hailed as better-then Ray. I’ll probably see this when it comes out because my dad LOVES Johnny Cash (How a boy from the Bronx favorite singer is Johnny Cash I’ll never understand)

1. MunichThe Speilberg directed true-story about the 1972 Munich olympics when Palestinian terrorists captured and killed Israeli athletes. This is about Israel’s hunt to for the terrorists. Its in the running for Best Picture, this is if Speilberg can finish by it’s release date. (The last I checked it’s still shooting, but I could be wrong about that).

The other films I’m looking foward to include: The Producers (loved the broadway musical), Rent, All the King’s Men, (another remake starring Sean Penn) Memoirs of a Geisha, Transamerica (starring Felicity Huffman), The New World, Syriana, North Country…. plus many others that will pop out of no where.

Fall 2005 is definitely shaping out to be one of the best movie seasons in a long time.

AFI Top 100 #50-1

Here is the second half of the AFI list…. you’ll notice that more films are ighly recommended as it gets closer to number 1


50.BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
49.SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
48.JAWS (1975)
47.TAXI DRIVER (1976)
46.CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A (1971)
45.STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, A (1951)

44.BIRTH OF A NATION, THE (1915)
43.KING KONG (1933)
42.REAR WINDOW (1954)
41.WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
40.NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
39.DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
38.DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
37.BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, THE (1946)

36.MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
35.IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
34.TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
33.HIGH NOON (1952)

32.GODFATHER PART II, THE (1974)
31.ANNIE HALL (1977)
30.TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
29.MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
28.APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
27.BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
26.DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)

25.E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
24.RAGING BULL (1980)
23.MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
22.2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
21.GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940)
20.ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)
19.CHINATOWN (1974)
18.PSYCHO (1960)
17.AFRICAN QUEEN, THE (1951)
16.ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
15.STAR WARS (1977)
14.SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

13.BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957)
12.SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
11.IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
10.SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)
9.SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
8.ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
7.GRADUATE, THE (1967)
6.WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
5.LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
4.GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
3.GODFATHER, THE (1972)
2.CASABLANCA (1942)
1.CITIZEN KANE (1941)

AFI Top 100 #100-51

Here are the movies on the AFI Top 100 List and my recommendations:
bold and italicized = highly recommended
bold = recommended
anything else means don’t bother, it won’t impact life

100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
99.GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
98.UNFORGIVEN (1992)
97.BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
96.SEARCHERS, THE (1956)
95.PULP FICTION (1994)
94.GOODFELLAS (1990)
93.APARTMENT, THE (1960)
92.PLACE IN THE SUN, A(1951)
91.MY FAIR LADY (1964)
90.JAZZ SINGER, THE (1927)
89.PATTON (1970)
88.EASY RIDER (1969)
87.FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
86.MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
85.DUCK SOUP (1933)
84.FARGO (1996)
83.PLATOON (1986)
82.GIANT (1956)
81.MODERN TIMES (1936)

80.WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)
79.DEER HUNTER, THE (1978)
78.ROCKY (1976)
77.AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
76.CITY LIGHTS (1931)
75.DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)
74.GOLD RUSH, THE (1925)
73.WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
72.BEN-HUR (1959)
71.FORREST GUMP (1994)
70.FRENCH CONNECTION, THE (1971)
69.SHANE (1953)
68.AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN (1951)
67.MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE (1962)
66.NETWORK (1976)
65.SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE (1991)
64.CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)
63.STAGECOACH (1939)
62.TOOTSIE (1982)
61.VERTIGO (1958)
60.RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
59.REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
58.FANTASIA (1940)
57.THIRD MAN, THE (1949)
56.M*A*S*H(1970)
55.SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965)
54.ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
53.AMADEUS (1984)
52.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
51.PHILADELPHIA STORY, THE(1940)

Remember….These are my personal opinions. If you don’t like them, feel free to comment but I’m not changing my opinion to please anyone.