Friday, November 15, 2019

Christmas movies

One of the most loved traditions for many during the holidays is watching It's a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time. This 1946 Jimmy Stewart classic is on the top of most Christmas movie lists. But there are others.
Image result for image its a wonderful life

Another classic from the 1940's is Christmas in Connecticut starring Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, and Sydney Greenstreet.

And who hasn't seen the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947)  starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, and John Payne. 

Image result for image miracle on 34th street

There are many versions of A Christmas Carol (1951). My personal favorite being The Muppets Christmas Carol.

Holiday Inn, the 1942 classic starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Marjorie Reynolds. Fun fact, Bing Crosby's song, White Christmas debuted in this movie before the movie of the same name, in 1954, White Christmas starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney.  

Certainly, Elf (2003), starring  Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Desxhanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Ed Asner, and Bob Newhart, will go down as a classic of all time, especially as a holiday comedy.
Image result for imageelfmovie
There are 2 movies, I can add as some of my favorites Love Actually (2003) with an allstar cast of Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson, Coin Firth, Bill Knighty, Kierra Knighly, and Emma Thompson, among many other well known actors.

The other is The Family Stone with another great cast: Claire Danes, Dermot Mulroney, Sara Jessica Parker, Qweneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, and Diane Keaton and others.

Another 2003 movie, based on a novel by David Baldacci, The Christmas Train is a great story.

This brings me around to the 300 pound reindeer in the room - the Hallmark Channel and its 6 month Christmas movie schedule. They have the formula down pat. Choose one from each category 

The characters 
  • single mother (can be a widow or divorcee), her child, and single guy
  • widower or divorced father with child and single woman 
  • 2 singles, one usually having sworn off Christmas 
  • a prince and single woman 
Then venues 
  • old family farm 
  • small town (often hometown)
  • ski resort 
  • small unknown kingdom in the Alps
Choice of side plots 
  • old flame 
  • new adversary 
  • complete strangers who meet happen stance
  • nanny
The general plot
  • usually boy meets girl
  • boy likes girl
  • there is an interrupted kiss
  • all is well until there is a misunderstanding(usually about 20 minutes before the end of the movie) 
  •  then boy and girl make up
  • all is well
Also included are the obligatory:

  • snowball fights
  • Christmas Tree Lighting
  • usually Christmas cookies

And, of course, each movie ends with a ball, a town festival, or some kind of competition (baking, produce, etc) 

So all you need to do is insert one of their usual actresses into the combination of characters, venue, plots, along with the obligatory event at the end . . . and, VOILA! You have a genuine Hallmark Christmas Movie. 

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