Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Holiday/Vacation Movies


Merry Christmas everyone! I have been a no-show a lot because of the season but hope to get back to the norm soon enough. This time the theme lands right on Christmas Eve which is when I celebrate Christmas so I probably will not be able to make the rounds until after the 26th.

This bloghop is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves and the theme this week is Holiday/Vacation Movies. Let's get to it!

1. HOLIDAY INN-1942


This is the film where the song, "White Christmas" was introduced. I enjoy this film quite a bit even though the tribute to Lincoln's Birthday (a Holiday) makes one cringe in agony. Bing sings the song in blackface but what's worse is the female lead is done up as well with those crazy pig-tails that, if it were done now, every person in the world would be riled up and for good reason. One must take this certain piece from the time it was made and remember they thought they were actually paying homage to the African Americans. This has great dancing and singing as one song actually states this very theme. It also has some great funny moments and to see Astaire dance-just amazing. Just an FYI-when Astaire practiced his dancing for the 4th of July number, he lost over 20 lbs!

2. A CHRISTMAS STORY-1983


Except for my hubby, who I ignore when we differ in opinion, this film is a classic! We can all relate to this since we all were dressed up by our mom's to go out in the snow but we could hardly move. We all dealt with bullies- I even did stick my tongue on a pole (Get your minds out of the gutter ya filthy animals!:)) Yes my tongue got stuck but I cupped my hands around my tongue and breathed on it until the warm...or hot air let my tongue get off that pole..um..let's move on. We also have all experienced one meal in our lifetime that got ruined or at least delayed. This is also a special film because it was filmed in the city I live in. Sit back and just enjoy this gem of a film but hopefully no one has a lamp like that in their home.

3. CHRISTMAS VACATION-1989


I love the vacation films with Chevy Chase and this is a classic. It is not an award winner but man, does it make me laugh. When the cat chews on the lights, you know the cat will not see his 10th life. The uptight neighbours, one played by Julia Louis Dreyfus, really get their just desserts. We actually have similar neighbours living 2 doors down from us. My favourite scene... one of my favourites, is the sled scene especially the banter between Chase and Randy Quaid. What is wonderful about this film and the one above, is that we can all relate to it in some way even if it is over the top, that's what makes it funny.

Merry Christmas everyone!

41 comments:

  1. Happy Christmas, Birgit. Wishing you and yours peace and love x

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  2. The last two I sure have seen more than once at my scene. Great picks indeed.

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    1. They are great and Christmas favourites

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  3. I've seen all three. That's a first for me. #2 is my favorite holiday movie. I've even contemplating driving down to see the house where it was filmed. I also like 'Home Alone'. Merry Christmas.

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    1. It is such a funny movie and one that brings back great memories. I love Christmas Story

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  4. Saw the bottom two; definitely classics in their own right :) I too like the first Home Alone movie :)

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Merry Christmas!

    betty

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  5. Not sure I have seen any of them, maybe the first one a long time ago.

    Have a great Christmas Birgit.

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  6. Great picks! I love White Christmas more but Holiday Inn is a wonderfully entertaining film, too bad they didn't film it in color.

    It's surprising how divisive A Christmas Story is. I have a friend who considers it his favorite film, my Mom and I both love it and my nieces roll their eyes at the mere mention of it. I saw the stage musical just within the last week and it is a charmer as well though it restructures some of the plot by necessity.

    I don't adore the Vacation movies but this one it a cute, funny time passer with a game Chase in the lead.

    I couldn't decide between holiday or vacation movies for picks and ended up with three of each so I've split them into two entries.

    Christmas:

    Make the Yuletide Gay (2009)-Olaf “Gunn” Gunnunderson is headed to the Midwest home of his parents for the holidays. The thing is Gunn has a secret, at college he’s an out and proud gay man but at home he plays it straight fearing that his stoner dad and effusive, holiday loving mom will reject him if they know the truth. Soon after he arrives so does his boyfriend whose parents have decided to take a cruise rather than spend Christmas with him. Gunn passes him off as his roommate while his parents try to fix Gunn up with the girl next door. Can they make it through the holidays without his parents finding out and should they? Little known holiday fare with a game cast, including Alison Arngrim (Nellie Olsen from Little House on the Prairie) as the hot pants mom next door.

    Christmas in Connecticut (1945)-Barbara Stanwyck, that most versatile of all the great female Hollywood stars coming fresh off of Double Indemnity, is Elizabeth Lane-the Martha Stewart of her day who writes an advice column in Smart Housekeeping detailing her idyllic life on her Connecticut farm with her husband and baby. One day her publisher (Sydney Greenstreet) concocts a scheme to boost circulation, invite a war hero to her farm for the holidays and the publisher is coming along too. The problem? She lives in a New York walk up, has no husband nor baby and she can’t cook! What to do? She agrees to marry the man whose home she’s been using for a model and heads to the country taking the friend who provides her the recipes she uses along. All seems well…until the very attractive soldier arrives. Breezy comedy with the holiday spirit but not swamped with all the trimmings.

    Christmas Holiday (1944)-This Robert Siodmak directed adaptation of a Somerset Maugham story is one dark, despairing noir. On Christmas leave a young officer receives a Dear John letter. Depressed he wanders into a roadside joint and meets Deanna Durbin, a “dance hall hostess” and she tells him the story of her fall. As a naïve young girl on her own she entered into a hasty marriage to a slick charming man, Gene Kelly, who turns out to be a mother dominated psychotic maniac. When he commits murder she somehow feels responsible, goes into hiding and punishes herself by sliding into a life of squalor. Loaded with and quite explicit (for a 40’s release) in its themes of sexual manipulation, prostitution, incest, self-punishment and very twisted emotional ideas. Deanna sings but her songbird isn’t singled out as anyone special, she’s better than most roadside canaries but her style is beaten down and the patrons hardly break from what they’re doing when she takes the bandstand. A million miles away from the typical Durbin or Kelly vehicles.

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  7. Vacation:

    Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad (1967)-Madame Rosepettle (Rosalind Russell) arrives at a Caribbean resort for a vacation with quite a menagerie, her 24 year old son (Robert Morse) who acts like a 5 year old, his stamp collection and telescope, a pair of Venus Flytraps, her tank of pet piranhas and her dead husband (Jonathan Winters-who serves as narrator) who she’s had stuffed and travels with them in his coffin that she keeps in the closet. While they’re there the hotel’s babysitter Rosalie (Barbara Harris) falls for the infantile young man while Madame is pursued by a crazy ship captain, Commodore Roseabove. Got that? Its theatre of the absurd and the kind of whack-a-doodle thing that could only be produced in the 60’s.

    Deliverance (1972)-Four friends, all city bred, decide to take a vacation trip down a river in backwoods Georgia before a dam is constructed that will wipe it out and flood the surrounding area. Only one of them is really knowledgeable about canoeing but the trip starts well and even has a highlight or two, the famous Dueling Banjos being the most memorable, until they have an ill-fated encounter with some hillbilly moonshiners. Things go about as wrong as possible and their big adventure becomes an endurance test of survival. Raw and vivid with a career best performance by Burt Reynolds.

    Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962)-Mr. Hobbs wants to take a nice quiet vacation to the beach for the summer but Mrs. Hobbs insists on taking the whole family, daughters, son-in-law, grandchildren, cook and various drop ins, with them. There goes his peaceful trip. The kind of role that Jimmy Stewart could play in his sleep but he and Maureen O’Hara manage to make the material better than it should be.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. I love your movie picks! I have not heard of Yuletide or Feelin's sad. I really want to see both of them for sure. Christmas in Connecticut is so much fun. I have heard if the Durbin film but have never seen it and it is really out there especially since it contains musical stars. Deliverance is nasty:) I love Mr. Hobbs and you are so right about the main stars elevating this film

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  8. The Christmas Story is such a classic. I love that one so much. I haven't seen the other two.

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    1. I am surprised that you have not seen Christmas Vacation.

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  9. Hi, dear Birgit!

    The only one of these I have seen is the oldest, Holiday Inn. Marjorie Reynolds became a favorite of mine playing Peg opposite William Bendix in the 1950s TV series The Life of Riley. There are many cringeworthy moments in old films and I agree that we need to regard them as a product of their time and acknowledge the intention behind them which was usually benign or even noble.

    I love the original Vacation movie but never got around to watching Christmas Vacation. Thanks to your review I am adding it to my must see list.

    Thank you, dear friend BB, and Merry Christmas to you!

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    1. Reynolds was quite a good dancer and not often thought of as one of Astaire's partners but she does it well. Merry Christmas!!

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  10. I love the song White Christmas, but I've never seen Holiday Inn. And a Lincoln tribute in blackface, just sounds...no. Product of the time, I get it, but I'll probably just skip out on that one.

    A Christmas Story is absolutely the best Christmas movie ever made. Christmas Vacation is very high on that list, as well. Great picks!

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    1. It's a shame that the first film is often skipped because of that horrible singing/dance #. The rest of the film is great. Merry Christmas

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  11. I've seen the last two. I don't really care for A Christmas Story, but Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is always great! My top three thigh would have to be: Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, & Frosty! :)

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    1. Elf is great! Love the TV Grinch (not the film) and Frosty is wonderful

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  12. Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation...my all time favorites.
    Wishing you the best Christmas ever, Birgit.

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  13. Wishing you and your family a warm and Merry Christmas.

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  14. Hmmm, I thought I saw Holiday Inn when I was a kid, but I don't recall the blackface scene. Maybe it was edited out. I've never seen the Christmas Story, but after reading who wrote it and now that it was filmed in your city, I've put it on my list.:-) Merry Christmas, to you and your Husband, Birgit!!

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    1. I hope you like that movie-it's so much fun. Merry Christmas to you too

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  15. I hope you had a remarkable Christmas Birgit and my 2016 be your best year yet.
    R

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    1. Merry Christmas to you also and 2016...will be what it will be -the good, the bad, the ugly and the meh:)

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  16. Excellent choice, Birgit. We watched Holiday Inn yesterday... still awesome after all these years. Hope you can a lovely time. Charlie had fun... too much fun. His first Christmas, I'm sure. Peanut and Richard were on their best behaviour. Did your furballs get up to any mischief? Ready for the new year, my friend? Wishing you an amazing 2016.
    x Asha

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    1. Glad you watched Holiday Inn! I love that movie despite that one scene. Glad your family had a wonderful time and that Charlie has brought joy to you and your hubby

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  17. Oh dear! I've not seen any of these. I try to steer clear of chevy Chase unless its Community.

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    1. Hahahaaa-I like him the best in this version-I can recall my parents adding on all the extension cords like it's done in this movie

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  18. I've never seen Christmas Vacation. But I have seen the other two. My brother loves A Christmas Story. The year it came out, he had to rent it to play at his sleepover birthday party. His birthday is in March.

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    1. That is funny-Did anyone dress like a bunny?

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  19. I love Christmas Vacation. I watched it again via Amazon Prime, though I've been meaning to get it on DVD. I spent two days doing chores and having the TV on in the background playing a marathon of holiday favorites. :) Hope you had a blessed Christmas!

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    1. Thank you! It is always great to watch Christmas films. I try to get them on DVD-Merry Christmas and a great New Year

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  20. I have never seen #1- but I watch #2 and #3 every year at the holidays (and often more than once). I basically know them both by heart, but crack up at the same parts anyway. :) "Why's the floor all wet, Todd?" " I don't know, Margo." Hilarious. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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    1. priceless aren't they? I laugh at the same bits too. I can't wait to hear them actually

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  21. Our lights were pretty Christmas Vacationish. When all the rains came, it knocked the outdoor lights out which in turned knocked the indoor lights out.

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  22. Hey, girl! It's my end of the year post to all the bloggers I know and love! Thanks for your beautiful creations, great posts, and bloggy friendship. Wishing you all the best in 2016 from "the Flipside."

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