Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Movies

Once again, I have had some computer issues.  I must get some bills out of the way so I can upgrade!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving film? That’s, at once, an easy and difficult question to answer.  There are few movies dedicated to Turkey Day that I can find, so picking a favorite should be easy…if you can find one.

There are a dozen films with the exact title, Thanksgiving, but all are shorts or documentaries, including several short horror films.  Not great for an after dinner screening.

There is one 1912 movie called Thanksgiving from Reliance Film Company, but it has no details so it is probably lost.  Reliance made over 600 films between 1910 and 1916 when they were either bought of went out of business.  Interestingly, Frank Capra (1897 – 1991) made his first film at Reliance in 1915 as a film editor.

IMDb also has a keyword feature, so I searched for ‘Thanksgiving.’  235 results!  I sorted them by rating, so I could suggest the best results, and wanted to see only big screen releases.  I think the Hallmark Channel makes a Thanksgiving movie every year, so TV movies are out.  There is one at the left, if you are interested.

The top rated movie under that keyword was, Rocky (1976)!  Next came Hannah and her Sisters (1986).  Neither of those a saying much about the holiday, at least to me.

Third choice, BINGO!  Miracle on 34th Street from 1947.  This is probably the best choice.  It starts at the staging area for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.  From there you get a top notch, heart-warming story, with a bit of fantasy and a happy ending.

Let’s try something else. Keyword ‘Pilgrims’ has only four results, and only one was a theatrical release, a 1944 short called I Am an American.

On to keyword ‘Pocahontas’…with better results. Pocahontas (1910) is the first entry, a short film starring Frank Hall Crane (1873 – 1948) and no actress listed for the title role on IMDb.  Two more silent shorts were made in 1923 and 1924 called Jamestown and Pocahontas and John Smith.

Talkies…Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953) starring Anthony Dexter (1913 – 2001) who has 24 titles, and Jody Lawrance (1930 – 1986) who has 22 titles.  No reason to change the title from ladies first!

The next feature film is the only recent one named Pocahontas, the 1995 animated version from Walt Disney.  I doubt that Poca looked much like Disney’s drawings, but it was a hit movie.  If you have kids, this is a good after dinner option.

The last film entry is Pocahontas: The Legend (1995) starring Sandrine Holt (b. 1972) and Miles O’Keeffe (b. 1954).  It scored only a 2.7 on the IMDb ratings and was panned for it’s historical inaccuracies, as are most Poca movies.  The real story was based mostly on John Smith's memoirs, and he apparently embellished the story a bit.  Maybe he wanted to be a screen writer.

So it looks like Miracle on 34th Street is the best choice for an after T’giving dinner movie. Maybe football would be better…NAH!  I’m a movie guy.  But I can only take 34th St once a year.

Let me know your choice.  Leave a comment.  I will work on Christmas movies earlier so I can get something posted sooner!  I hope your Thanksgiving Day was restful, and filled with family and friends…and perhaps a good movie.

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