My Favorite Christmas Movies
Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:05 AM
1. A Christmas Story.
The film is set in 1940s Indiana in the fictional town of Hulman (based on real-life Hammond, Indiana). 9-year-old Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) wants only one thing for Christmas: "an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time." Between run-ins with his younger brother Randy (Ian Petrella) and having to handle school bully Scut Farkus (Zack Ward), and his sidekick Grover Dill (Yano Anaya) Ralphie does not know how he will ever survive long enough to get the BB gun for Christmas.
Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:15 AM
Sam the snowman tells us the story of a young red-nosed reindeer who, after being ousted from the reindeer games because of his beaming honker, teams up with Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and Yukon Cornelius, the prospector. They run into the Abominable Snowman and find a whole island of misfit toys. Rudoph vows to see if he can get Santa to help the toys, and he goes back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. But Santa's sleigh is fogged in. But when Santa looks over Rudolph, he gets a very bright idea..
Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:20 AM
On Christmas Eve 1946, George Bailey (James Stewart) is deeply depressed, even suicidal. Prayers for George are heard by angels. Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), an Angel Second Class, is sent to Earth to save him—and thereby earn his wings. Joseph, the head angel, reviews George's life with Clarence.
As a 12-year-old boy in 1919, George (Bobby Anderson) saved the life of his younger brother Harry (Todd Karns) after he fell through the ice on a pond, though George got an ear infection that impaired his hearing in one ear. Later, Returning weeks later to his job as errand boy in a pharmacy, George stopped his boss, local druggist Mr. Gower (H.B. Warner), from accidentally filling a child's prescription with poison while grief-stricken over the death of his son from influenza.
From childhood, George's greatest ambition has been to see the world and design bridges and skyscrapers. However, he repeatedly has to sacrifice his dreams for the well-being of others. He puts off going to college to help in the family business until Harry graduates from high school and can replace him at the Bailey Building and Loan Association, essential to many of the disadvantaged in town. On Harry's graduation night in 1928, George discusses his future with Mary Hatch (Donna Reed), who has had a crush on him since she was a little girl. Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) and Harry then break the news to George that his father has had a stroke. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), a heartless slumlord, seizes the opportunity to try to convince the board of directors to end the "sentimental hogwash" of providing home loans for the working poor. George persuades them to reject Potter's proposal, but they agree only on condition that George himself run the Building and Loan. He reluctantly stays in Bedford Falls and gives his school money to his brother.
Harry goes to college, but George's hopes of leaving Bedford Falls upon his graduation are dashed once again when Harry unexpectedly brings home a wife. Her father has offered Harry a job in his company. Although Harry offers to turn it down, George cannot bring himself to ruin his brother's prospects.
George and Mary eventually get married, but on their way out of town for their honeymoon, they witness a run on the bank that leaves the Building and Loan in danger of collapse. Potter offers George's clients "50 cents on the dollar," but George and Mary quell the panic by using the $2,000 earmarked for their honeymoon to lend the townspeople what they need. Later, Mary, with the aid of cab driver Ernie (Frank Faylen) and Bert, the cop (Ward Bond), concocts an elaborate mock honeymoon in their new house.
George starts up Bailey Park, an affordable housing project, with bar owner Martini and his family as the first homeowners. They and the other residents no longer have to pay high rents in the slum nicknamed Potter's Field. Potter tries to derail the competition by tempting George with a job at eight times his current salary, but George vehemently rejects the offer.
Over the next several years, George and Mary raise a growing family. When World War II erupts, George is unable to enlist due to his bad ear. Harry becomes a fighter pilot and is awarded the Medal of Honor for shooting down 15 enemy aircraft, including two Japanese kamikaze aircraft trying to crash into a troop transport.
On Christmas Eve, Uncle Billy encounters Mr. Potter and, bursting with pride, shows him the newspaper article about Harry, about to be honored by the President. Distracted, he misplaces $8,000 he was to deposit for the Building and Loan in the newspaper; Potter discovers it later in his office and keeps it. That day, the bank examiner is to inspect the Building and Loan's records; George discovers Billy's mistake and becomes unhinged while searching the town for the money. In desperation, George appeals to Potter for a loan to rescue the company. Potter turns George down.
Later, George crashes his car into a tree during a snowstorm and runs to a nearby bridge, intending to commit suicide, feeling he is "worth more dead than alive" because of a $15,000 life insurance policy. Before George can leap in, however, Clarence jumps in first. After a shocked George rescues him, Clarence reveals himself to be George's guardian angel and pleads to help him.
George bitterly wishes he had never been born. Clarence then shows him what the town would have been like if he had never existed. Bedford Falls is called Pottersville and is mostly a slum, with Main Street dominated by pawn shops and sleazy bars. Bailey Park was never built; the land is part of a desolate cemetery. Mr. Gower was convicted of poisoning the child, spent years in prison, and is now an alcoholic reduced to panhandling. Martini no longer owns the bar. Ernie and Bert, although still friends, are much darker characters. Violet (Gloria Grahame) is a dancer who gets arrested as a pickpocket. Uncle Billy has been in an insane asylum for years, while Harry is dead, since George was not around to save him. Consequently, the men Harry would have saved in the war have also perished. His mother is a lonely, embittered widow running a boarding house, and Mary is a spinster librarian.
George returns to the bridge and calls upon Clarence and God to let him live again. His prayer is answered and he is returned to the moment he met Clarence. George runs home, filled with a new appreciation of what he has accomplished. He exuberantly greets the bank examiner and the prosecutor who have come to arrest him, but his friends and family have collected a huge amount of money to save George and the Building and Loan from scandal and ruin. The newly arrived Harry proposes a toast to his brother, "the richest man in town." Seeing how many lives he has touched, and the difference he has made to Bedford Falls (along with helping Clarence earn his wings), George Bailey realizes that despite his problems, he "really has a wonderful life."
Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:25 AM
The Grinch, a bitter, cave-dwelling, catlike creature with a heart "two sizes too small," lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep, 3,000-foot (910 m) high mountain just north of Whoville, home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. His only companion is his faithful dog, Max. From his perch high atop Mount Crumpit, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Envious of the Whos' happiness, he makes plans to descend on the town and, by means of burglary, deprive them of their Christmas presents and decorations and thus "prevent Christmas from coming". However, he learns in the end that despite his success in stealing all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. His heart grows three sizes larger, he returns all the presents and trimmings, and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos.
Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:55 PM
I can't get enough of the original music and "performances" from The Year Without a Santa Clau.
Edited by Doug_White, 20 December 2011 - 08:17 AM.
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