Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TCM in December: Highlights

TCM has a terrific schedule ahead in December, including lots of wonderful Christmas movies.

Christmas movies will be playing on Friday evenings as well as on other dates throughout the month. A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938), for instance, plays on three different dates, as does HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949). THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947) and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) are aired twice each, and so on. Check the TCM schedule for alternate air dates not listed below.

...Friday, December 3rd, the first batch of Christmas movies is comprised of FITZWILLY (1967), IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE (1947), and SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954). My children love FITZWILLY, which I haven't seen yet. I've also never seen IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE and hope to catch up with it this year. I liked SUSAN SLEPT HERE when I saw it for the first time last December; it just came out in a remastered DVD-R from Warner Archive. It's got gorgeous 1950s set design -- check out the white Christmas tree in Dick Powell's apartment.

...The classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938) has its first air date of the month on Saturday, December 4th. I'm especially partial to this short, sweet MGM version starring Reginald Owen, Ann Rutherford, and the Lockhart family.

...HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949), a lovely film starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh, first airs in December on Sunday the 5th. The same date there's a rare Paramount treat, THE GILDED LILY (1935), with Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, and Ray Milland. THE GILDED LILY will be part of the Colbert-MacMurray Romantic Comedy Collection, which just had its release date pushed back to December 10th.

...December 7th there's a six-film tribute to Dorothy Malone, including WARLOCK (1959), THE LAST VOYAGE (1960), THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (1954), CONVICTED (1950), TENSION AT TABLE ROCK (1956), and PUSHOVER (1954).

...On Friday the 10th, the Christmas movies are A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938), SCROOGE (1970), and THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942).

...December 11th Samuel Fuller's THE BARON OF ARIZONA (1950) will be shown, starring Vincent Price and Ellen Drew. I've never seen it, and it looks quite interesting. MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) is also on that day, as part of a lineup devoted to Garland/Minnelli films.

...I'm looking forward to MR. BELVEDERE GOES TO COLLEGE (1949) and MR. BELVEDERE RINGS THE BELL (1951) on December 12th, starring Clifton Webb in the title role. COLLEGE costars Shirley Temple and Tom Drake, and it was filmed at the University of Nevada at Reno, the scenic location for APARTMENT FOR PEGGY (1948) and several other films of the '40s and '50s. RINGS THE BELL also stars Joanne Dru and Hugh Marlowe.

...Friday, December 17th, the Christmas movies are HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949), IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949), and LITTLE WOMEN (1949). Despite its title, IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME is set almost entirely in the winter, and it features Judy Garland singing a song called "Merry Christmas."

...There's a tribute to Gary Cooper on December 18th, with MEET JOHN DOE (1941), MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936), FRIENDLY PERSUASION (1956), ALONG CAME JONES (1945), and TASK FORCE (1949).

...Another Christmas movie classic, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), will be on Monday, December 20th.

...I really enjoyed SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963), starring Rod Taylor, Jane Fonda, and Cliff Robertson. It will air December 21st. PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT (1962), another Jane Fonda film airing that day, is set at Christmastime. Later that night there's Astaire and Rogers in SWING TIME (1936) airing back to back with THE THIN MAN (1934). That's entertainment!

...A John Wayne marathon will be held on Monday, December 22nd, including some of his greatest films; my favorites airing that day are SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949), RIO GRANDE (1950), THE SEARCHERS (1956), and RIO BRAVO (1959). Among the other Wayne titles airing that date is 3 GODFATHERS (1948), which has a Christmas theme.

...On Christmas Eve the Christmas movies start early in the morning with BEYOND TOMORROW (1940), culminating in Robert Osborne's Christmas Eve picks: THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947), MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937), REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), and BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (1959). I'm a bit perplexed by the inclusion of MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW, which could make for a rather depressing Christmas Eve! You just can't go wrong, though, with Cary Grant in THE BISHOP'S WIFE, a perfect Christmas film if ever there was one.

...The Christmas movies continue on Christmas Day starting with the Hepburn version of LITTLE WOMEN (1933), an exquisitely made film. In the afternoon the programming will switch to Biblical epics and then, in an odd twist, movies about highly dysfunctional families!

...Boxing Day (that's December 26th here in the States) is devoted to live-action Disney films, including classics OLD YELLER (1958), POLLYANNA (1960), SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960), and THE PARENT TRAP (1961). When the Disney festival comes to an end, it's time for THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939).

...I love ANATOMY OF A MURDER (1959), a marvelous James Stewart film airing on the 27th. And VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964), with Elvis and Ann-Margret, is a lot of fun. It's got some great numbers including the poolside "The Lady Loves Me" and Ann-Margret's impressive solo "My Rival," filmed in one continuous take.

...On December 28th there are half a dozen Dr. Kildare films on the schedule.

...Animal movies are the theme of the day on December 29th, including BORN FREE (1966), THE YEARLING (1946), and INTERNATIONAL VELVET (1978). I've found that a lot of people my age count Dick Van Dyke hosting a TV screening of BORN FREE as one of their earliest TV viewing memories. I first saw INTERNATIONAL VELVET on TV when I was a college student visiting London, and I've been partial to it ever since... Later that night a string of British films includes James Mason in the London Blitz movie THE BELLS GO DOWN (1943), which is only available on DVD in a Region 2 edition.

...Finally, New Year's Eve will be rung in with seven Cary Grant films, followed by a Marx Brothers marathon. Happy New Year!

The December Star of the Month is Mickey Rooney. I'll be taking a closer look at the Rooney films on the schedule in the next day or two, and I also plan to do a separate post on a few of the interesting titles coming to Fox Movie Channel in December.

Update: Here is my post TCM Star of the Month: Mickey Rooney.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Notable Passings

...I'll leave it to others to remember the comedic performances of the late Leslie Nielsen, who passed away Sunday at the age of 84.

For me, Nielsen was the handsome young lead in FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) and Disney's TV classic THE SWAMP FOX, which is available on DVD in the Disney Treasures series.

Here's a fabulous photo of Nielsen at the Disneyland submarine ride around the time he was starring as a Revolutionary War hero in THE SWAMP FOX...hence his pose with the "Ethan Allen." The picture ran today on the Disney Parks Blog.

...Irvin Kershner, the director of what is perhaps universally recognized as the finest STAR WARS film, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980), has passed away.

Kershner, a graduate of the USC Cinema School, was 87.

His other work included the James Bond film NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983), but it's safe to say that EMPIRE was the greatest achievement of Kershner's career. It's a film of great artistry which was also incredibly popular, and it will be enjoyed and loved by generations to come.

A Visit With Nancy Olson

Susan King interviews actress Nancy Olson in today's Los Angeles Times.

Olson has always struck me as refreshingly down to earth, whether in personal interviews or in her screen appearances. She's had a most interesting life, including appearing in SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) and Disney films, most notably the classic POLLYANNA (1960).

Off the screen she was married to Alan Jay Lerner (MY FAIR LADY is dedicated to her) and later to Capitol Records President Alan Livingston.

Olson movies reviewed here in the past include UNION STATION (1950), SUBMARINE COMMAND (1951), BIG JIM MCLAIN (1952), and AIRPORT 1975 (1974).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tonight's Movie: Leap Year (2010)

This seems to be the weekend for catching up with new (or at least new-ish) movies! Having watched ME AND ORSON WELLES (2008), UNSTOPPABLE (2010), and MORNING GLORY (2010) over the last couple days, tonight I watched LEAP YEAR, which came out last January.

LEAP YEAR stars Amy Adams as Anna Brady, who impulsively decides to follow her longtime cardiologist boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) from Boston to Dublin, where he's attending a medical convention; Anna intends to propose to him on Leap Day. Of course, the best-laid plans go awry and Anna finds herself stranded in Ireland far from Dublin. She persuades Declan (Matthew Goode), a pub owner, to drive her to Dublin in a battered Renault. An attraction gradually develops between Anna and Declan, leading her to question her desire to marry Jeremy and what she wants out of life.

When the movie came out, some reviewers criticized the film as being too familiar and derivative. However, that's precisely what I liked about it -- it aspires to be nothing more than what it is, an old-fashioned road romance set amidst beautiful Irish landscapes. The formula dates back at least as far as IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934), made over 75 years before: girl and boy go on a road trip, bicker, are attracted despite themselves, and make predictably happy decisions by film's end. Works for me!

Carl Kozlowski of Big Hollywood agrees: "...an old-fashioned good time. The romance is sweet, the cliched situations are staged with enough verve to seem newly fresh, and the stars’ chemistry is palpably appealing. 'Leap' also offers a non-stop tableau of Irish scenery making viewers wish they could go along for the ride."

Adams and Goode have charm to spare, and fortunately the film's silliest sequence, which finds Anna inadvertently destroying her hotel room, is over and done with early in the movie.

The film gets better as it goes along and Anna and Declan begin to know and like one another, and it builds to a satisfying conclusion. It was the perfect movie for a cold, windy Southern California evening. If you're looking for a happy, feel-good movie to buy or Netflix this winter, this is your film.

Parental advisory: This film is a fairly mild PG, which for the most part is family-friendly.

LEAP YEAR was directed by Anand Tucker. It runs 100 minutes. Trailers can be seen at IMDb.

LEAP YEAR has been released on DVD. The DVD contains deleted scenes. As I write this, Amazon has the film on sale for a low $7.99.

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...the Thanksgiving Weekend edition!

...Coming to DVD: a Criterion Collection edition of SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster. The DVD has nice cover art.

...Here's Disney Animation's chronological video countdown of their first 50 animated feature films. TANGLED (2010) is No. 50.

...There's a very nice photo of Robert Montgomery at Classic Montgomery.

...Howard Ashman discusses his score for Disney's TANGLED (2010).

...The Self-Styled Siren announced a new film preservation project, a blogathon to benefit the Film Noir Foundation and help pay for UCLA's restoration of THE SOUND OF FURY (1950), starring Frank Lovejoy, Kathleen Ryan (CAPTAIN BOYCOTT), Richard Carlson, and Lloyd Bridges. The movie is also know by the title TRY AND GET ME.

...Lou Lumenick's latest DVD column for the New York Post focuses on NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955) and METROPOLIS (1927).

...No More Fairy Tales from Disney animation?

...The long-awaited new Warner Archive release of BACHELOR MOTHER (1939) is said to look really good.

...50 Westerns From the 50s shares the news that Randolph Scott's THE NEVADAN is due out in January from the Columbia Classics DVD-R program.

...Classic Movies Digest reviews 24 HOURS (1931), starring Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins.

...I'd never heard of THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (1945) before reading about it at Black and White: Cinema and Chocolate. It stars favorites George Sanders and Ella Raines along with Geraldine Fitzgerald. There's also a poster for the film featured on the countdown of Great Film Noir Posters at Where Danger Lives. Don't miss the countdown...there's some very informative analysis about the design of various posters.

...Dave Kehr of the New York Times reviewed the Warner Archive release of Fritz Lang's MOONFLEET (1955), starring Stewart Granger and George Sanders. That's my kind of cast. :)

...Leonard Maltin was one of many who loved THE KING'S SPEECH (2010), but as I mentioned yesterday, it's currently impossible for more than a handful of people in the U.S. to see it.

...Speaking of royalty, Prince William and Kate Middleton have set their wedding date: April 29, 2011. They'll wed in Westminster Abbey.

Have a great week!

Best Wishes for a Happy Advent

It hardly seems possible it's Advent once more, but here we are, less than four weeks till Christmas!

Sincere good wishes for a happy, meaningful Advent season.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tonight's Movie: Private Number (1936)

PRIVATE NUMBER is an absorbing "upstairs, downstairs" romantic drama about a young maid (Loretta Young) who falls in love with her employers' son (Robert Taylor).

Ellen (Young) is down on her luck and out of money when she's hired as a maid by the Winfields. Ellen has to contend with the lecherous butler (Basil Rathbone) who keeps putting the moves on her, but otherwise she likes her job; Mrs. Winfield (Marjorie Gateson) is kind, and another maid, Gracie (Patsy Kelly), does her best to protect Ellen from the butler.

Mrs. Winfield takes Ellen and Gracie to the family estate in Maine for the summer, where Ellen gets to know the Winfields' son Richard (Taylor). At summer's end they secretly marry, intending to disclose the marriage to Richard's parents after he finishes his senior year of college. Matters become complicated when the butler discovers Ellen is expecting a child...

PRIVATE NUMBER is an interesting, well-done melodrama. Loretta Young is charming and exquisitely beautiful as the maid who's 17 going on 18. (In real life, Loretta was 23 when the movie came out.) The movie's plot seems almost like a pre-Code at times, calling to mind some of Young's excellent early work in films like TAXI! (1932) and MIDNIGHT MARY (1933).

Robert Taylor, on loan to Fox from MGM, was in his "young and handsome stage" and had just turned 25 when the film was released. He had recently appeared in MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1935) and SMALL TOWN GIRL (1936), and CAMILLE (1936) would come out later in 1936. After his earliest films, including TIMES SQUARE LADY (1935) and SOCIETY DOCTOR (1935), Taylor's acting talent developed quickly, although his best acting work lay ahead in the '40s and '50s. He's appealing in this as the young man who loves Loretta regardless of her social station.

Rathbone is quite creepy as the nasty butler, who delights in making life as difficult as possible for his fellow servants. When Robert Taylor socks him in the jaw near the end, it's a satisfying moment indeed.

Marjorie Gateson is very good as a fairly uncliched wealthy mother type, who is open-minded and wants the best for her son. Also in the cast are Joe E. Lewis, Paul Harvey, Jane Darwell, and Paul Stanton. Look for Lynn Bari as a gambler in the scene at "Grandma's." There's also a handsome dog named Hamlet, played by Prince.

PRIVATE NUMBER was directed by Roy Del Ruth. It was attractively photographed in black and white by J. Peverell Marley, who was married to Linda Darnell for several years in the 1940s. The movie runs 80 minutes.

This film is not available on VHS or DVD, but it's been shown in the past in a beautiful print on Fox Movie Channel.

Tonight's Movie: Morning Glory (2010)

After seeing UNSTOPPABLE this afternoon, we immediately watched MORNING GLORY, a fun movie about a last-place early morning news show.

Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) is a young TV producer who has been downsized out of her previous job. She's hired by Jerry Barnes (Jeff Goldblum) to produce a perennial fourth-place morning show, where she immediately shakes things up by hiring longtime newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) as the new cohost for Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton).

Pomeroy is forced to take the job or his lucrative contract with the network will be severed, but he's not at all happy about the comedown of appearing on morning television. Brittle Colleen, on the other hand, comes to respect Becky's plans to save the show from cancellation and gamely dives into ratings-boosting stunts.

Becky, meanwhile, is also trying to figure out how to deal with her attraction for another producer (Patrick Wilson) along with her all-consuming job.

MORNING GLORY is a bright, upbeat film which achieves its goal of entertaining its audience; we laughed and smiled from start to finish. Rachel McAdams and Patrick Wilson are appealing as the two young producers.

The film's not completely perfect; Ford's growly character is quite funny but a bit overdone at times, and there's not enough of Keaton's delightfully interesting, highly amusing character. Nonetheless, it's a lot of fun, with a "feel good" ending, and I was glad I saw it; I'd happily watch it again in the future. A scene involving the weatherman and a roller coaster had me laughing so hard I nearly cried!

MORNING GLORY was directed by Roger Michell, whose credits include NOTTING HILL (1999).

The film runs 102 minutes.

Parental advisory: The movie is rated PG-13 for language, innuendo, and a love scene in which characters partially disrobe.

Trailers are available at IMDb.

Tonight's Movie: Unstoppable (2010)

This afternoon we went and saw not one but two new movies! I can't remember the last time I saw two new movies in one day -- and truth to tell, there usually aren't all that many new movies we'd like to see anyway. We watched UNSTOPPABLE back to back with MORNING GLORY, and a very good time was had by all.

UNSTOPPABLE, "inspired by true events," is the story of a runaway freight train carrying toxic chemicals. My understanding is some of the facts were exaggerated for the film, including the runaway train's top speed; setting aside what was real and what wasn't, this film is terrific entertainment.

Frank (Denzel Washington) and Will (Chris Pine) are two working-class railroad employees in Pennsylvania; engineer Frank is on the edge of involuntary retirement, and Will is a conductor trainee. They're on a routine run one morning when they get word there's an unmanned train loaded with hazardous chemicals headed their way. Attempts to stop the unmanned train have been unsuccessful, and it seems there will be certain disaster when it ultimately reaches an elevated curve in a track in Will's hometown. Then Frank develops a game plan to stop it...

This is an interesting, exciting film with solid performances. There are a couple moments near the end which seemed implausible, but for the most part the film seems to be grounded in reality, which makes it even more of a nailbiter.

Washington and Pine, whose characters are initially wary of one another, have good camaraderie, and I especially liked Rosario Dawson as Connie, the yard operator who helps navigate the incident to its conclusion. Lew Temple is also particularly good as Ned, a welder who initially seems laid-back -- he's always late for work -- but he drives his pickup like a race car driver and is instrumental in dealing with the crisis.

This film is rated PG-13, but other than some language it's a fairly family-friendly movie depicting ordinary men willing to risk their lives to help others.

Trailers are available at IMDb.

The movie was directed by Tony Scott, who's also executive producer of the excellent TV series THE GOOD WIFE. I particularly admired the photography by Ben Seresin which gives the film a gritty, authentic look.

Incidentally, I'd have loved to see THE KING'S SPEECH this weekend, but despite all its publicity and excellent release date reviews, it appears to be playing in only four theaters in the entire country! That seems like a botched marketing campaign.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tonight's Movie: Me and Orson Welles (2008)

ME AND ORSON WELLES is the entertaining story of a teenaged would-be actor, Richard Samuels (Zac Efron), and the week he spends with the Mercury Theatre company in 1937.

Richard has a chance meeting with the Mercury players outside the theater where they're rehearsing Orson Welles' new modern-dress production of JULIUS CAESAR. Welles (Christian McKay) needs a replacement for the small role of Lucius and gives Richard the part.

Richard spends a roller coaster week observing and interacting with the brilliant but obnoxious Welles, culminating in the play's opening night. Richard also falls for Sonja (Claire Danes), an ambitious theatre employee who aspires to meet David O. Selznick, and he's mentored by a sympathetic Joseph Cotten (James Tupper).

It was unplanned and rather interesting that last night I watched Joseph Cotten in SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944), and then tonight I watched a film where Cotten was a character! Tupper does a good job conveying the essence of the genial Cotten. Other real-life theatre personalities portrayed in the film are John Houseman (Eddie Marsan), George Coulouris (Ben Chaplin), Norman Lloyd (Leo Bill), and Martin Gabel (Aidan McArdle).

Zoe Kazan (granddaughter of Elia) plays an aspiring writer whose encounters with Richard at the beginning, middle, and end of the film help frame the story.

I found ME AND ORSON WELLES enjoyable, if not quite as good as I had hoped based on reviews. The film has nice period atmosphere and solid performances, with McKay's spot-on take on Welles a standout. The best scenes in the film depict the opening night of JULIUS CAESAR; it's thrilling to see the striking production come together successfully after the utter chaos of the final rehearsals.

Unfortunately the movie is overly preoccupied with off-color humor and who's sleeping with who; a bit of that might make sense to illustrate characters, but the heavy emphasis on this angle detracts from the film, which has a story rich with more interesting possibilities to explore. I also question whether the portrayal of Joseph Cotten as an inveterate womanizer was based on fact, considering what I've read about his successful long-term marriages; he would have been several years into his first marriage in 1937. I'd like to know whether that characterization had a factual basis or was concocted strictly for the movie.

This could easily have been a film appropriate for the entire family, but the filmmakers chose not to go that route, which ironically is boringly predictable and undaring in this day and age. The movie is rated PG-13.

With those caveats, the film was worth seeing, and I suspect I might like the movie more viewing it another time; for one thing, it takes a while getting the many characters straight on the first viewing. I think watching the film a second time I'd be able to focus more on the story itself.

This film was directed by Richard Linklater. It runs 114 minutes.

Trailers can be seen at IMDb.

ME AND ORSON WELLES was released on DVD. I'm not sure it was ever sold anywhere but Target; the only Amazon listings are for vendors, and the prices for new copies are fairly steep.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tonight's Movie: Since You Went Away (1944)

SINCE YOU WENT AWAY, David O. Selznick's tribute to the American homefront during World War II, is beautiful, moving filmmaking of the highest caliber.

The film begins in January 1943, just after Anne Hilton (Claudette Colbert) has seen her husband Tim off to war. Over the course of three engrossing hours, the film chronicles moments big and small in the lives of the Hilton family during the ensuing year. While Tim is away, Anne and her daughters Jane (Jennifer Jones) and Bridget (Shirley Temple) learn to cope with loneliness, financial hardship, worry, love, and loss.

Anne takes in a boarder, Col. Smollett (Monty Woolley), to help make financial ends meet, and eventually she goes to work in a factory. Jane becomes a nurse's aide after graduating from high school, and she falls in love with the colonel's estranged grandson Bill (Robert Walker, who was then married to Jones). Old friend Tony (Joseph Cotten) periodically visits and raises the family's spirits, and although the Hiltons can no longer afford their longtime housekeeper Fidelia (Hattie McDaniel), she misses them so much that she moves back in after starting a new job.

It's a simple story with sincere, moving performances, exquisitely filmed in black and white. The movie effectively mixes vignettes of ordinary family life with memorable dramatic sequences, such as the shadowy army dance or the famous train station scene where Jane says farewell to Bill. The film elicits tears -- perhaps sobs -- at certain moments, but the tears are honestly earned, and as the movie draws to a close at Christmas 1943, the viewer feels privileged to have accompanied the Hiltons on their emotional journey through the year.

The acting is so uniformly excellent, even in small roles, that it's impossible to single out any one or two particular actors. The cast also includes Lionel Barrymore in a single scene as a minister; Agnes Moorehead as a nasty, thoughtless acquaintance Anne puts up with far too long; Albert Basserman as an army psychiatrist; Guy Madison and Craig Stevens as young sailors befriended by Jane; Keenan Wynn as a friend of Tony's; Alla Nazimova as one of Anne's fellow factory workers; and Lloyd Corrigan as Mr. Mahoney, the grocer. There's even a charming performance by a bulldog named Soda.

The film includes many familiar faces including George Chandler, Adeline De Walt Reynolds, Dorothy Dandridge, Irving Bacon, Dorothy Adams, Florence Bates, Byron Foulger, and Grady Sutton.

John Derek, Rhonda Fleming, Ruth Roman, and Terry Moore are credited with bit parts.

SINCE YOU WENT AWAY was nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture, Actress (Colbert), Supporting Actress (Jones), Supporting Actor (Woolley), and Cinematography (Stanley Cortez and Lee Garmes). The only winner was Max Steiner, who took home an Oscar for Best Musical Score.

SINCE YOU WENT AWAY was directed by John Cromwell. Producer David O. Selznick wrote the screenplay based on a book by Margaret Buell Wilder. (I have a used copy in my own collection.) The film runs 2 hours and 57 minutes.

This film is available in a beautiful print on DVD. There are no extras. The DVD was reviewed at DVD Talk and DVD Verdict.

It's also had a release on VHS.

Turner Classic Movies will be showing this film on January 23, 2011, and February 16, 2011. There's a "remind me" feature at the TCM site if you'd like to be emailed close to the airdate.

Highly recommended.

Postscript: There's a beautiful church seen in the movie. It's the Church of the Angels in Pasadena, California.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happiest Thanksgiving Wishes to All!

Have a wonderful day celebrating blessings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today at Disneyland: Thanksgiving Eve

Our Thanksgiving week fun continued with a few hours at Disneyland this morning. It was a beautiful late November day in Southern California; the weather was cool and sunny, with temps in the low 60s.

Christmas Eve is a month from today, and the Christmas season is in full swing at Disneyland.

Click to enlarge any photo.

The Main Street Train Station:


The flowers at Town Square:


Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle:


The Mark Twain early this morning:


The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland decked out for the holidays:


The entrance to Court des Anges in New Orleans Square:


Court des Anges:


Some of the decorating details in New Orleans Square:




Storybook Land Canal:




I love the Christmas season at Disneyland! We expect to visit a couple more times in December.

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