Friday, December 03, 2021

Christmastime at Disneyland: Thanksgiving Eve 2021

Thanksgiving Eve at Disneyland is one of our family's favorite traditions. Photos from Thanksgiving Eve visits going back for a dozen years are linked at the end of this post.


We missed our usual trip in 2019 as I had just had knee surgery. We expected to return in 2020 but could not have anticipated that Disney's California parks would be closed by the state for over a year, including at Christmas.


Consequently we're soaking up all the wonderful "Disney Christmas time" we can this year!


Here are a few seasonal shots of some of the decorations.


Posts with additional photos of this year's Disneyland resort Christmas decorations are linked at the end of this post.


Barely visible here is a tree in the window of Walt Disney's apartment above the fire station. Click on any photo to enlarge it for a closer look.


The sheer normalcy of being back in our "happy place" does wonders for the spirits.


A reverse look at Main Street, U.S.A. with the tree:


The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland:


Bonus photos from a (somewhat foggy!) Disneyland morning earlier this week:


One of my favorite places, Snow White's Grotto:

Festive decorations at the entrance to Snow White's Enchanted Wish in Fantasyland:

New Orleans Square:

The Sailing Ship Columbia on the Rivers of America:


The Jungle Cruise queue:


We'll be back at Disneyland next week for the Merriest Nites party!

Merry Christmas!


Previous Thanksgiving Eve at Disneyland Posts: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Also: Return to Disneyland: First Signs of Christmas (2021); Christmas at Disney California Adventure (2021).

Thursday, December 02, 2021

TCM in December: Christmas Movies

It's time once more for my annual guide to all the Christmas movies being shown this December on Turner Classic Movies!

As usual, Christmas movies are scattered throughout the month, including every Saturday and Sunday. I've also included a couple of films on the list below which aren't actually Christmas films but are very much in keeping with the seasonal spirit.

It all builds to a marvelous week-long Christmas movie marathon which begins on December 19th and concludes on Christmas Day.

There's always a small bit of fluctuation in titles from year to year, but viewers will find most of the familiar films here which they enjoy on TCM each December.

Please click on any link below for my full review. Several movies are shown multiple times throughout the month, and in those cases the review is only linked at the first mention of the title.

Additionally, please click on any still below to enlarge it for a closer look!



Saturday, December 4th

A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: MERRY CHRISTMAS! (2011)
LITTLE WOMEN (1949)


Sunday, December 5th

LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1938)
BUNDLE OF JOY (1956)
THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947)



Tuesday, December 7th

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940) (Shown as part of a tribute to director Ernst Lubitsch)


Wednesday, December 8th

THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S (1945) (It's not a Christmas film but it feels like one...plus it's the movie shown in Bedford Falls in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE!)


Thursday, December 9th

BUNDLE OF JOY (1956) (Part of the "Met on Set" series)


Saturday, December 11th

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)
STAR IN THE NIGHT (1945)
FITZWILLY (1967)
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942)
LADY ON A TRAIN (1945) (Hosted by Eddie Muller as a "Fireside Favorite")


Sunday, December 12th

ALL MINE TO GIVE (1957)
O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE (1952)
MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE (1983)


Tuesday, December 14th

YOURS, MINE AND OURS (1968) (Part of a day of "widower" comedies, it includes a Christmas sequence)


Thursday, December 16th

SNOWED UNDER (1936) (Not a Christmas movie, but it's a fun snowbound comedy perfect for the season)


Saturday, December 18th

MEET JOHN DOE (1941)
IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949)
HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949)


Sunday, December 19th

KING OF KINGS (1961)
BEN-HUR (1959)
GOING MY WAY (1944)
THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (1952)
CHRISTMAS PAST (1925)
MON ONCLE ANTOINE (1982)
FANNY AND ALEXANDER (1982)


Monday, December 20th

KIND LADY (1935)
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942)
COVER UP (1949)
CROOKS ANONYMOUS (1952)
BACKFIRE (1950)
MR. SOFT TOUCH (1949)
LADY ON A TRAIN (1945)
WE'RE NO ANGELS (1955)
FITZWILLY (1967)
LADY IN THE LAKE (1947)
LARCENY, INC. (1942)
THE SILENT PARTNER (1978)


Tuesday, December 21st

HELL'S HEROES (1929)
THREE GODFATHERS (1936)
BUSH CHRISTMAS (1947)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)
PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT (1962)
THE LION IN WINTER (1968)
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)
IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949)
THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)
LITTLE WOMEN (1949)
BLOSSOMS IN THE DUST (1941)


Wednesday, December 22nd

MY REPUTATION (1946)
OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPES (1945)
PENNY SERENADE (1941)
ALL MINE TO GIVE (1957)
GOOD SAM (1946)
CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945)
HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949)
DESK SET (1957)
BUNDLE OF JOY (1956)


Thursday, December 23rd

BIG BUSINESS (1929)
THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT (1964)
CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS (1964)
DESK SET (1957)
SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954)
BELL BOOK AND CANDLE (1958)
IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE (1947)
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942)
THE CHEATERS (1945)
AUNTIE MAME (1958)


Friday, December 24th

THE GREAT RUPERT (1950)
3 GODFATHERS (1948)
POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES (1961)
HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949)
THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)
CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945)
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)
THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)
REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940)
MEET JOHN DOE (1941)
COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON (1930)


Saturday, December 25th

STAR IN THE NIGHT (1945)
TENTH AVENUE ANGEL (1948)
LITTLE WOMEN (1933)
LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1938)
O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE (1952)
IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE (1947)
IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949)


Looking ahead to New Year's Eve, TCM viewers can anticipate spending the evening with the That's Entertainment! MGM musical compilation films, followed by the Thin Man mystery series. The original film THE THIN MAN (1934) is set at Christmastime so it's perfect December viewing.

For more on TCM in December 2021, please visit TCM in December: Highlights, Quick Preview of TCM in December, and TCM's online schedule.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

TCM in December: Highlights

Happy December!

There's a wonderful month ahead on Turner Classic Movies, including a repeat of last year's week-long Christmas Movie Marathon. I'll have a complete rundown of this month's Christmas movies posted here in the near future, including films airing outside of the marathon.  (Update: Please visit TCM in December: Christmas Movies.)

The December Star of the Month is Ingrid Bergman. 31 Bergman films will be shown on Wednesday evenings.

This month's Noir Alley films are THE UNSUSPECTED (1947) December 4th-5th, CRUEL GUN STORY (1964) December 11th and 12th, and BLAST OF SILENCE (1961) on December 18th-19th.Noir Alley will take Christmas weekend off.

I've only seen one of this month's trio of Noir Alley films, THE UNSUSPECTED; it's great fun, with Claude Rains heading a top cast, including terrific supporting actresses Audrey Totter and Constance Bennett.

The TCM Spotlight, "Met on Set," focuses on actors whose real-life romances began on movie sets.

Saturdays will feature "Fireside Favorites," as TCM hosts take turns sharing favorite films. I'm thrilled that on December 11th Eddie Muller will host Deanna Durbin in LADY ON A TRAIN (1945), a favorite film which I've seen several times. With its Christmas setting, it's perfect December viewing.

On December 27th TCM will honor several actors who passed away this year and didn't receive more extensive tributes on the network.

Here are just a few more additional highlights from TCM's December schedule. Please click on any hyperlinked title to read my complete review.

...An evening of "Met on Set" films on December 2nd includes Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in NO MAN OF HER OWN (1932). Earlier this year I revisited this for the first time in a dozen years and was reminded how good it is.

...Friday night, December 3rd, TCM reruns IMAGE MAKERS: THE ADVENTURES OF AMERICA'S PIONEER CINEMATOGRAPHERS (2019). I was impressed with this documentary about filmmakers who were simultaneously inventing equipment and a new art form. I highly recommend it.

...Alicia Malone's "Fireside Favorites" picks on December 4th include the memorable "color noir" LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945), starring Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, and Jeanne Crain.

...December 5th features two Jane Powell favorites, A DATE WITH JUDY (1948), costarring Elizabeth Taylor, and TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE (1950), costarring Ricardo Montalban and Debbie Reynolds.

...A December 6th birthday tribute to Agnes Moorehead includes a Greer Garson-Walter Pidgeon film I found underrated: SCANDAL AT SCOURIE (1953), in which Garson and Pidgeon adopt little Donna Corcoran.

...A marvelous two-evening tribute to director Ernst Lubitsch begins on December 7th, including THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), CLUNY BROWN (1946) and other wonderful films. Incidentally, this month Martin Scorsese has written about Lubitsch for the TCM site.

...BLUES IN THE NIGHT (1941) is an interesting if imperfect film, with an all-time great theme song and an interesting cast including Priscilla Lane, Lloyd Nolan, and Jack Carson. It's not shown on TCM particularly often so catch it while you can, on December 8th.

...TCM marks the December 10th release date of the remake of WEST SIDE STORY (2021) by showing the original WEST SIDE STORY (1961) as part of a two-film tribute to Rita Moreno. Remarkably, Moreno is in both films, made six decades apart. She turns 90 on December 11th.

...There's a great day of film noir on December 13th. You can't go wrong with any of the titles but I'll especially mention two all-time faves, CRIME WAVE (1954) and THE NARROW MARGIN (1952). Jacqueline White, who costars in THE NARROW MARGIN, just turned 99 on November 23rd.

...December 14th is the second evening of Lubitsch films, this time focused on his earlier career. Titles include THE OYSTER PRINCESS (1919), which I saw at a 2018 Lubitsch tribute at UCLA, and SO THIS IS PARIS (1923), which I saw at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival.

...A "snow day" theme on December 16th includes the enjoyable comedy SNOWED UNDER (1936), with George Brent and Genevieve Tobin heading a fun cast in a short and sweet 63-minute film.

...December 17th the schedule includes one of my favorite Judy Garland musicals, THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946). A good time is guaranteed.

...On December 18th Jacqueline Stewart's "Fireside Favorites" include one of the great Warner Bros. musicals, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933).

...After a week of Christmas movies conclude on Christmas Day, Ben Mankiewicz's "Fireside Favorites" on Christmas Night include the excellent mystery WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957) starring Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton, and Marlene Dietrich.

...Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star in SWING TIME (1936) on December 26th.

...A day of musicals on December 28th includes THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (1964), honoring costar Nino Castelneuvo, who passed away September 6th.

...A day of romance on December 29th includes Olivia de Havilland and Robert Cummings in PRINCESS O'ROURKE (1943). It's a wonderful film which will help keep the positive holiday vibes going during the 12 Days of Christmas.

....Another member of the original cast of WEST SIDE STORY, Russ Tamblyn, celebrates his 87th birthday on December 30th. TCM will show WEST SIDE STORY all over again that day along with several other Tamblyn films, including SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954).

...New Year's Eve features the That's Entertainment! series followed by a Thin Man marathon starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. And Asta!

As the saying goes, "Watch this space" for my upcoming post on Christmas movies airing on TCM in December.

For more on TCM in December 2021, please visit my Quick Preview of TCM in December and TCM in December: Christmas Movies along with TCM's online schedule. In addition, TCM's December promotional video may be found on Twitter.

Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a very, very happy 2022!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Arlene Dahl Has Died at 96

Beautiful actress Arlene Dahl has passed away. She died Monday, November 30, at the age of 96.


Dahl was born in Minnesota on August 11, 1925.


Her career included a few years at MGM where she appeared in a variety of genres including comedies, crime films, Westerns, and musicals; one of her most notable credits was THREE LITTLE WORDS (1950) with Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, and Red Skelton.


I particularly liked a pair of Westerns she made at MGM, AMBUSH (1950) with Robert Taylor...


...and THE OUTRIDERS (1950) with Barry Sullivan and Joel McCrea.


Outside of her MGM work I particularly liked Anthony Mann's "French Revolution noir" REIGN OF TERROR (1949), also known as THE BLACK BOOK, seen here with costar Robert Cummings:


She was also excellent as Rhonda Fleming's troubled sister in SLIGHTLY SCARLET (1956). Fleming passed away a little over a year ago at the age of 97.


Dahl was also a writer and an entrepreneur who sold beauty products.


Dahl is survived by her husband and three children, including her son, actor Lorenzo Lamas, best known for FALCON CREST (1981-90).


It's always very sad when a classic era actor passes from the scene, but I'm grateful she's left behind such an enjoyable body of work which will entertain us for as long as we have movies.


Reviews of Arlene Dahl films at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: MY WILD IRISH ROSE (1947), REIGN OF TERROR (1949), SCENE OF THE CRIME (1949), AMBUSH (1950), THE OUTRIDERS (1950), NO QUESTIONS ASKED (1951), SANGAREE (1953), WOMAN'S WORLD (1954), and SLIGHTLY SCARLET (1956).

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