Sunday, December 20, 2009

Monday Movie Meme -- Holiday Favorites

Share on your blog your favorite movies that either take place during the holidays, are about the holidays or just have a special personal connection for you with the holidays and link back here at The Bumbles. And don't forget to visit your fellow participants!

Elf (2003). I'm not a big Will Ferrell fan, but I love him for creating the enduringly adorable Buddy. When Buddy goes through the revolving door over and over again, it cracks me up every time. Who doesn't smile at the thought of a diet of candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup? I was between jobs when this came out and one afternoon, while Christmas shopping and worrying about how much I was spending, I slipped into a matinee and Buddy lifted my spirits immeasurably.

The Gathering (1977). The Thornton Family reunites and tries to get past their differences to enjoy one last Christmas together … before Dad dies. The family has realistic, relateable problems and their reconciliations ring true. And I don't know how he knew, but Ed Asner gives a touching performance as my father.

Mr.Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962). Oh, how I love this one! Especially the big musical finale at the Cratchit holiday table. "We'll have the Lord's bright blessings in knowing we're together, knowing we're together heart and hand. We'll have the brightest Christmas, the whitest, brightest Christmas, a Christmas far more glorious than grand!"

It's A Wonderful Life (1946). Jimmy Stewart had a long career filled with tremendous performances, but do any of his characters live on in our hearts like George Bailey does? My favorite scene has nothing to do with Christmas but everything to do with romance and lust and longing: watch for George and Mary sharing a single telephone receiver ... they're so close he can smell her hair and they're dying to kiss.

Poor Rodney Harrington

I have been ensconced in the DVDs of the first season of Peyton Place, the first nighttime TV soap. Back in 1964, Rodney Harrington, played by Ryan O'Neal, was a heartthrob. The rich, handsome playboy-college freshman, pursued by brunette Betty even as he pursues blonde Allison.

It's so strange and sad to see him as he was, and how he is now. I think it's more than just time that has taken its toll on O'Neal.

As a child, I was forbidden to watch Peyton Place, which means I snuck to friends' homes to catch it. I had a crush on Norman, the more sensitive second Harrington boy, played by Christopher Connelly and shown at the center of the photo. He didn't have a girlfriend in the first season, but I recall that he eventually married a girl named Rita from the other side of the tracks.

Take the Christmas Pledge

1. Remember those people who truly need my gifts

2. Express my love for family and friends in more direct ways

3. Redirect myself to the spiritual growth of my family

4. Examine my holiday activities in light of the true spirit of Christmas

5. Initiate one act of peacemaking within my circle of family and friends.

Thank you, Kwizgiver.