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Christian and Jewish Holiday Movies


FredCDobbs
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May I suggest that TCM design a long-term ?holiday? movie plan that suits everyone, regarding the Easter/Passover and Hanukkah/Christmas holidays.

 

What made me think of this is the upcoming movie ?I Remember Mama?. I suggest that it be shown in early to mid-December each year as Hanukkah-holiday type movie. I suggest that December 25 should be reserved for famous life-of-Jesus movies.

 

I think life-of-Jesus movies could also be reserved for Easter, and ?The Ten Commandments? would be suitable for Passover. So would ?Samson and Delilah?.

 

In addition, there are other Old Testament and New Testament movies that could be arranged for showing on or around these holidays.

 

I don?t recall seeing any specific ?Hanukkah? movie, but several Jewish ?family? type movies could be shown early in December or even in late November for this purpose, since ?family reunions? are often planned for this season, and especially during the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

One good film for early December would be ?Symphony of Six Million.? This is a very good Ricardo Cortez movie produced by David O. Selznick, with great music by Max Steiner, and it has been shown on TCM before, although it is a fairly rare ?Jewish? family movie.

 

A good film for mid- to late-December is one I can?t remember the title of, but it involves a priest, a Protestant minister, and a Rabbi helping to take care of an orphan girl in New York.

 

Also, any of the standard ?Christmas in the city? type movies can be shown in early-to late-December.

 

Mainly what I think should be grouped and consolidated are all the miscellaneous Jewish Biblical and family type movies so they can be aired during the appropriate season rather than being scattered about during the rest of the year.

 

This plan should not in any way be considered as some kind of ethnic or religious ?competition.? The films should just be shown at the appropriate times.

 

Whatever person who edited the classic film noir promos for February should be selected to do the promos for these holiday films. Whoever did the editing on these promos did an excellent job.

 

Any opinions? Any suggestions for specific titles?

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I, too, don't know any specifically "Hanukkah" movies.

 

Christmas ones there are scores.

 

"Classic" ones that could be played from Thanksgiving on include:

 

- Miracle on 34th Street (Maureen O'Hara, John Payne)

- Bishop's Wife (Cary Grant, David Niven, Loretta Young)

- Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan Sydney

Greenstreet)

- Holiday (Cary Grant)

- Remember the Night (Barbara Stanwyck, Fred McMurray)

- Man Who Came To Dinner (Bette Davis, Monty Wooley)

- Christmas Carol (Alistair Sim)

- Christmas Carol (Reginald Owen)

- Come to the Stable (Loretta Young, Celeste Holm)

- It's a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed)

- White Christmas (Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye)

- Holiday Inn (Bing Crosby)

- Bells of St. Mary (Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergmann)

- Going My Way (Bing Crosby)

 

More recent ones include

 

- Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart)

- Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)

- Elf (Will Ferrell)

 

Seasonal "Christmassy" movies

 

- Meet Me in St. Louis (Judy Garland)

- Sound of Music (Julie Andrews)

- Little Women any version 1930's, 1940's, 1990's

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

J

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Thanks for the list. I?ve been following this December ?holiday? debate on TV during the past 10 years and I want to try to find a way to alleviate some of the competition problems and make almost everyone happy, especially in December, but without offending anyone. Even the atheists could be pleased with some of the various classic ?family reunion? type films.

 

I think ?The Sound of Music? is ok, even with the Nazis in it. Films like ?The Sound of Music? and ?Symphony of Six Million? can be enjoyed by everyone. So can ?It?s a Wonderful Life? (but I think NBC owns that film right now).

 

There are some very good old classic Jewish family films that I think are being shown during the wrong times of the year and the importance of their ethnic-focus is lost. I think maybe ?Green Pastures? might be a good mid-December film for everyone. I?ve been trying to think of a black-family-oriented type of Christmas film and maybe a Mexican or Hispanic-oriented type Christmas film, but offhand I can?t think of any. Surely there were some classic Mexican family/Christmas movies made in the 1940s that could be shown with English-sub-titles. About 15-16% of Americans now are Mexican or Hispanic. Every December I see a lot of Mexican Christmas family-oriented modern programs on Univision and Galavision with my Direct TV satellite service. The Hispanic minority in America today is now larger in number than the black minority. Between blacks and Hispanics, that?s almost 30% of the US population.

 

I?m just trying to think like an objective network programmer, and in a way so we can work to defuse some of these annual ?holiday? debates every December.

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This is a good idea. Off hand, I don't know any Jewish holiday films, I don't think The Golem counts. Same for Hispanic movies ... although you got Pedro Armendariz in 3 Godfathers. The Star in the Night short is quasi-Hispanic. I'm sure there's loads of Hispanic Christmas movies though. TCM did a poor job this past Christmas just playing the usual classics. There's a whole month to devote to movies of all of December's (or other months) holidays ... including Frankmas on Dec. 12.

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I used to have to think about the various ethnicities of my audience back when I was a news and documentary producer and a magazine writer. There are certain ways to handle the ?holiday? season to make a lot of people happy, and without the ethnic films necessarily having to have a religious or even a holiday theme.

 

I think your idea about Pedro Armendariz is a good one. He was a big star in Mexico and appeared in several American movies. It?s not a holiday or a family film, but he is outstanding in it. ?The Golem? is not a holiday movie, but it is ethnic and I think it would be a good ethnic movie to show in early December. I think maybe the ?Sons of Liberty? short might be appropriate for early December too. The silent classic ?Noah?s Ark? might be good, and also maybe the silent ?The Ten Commandments?. Both films were made for a mixed audience and they both contain Old Testament and modern-era segments. ?Hallelujah? might be good as a black family-oriented film. ?The Heart of New York? would be a good Jewish family film that everyone else can like too. Of course films like ?The Bishop's Wife? and ?Christmas in Connecticut? would be good films for early to mid-December. I wonder about ?The Jazz Singer?? That?s a Jewish family-oriented film that is good for mixed audiences.

 

I think that in real life people in big cities who are friends of different ethnicities don?t have as much trouble during the holidays as the TV networks do trying to decide what films to show. Years ago my friends and I in San Francisco used to have multi-ethnic holiday parties and we all had fun.

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?How about "Fiddler on the Roof" and "The House of Rothschild"??

 

I thought about those, and also ?Disraeli?, which is a great 1929 sound film, but I think they contain too many Gentile/Jewish conflicts to show during ?the holiday season?. I think we should play down the conflicts and play up the ?family? nature of the holidays as much as possible. We can show the conflict films during other times of the year.

 

I think Disraeli is a pretty funny movie, with the two groups taking verbal jabs at each other in the film. I think it?s unique in that regard, but not good for ?the holiday season.?

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I think your idea about Pedro Armendariz is a good one. He was a big star in Mexico and appeared in several American movies. It?s not a holiday or a family film, but he is outstanding in it.

 

But it actually is, Fred. 3 Godfathers (and its predecessors) is a take on the Three Wise Men and the Duke delivers the baby to civilization on Christmas day or eve, thanks to the divine intervention that kept him going in the desert when he was at the end of his rope.

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The silent film ?The Rag Man? with Jackie Coogan, 1925, might be a good one. It was designed for a mixed audience.

 

I'm not sure, but this might be a negative stereotype. My father and grandmother used to reminisce about the rag man in East Boston, in the 40s, named Goldstein. I don't know if a rag man was an impoverished profession mostly made up of jews, and might be seen as a negative stereotype by them.

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?I'm not sure, but this might be a negative stereotype. My father and grandmother used to reminisce about the rag man in East Boston, in the 40s, named Goldstein. I don't know if a rag man was an impoverished profession mostly made up of jews, and might be seen as a negative stereotype by them.?

 

Yeah, I see your point. I didn?t think of that.

 

I?ve seen enough early Jewish-oriented films to get the idea that a lot of late 19th Century and early 20th Century Jewish immigrants to the US were poor, especially ones from Russia and Eastern Europe. So this film was not so much of a derogatory ?stereotype? film for 1925, but people today might not realize that.

 

In fact, Selznick?s film ?Symphony of Six Million? (1931) makes this same point about poor Jewish immigrants from early in the 20th Century. A young poor Jewish guy gets an education and a medical degree and leaves ?the ghetto? in New York and moves uptown and sets up a practice along 5th Avenue where he has rich clients. He doesn?t want to go back to the old poor neighborhood. It?s like many of the early ?poor Irish? and ?poor Italian? immigrant films of the 1930s where the sons and daughters of the poor immigrants work their way out of the old poor neighborhoods.

 

So, a relative contacts the doctor after he is rich and she and tells him his father is sick, so the doctor operates on his father but the father dies. Then some girl starts working on the doctor, trying to get him to not forget his old family and friends ?down in the ghetto?. In this regard, the word ?ghetto? just means ?the old poor immigrant neighborhood? in New York where he grew up. So the doctor winds up opening a poor-kids clinic back in ?the ghetto?. It?s a typical ?son of poor immigrants? film. The old man in ?The Rag Man? was one of those original types of poor immigrants.

 

Maybe Robert Osborne could point that out regarding ?The Rag Man? movie. It?s not really a ?stereotype,? it?s more like a ?poor immigrant? film from early in the 20th Century. If this is pointed out, it might make a difference.

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?But it actually is, Fred. 3 Godfathers (and its predecessors) is a take on the Three Wise Men and the Duke delivers the baby to civilization on Christmas day or eve, thanks to the divine intervention that kept him going in the desert when he was at the end of his rope.?

 

Hmm..... interesting.

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Maybe Robert Osborne could point that out regarding ?The Rag Man? movie. It?s not really a ?stereotype,? it?s more like a ?poor immigrant? film from early in the 20th Century. If this is pointed out, it might make a difference.

 

If everything was that easily pointed out and explained, then that would be great. But we live in an era where the pc people dominate things. The Rag Man, Aunt Jemima, the Godfather ... it permeates our culture and places us into niches. Though there are truths in stereotypes, we have to recognize people as individuals first. But there will always be people who see things in a negative ethnic way, no matter what. And that adds to the grief of trying to appease everyone when it comes to the holiday movie issue.

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I've been to thanksgiving dinner at different Jewish friends houses, so I think it is mainly thought of as an American holiday now. Also a lot of people think of it as a ?family reunion? type universal American holiday. But opinions might vary from family to family. I was down in El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, one Thanksgiving, and I noticed some Thanksgiving dinner types of advertising in Mexican grocery stores. Also, the Mexican patriotic holiday of Cinco de Mayo has spread into the Southwest US. I saw a Cinco de Mayo celebration in L.A. on TV a few years ago, sponsored by the City of Los Angeles. A Mariachi band played the Mexican National Anthem, but, they played the US National Anthem first, which I think is required by US law whenever a foreign National Anthem is played at some official ceremony. I think it would be appropriate for TCM to have an annual Mexican film festival centered around the Fifth of May.

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Mexican friends tell me we're whacked for celebrating Cinco de Mayo because it's not celebrated all over Mexico, but only in Mexico City. An Irish friend asked me why Americans eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day ... they never touch the stuff over there. I spent Christmas in Acapulco one year, and you wouldn't even know it was Christmas. No decorations on the streets or stores, not even the hotel I was in.

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I'm not religious but the meaning of Thanksgiving has been lost. It should be all inclusive, but people should know what a holiday and tradition is about. I had an ancestor at the original feast and I have to give thanks because he fell overboard on the Mayflower ... luckily, he grabbed onto a halyard and pulled himself back up.

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FredCDobbs: you said-

 

"What made me think of this is the upcoming movie ?I Remember Mama?. I suggest that it be shown in early to mid-December each year as Hanukkah-holiday type movie."

 

I hope you meant this should be shown at Chanuka because it is a family film-not because the family is Jewish...they are Norwegian and not Jewish...back in the dark ages I actually stage managed a production of the play.

 

A "Christmassy" film that might be of interst is "O. Henry's Full House" which is based on three of O. Henry's short stories including "The Gift of the Magi" about a poor young couple sacrificing what they prize most to buy a present for each other. She cuts and sells her beautiful long hair to get him a fob for his watch, and he pawns his watch to get her tortoise shell combs for her beautiful long hair...very sweet story...the cast is good too!

 

"The Clarion Call"

Directed by: Henry Hathaway

Dale Robertson -Barney Woods

Richard Widmark-Johnny Kernan

 

"The Ransom of Red Chief

Directed by: Howard Hawks

Lee Aaker-J. B. Dorset aka Red Chief

Fred Allen-Sam 'Slick' Brown

Oscar Levant-Bill Peoria

 

"The Gift of the Magi"

Directed by: Henry King

Jeanne Crain-Della

Farley Granger-Jim

 

"The Cop and the Anthem"

Directed by: Henry Koster

Charles Laughton-Soapy

Marilyn Monroe-Streetwalker

David Wayne-Horace

 

"The Last Leaf"

 

Directed by: Jean Negulesco

Anne Baxter-Joanna Goodwin

Jean Peters-Susan Goodwin

Gregory Ratoff-Behrman

 

The roles are all relatively small but interesting to see the actors doing something "different"

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Also when I think of Thanksgiving I always flash on the scene in "Annie Hall" when Woody Allen (super Jew) goes to Thanksgiving dinner at Diane Keaton's (ultra goyem) family with hilarious results. Also the numerous Thanksgiving celebrations that occur over the course of his film "Hannah and Her Sisters" I always wished I had a family half as interesting and attractive to come home to for the holidays!

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FredCDobbs: you said-

 

"What made me think of this is the upcoming movie ?I Remember Mama?. I suggest that it be shown in early to mid-December each year as Hanukkah-holiday type movie."

 

I hope you meant this should be shown at Chanuka because it is a family film-not because the family is Jewish...they are Norwegian and not Jewish...back in the dark ages I actually stage managed a production of the play.

 

------------------

 

Dang!

 

I must be getting old! I was thinking of the ?I Remember Mama? TV show from the late ?40s and early ?50s, with Molly Goldberg! I just assumed the movie was about that family?

 

That?s the first TV show I ever saw, sometime around 1949, on a little Hoffman TV set.

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Ok, I just got the two mixed up over the years. Here?s what I got off a website. I was trying to remember back about 57 years.

 

Mama (aka I Remember Mama)

Premiere Date: July 1, 1949

Network: CBS

Prod. Company: RKO Radio Pictures Inc.

Episodes: 200 (estimate)

 

One of television's first family comedies, this series established a warm, gentle tone that found laughs in everyday situations. With Mama (Peggy Wood) in charge, no matter what happened, one could always be assured that a lesson would be learned and a happy ending would be had by all.

 

==========================

 

The Goldbergs

Premiere Date: Jan. 10, 1949

Networks: CBS, NBC, DuMont, Syndicated

Prod. Companies: CBS, DuMont, Guild Films, NBC

Episodes: 132 (estimate)

 

A radio staple for 20 years, this middle-class Jewish family from the Bronx, N.Y., became one of the first successful sitcoms of the new medium. Led by matriarch Molly Goldberg (Gertrude Berg), the series found humor in typical family problems.

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?A "Christmassy" film that might be of interst is "O. Henry's Full House" which is based on three of O. Henry's short stories?

 

That?s a good idea. I alway get the impression that the old artist who paints the leaf on the brick wall is Jewish. What do you think?

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Matt,

 

I?m glad your ancestor saved himself or you might not be here today.

 

Let me tell you about a Thanksgiving shock that I had when I moved out here to the US South-west. I had always grown up in the South-east and I had always heard the old story taught in school that the ?first Thanksgiving? was held with early English settlers and American Indians, and they all pooled their food and had a big festival together.

 

I played one of the Pilgrims a 3rd grade play. Other kids in my class played some of the Indians.

 

Well, I got out here and I got invited to a local school Thanksgiving play, near an Indian reservation, where the school is about 75% Indian. I thought, ?Oh boy! Real Indians in the Thanksgiving play!?

 

But it turns out the play was supposed to be based on some old Indian legend that is supposed to be well-known out here. Something to do with ?stone soup?. An Indian who has no food tells everyone in his village that he knows how to make ?stone soup.? He provides the stone, and everyone else provides the meat and vegetables. They all sit together and have ?stone soup? on Thanksgiving day.

 

That?s the most stupid idea for a ?Thanksgiving play? I?ve ever heard. There were no Pilgrims, no English, no references to the East Coast or early America. I think a modern liberal unpatriotic teacher thought up the theme of the play.

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