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Christmas movies and TV episodes

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by cajunhillbilly, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. Message #681 of 732 Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Which Dragnet?

    Big .22 Rifle for Christmas, or the infinitely happier Big Little Jesus (or even the color era remake)?
     
  2. Tom St Jones

    Tom St Jones Supporting Actor

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    Currently enjoying my CBS/Paramount "Holiday Treats" and "Christmas Treats" TV compilations. Really wish they'd put out a 3rd volume, maybe with episodes from dramatic shows (eg. Bonanza, MacGyver, Early Edition) and sitcoms not in the first 2 comps, eg. Hogan's Heroes, Bosom Buddies etc.
     
  3. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Referring to the 60s remake episode. I have never watched or even listened to the radio version of the first story because I think the story content is inappropriate for a Christmas episode (and that was the reason why the writer of the "Big Little Jesus" felt compelled to write his script).
     
  4. John*Wells

    John*Wells Screenwriter

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    I Downloaded the radio version from iTunes and have listened to it .. I also think it is inappropriate for a Christmas theme and Prefer the 60s remake
     
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  5. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I downloaded it to my thumb drive.
     
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  6. John*Wells

    John*Wells Screenwriter

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    That Christmas Dragnet episode in which the little boy took the baby Jesus for a ride in his Wagon he got for Christmas is something I Skip through except during the Christmas Season
     
  7. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Watched "Long Live the King" from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea the other night.

    To date I've been watching several of the TCM Christmas films that I haven't seen in a few years (Remember the Night, It Happened on 5th Ave, The Shop Around the Corner, etc), so my TV episode viewing is slower this year than most. But that will pick up next week.

    While I'm hoping this weekend's showing of Trail of Robin Hood will look nice, my guess is it will be the same print that's been circulating for a while now. Oh how I'd love to see that one given the same treatment as Trigger Jr and Sunset in the West, I'm not hopeful.

    Gary "got to get moving on my TV faves or I'm gonna run out of time" O.
     
  8. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I don't own many Christmas CDs of individual singers. In general, I prefer Christmas music by choral ensembles, orchestras etc. One exception though is Julie Andrews who could make Christmas music sound absolutely angelic.

    Last year, I discovered a 1987 special of hers "The Sound of Christmas" on YT and through the kindness of a fellow board member, I ended up receiving not just a better quality version of it but several other Christmas specials of hers. But it wasn't until this Christmas season that I finally cracked them open and got a chance to enjoy them all.

    1961-"The Garry Moore Show."-For this Christmas installment of the long-running CBS variety series, Julie and Gwen Verdon were the guests (and Carol Burnett was still among the regulars). More than three years before the film version of "Sound Of Music", Julie performs "My Favorite Things." I have to admit, because I know Garry Moore so much from game shows, it's still hard for me to grasp just how big a variety show star he was back then.

    1972-"The Julie Andrews Hour." The Christmas episode of Julie's 1972-73 ABC variety show has her regulars (Rich Little, Alice Ghostley) and a large number of guest stars led by Jimmy Stewart.

    1973-"Julie's Christmas Special." After her show was cancelled, Julie did a special for British TV that was then aired on ABC. If the 72 show was more traditional variety show, this was more avant garde but it still works. Peter Ustinov, Peggy Lee guest.

    1987-"The Sound Of Christmas." Julie returns to Salzburg. John Denver, Placido Domingo guest.

    1992-"Christmas In Washington." This annual NBC special from the National Building Museum started in 1983 and ran for more than 30 years. Julie hosted the program this year with other performers including Neil Diamond. Was appropriate to see since it was the last one with President George H.W. Bush who just passed away.
     
  9. Message #689 of 732 Dec 13, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Started in on my annual The Box of Delights watch, beginning with episode one, "When the Wolves were Running." Always strange, mystical and captivating, as young Kay Harker returns home for the holidays and meets a kindly and mysterious stranger (Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor Who, wonderful here) which starts him on a wild and magical adventure. Captures the time period (30s rural Britain) very well, and despite the weird and at times sinister goings-on, it's very Christmassy, with carol singers, Christmas trees, presents, a Punch-and-Judy show, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Also checked out a few Christmas classics I've never seen before:

    "Christmas with the Addams Family," from season 2 of that series, as all of the family pitch in to make sure that Wednesday and Puggsley keep their faith in Santa Claus. Unsurprisingly, it's all very sweet-natured and silly, with a nice ending featuring the cast wishing the audience a Merry Christmas. I still prefer The Munsters, but I like The Addams Family just fine, too.

    "Cannonball Christmas" from S1 of Petticoat Junction. This was my first time viewing this sitcom, and I found it very enjoyable. Bea Benederet is much easier to take here than as Cousin Pearl in The Beverly Hillbillies, and she's surrounded by a nifty cast of seasoned character actors and, of course, some very nice looking ladies playing her daughters. The final scenes were memorable, as the train chugged through the countryside, all decked out with Christmas lights, the Hooterville residents singing carols to the night. Will be watching more of this show in the future.
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Viewed the CHiPs episode last night, "Christmas Watch". It's an enjoyable yuletide outing that works in several story lines all involving a couple of thieves that try to scrooge away Christmas from both individuals and an entire church. In typical fashion, they get theirs at the end. Good stuff.
     
  11. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Screenwriter
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    I can't agree more, Julie has been my Queen of Christmas ever since my Grandmother gave me Julie's "A Christmas Treasure" LP in 1969. I was thrilled when "A Christmas Treasure" was released on CD in 1990 and that was also the year Hallmark released Julie's "Sounds of Christmas Around the World" CD as their yearly offering. (Christmas Treasure has now been released as Greatest Christmas Songs with better fidelity than the first CD and a longer interlude in Bells of Christmas). All of Julie's Christmas recordings have been released on CD with the exception of her tracks on the Firestone #4 LP, which are The Christmas Song (Chestnuts), a different version of Bells of Christmas, and if memory serves, a different version of Silent Night.

    I love all her Christmas TV shows, but The Sound of Christmas will always be my favorite. I recorded it on VHS in 1987 when it aired and have watched it every year since. I can't believe it has been 31 years now! It was re-run once in 1989 and I was able to record it in stereo that year. 1989 was also the year Julie and Carol Burnett did their 3rd special, Julie and Carol Together Again, so I always watch them together and I feel like I am right back in 1989.

    The Sound of Christmas was shown on BBC in a slightly longer version, most of the extra material was Julie watching a demonstration of the schuhplattler, a traditional dance of the region. Placido's solo in the concert was slightly longer (and that song was written by his son).
     
  12. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Cinematographer

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    Julie's version Silent Night is on one or two Goodyear albums, but her third selection on Firestone #4 is entitled "Rocking" ("Little Jesus, sweetly sleep...") They are all currently getting air play in my December drive time.
     
  13. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I never knew until last night that The White Shadow had a Christmas episode. It's in S3 and is quite hilarious. It's another show I found on Hulu recently, but it's only on for a couple of more days. I wish it would've came up in my suggestions a few weeks sooner.
     
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  14. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Watched the 6th, 8th, and 10th season Christmas episodes from Happy Days last night. Saving the best (2nd season) for last.

    Gary "everyone remember to tune into TCM @ 8pm (est) tomorrow night for the Roy Rogers yuletide film" O.
     
  15. Message #695 of 732 Dec 14, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
    The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Is that the one with The Fonz eating cold ravioli from a can, alone in his room?

    Anyway, Christmas show-wise, I'm rewatching King of the Hill, so I've seen a couple Christmas episodes. Pretty, Pretty Dresses, which features Bill breaking down and dressing as his ex-wife and the next year's, which features Bill being Santa long after he should've stopped.

    Also I like throwing the Hallmark channel on at night and falling asleep to one of the many Christmas movies they play for two months straight. Ii do intend on watching the one with Lori Loughlin and Colin Ferguson eventually, though.

    That's the extent of my Christmas watching.
     
  16. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Yep, that’s the one. Only he is in the garage when he’s buttering some bread and heating up some canned food on a hot plate. One of my top 10 Christmas episodes.

    Gary “watched the 1st season Matlock episode tonight” O.
     
  17. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    The Twilight Zone: “The Night of the Meek” (season 2).


    Find another videotaped drama directed by Jack Smight (see “The Lateness of the Hour” and “Twenty Two”). It’s a modest slice of life about a drunk and unemployed city looser working as a department store Santa Claus that relies on a magical object (and, here, a bag) and it plays like Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) but treated with the roughness of “Man in the Bottle” because of the blend of the supernatural and the economical angles, especially when the police officer arrests Corwin for theft. The character of the misfit reminds the one from “One for the Angels”. By now, the audience is accustomed to the ploy of the object that bring wonder and joy: see “Man in the Bottle” and “A Most Unusual Camera”. Anyway, the ensemble of actors is decent: the tough bartender played by Val Avery, the drunk Santa Claus by Art Carney and the uptight store manager by John Fiedler.
     
  18. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Watched "Judgement in Heaven" from S1 of The Big Valley. Haven't watched this show in a long time, so was glad to put it in the rotation; it was a nice reminder of how good of a show it is and how likable the main cast are, especially Richard Long. This is a very enjoyable episode about redemption and second chances, and stars the extremely pretty Lynn Loring (a few years before she married Roy Thinnes) as the hellcat girlfriend of a nasty killer (Nicholas Surovy). Jarrod Barkley, assigned as her defense counsel, invites the woman home to the ranch for Christmas, much to the chagrin and trepidation of the rest of his family. Works as a typically solid western drama, with the added flourish of seasonal trappings, including tree decorating, opening presents and the family singing "Deck the Halls."
     
  19. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I have just finished a record for watching different versions of "A Christmas Carol", film, TV and animated spanning the 1930s to the 1980s. I find that I can never tire of this because each different version, whether its one of the best or not, always brings its own interpretation from the heart.

    1935-"Scrooge" British film with Sir Seymour Hicks. A bit creaky given its the early talking era and many of these actors were silent film performers. An early role for Maurice Evans ("Planet Of The Apes"; "Bewitched") as a victim of Scrooge's ruthlessness.

    1938-"A Christmas Carol." MGM production has lavish production values but is a bit too abbreviated and makes some unnecessary changes (Bob gets fired by Scrooge on Christmas Eve). Reginald Owen's skullcap is very obvious in a remastered DVD and Leo G.Carroll a surprisingly ineffective Marley's ghost. Gene and Kathleen Lockhart as Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit, and daughter June who is still with us in an unbilled role as one of the Cratchit children.

    1949-"A Christmas Carol." A 25 minute filmed short made for TV in its infancy has Vincent Price hosting and among the Cratchit children is 11 year old Jill Oppenheim who grew up to become Jill St. John!

    1951-"Scrooge." The Alastair Sim classic remains the best big screen telling of the story and probably the best overall. It's only flaw is not having Scrooge meet the men of charity again after he reforms.

    1954-"Shower Of Stars." A semi-musical that aired three straight years on CBS. Frederic March is Scrooge, Basil Rathbone as Marley. Bernard Herrmann does the score and his music for the scarier moments makes you wonder what he might have done in a full-throated big-screen adaptation. Queenie Leonard who was Mrs. Cratchit in the 1949 version plays the role again.

    1956-"The Stingiest Man In Town." A more lavish musical production with Broadway level scoring and staging. This time Rathbone has graduated to the part of Scrooge with Vic Damone as the younger Scrooge and opera diva Patrice Munsel as Belle. Rathbone I think was a more effective Marley than he was a Scrooge. The score is pleasant. I had been familiar with the late 70s animated Rankin-Bass remake and not realized just how big a production the original was. Interesting to discover for the first time.

    1958-"A Christmas Carol." March and Rathbone teamed up again for this 25 minute short made in England and presumably for TV there originally. It was distributed by the infamous educational film label "Coronet Films." March is just the host/storyteller with Rathbone as Scrooge again.

    1962-"Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol." This was the first version of the tale I experienced on WPIX in the late 70s. I hadn't seen it in a number of years since I tended to identify it too much with childhood. It's pleasant fare though its the only telling that reverses the order by having Christmas Present come before Christmas Past!

    1969-"A Christmas Carol" (animated). This 45 minute animated production first aired on CBS in 1969.

    1970-"Scrooge". The Albert Finney musical version. I think Bricusse's score is the best of all the musical tellings of the tale, but it goes adrift in the screenplay, especially in the Christmas Yet To Come sequence. Alec Guinness after making a scary entrance then becomes the worst Marley of all with his foppish performance. This was the second version I was introduced to. I can still remember the TV bumpers that would play a spooky sounding clock chime.

    1971-"A Christmas Carol" (animated). Directed by Richard Williams, executive produced by Chuck Jones and with Alastair Sim and Michael Hordern repeating their roles from the 1951 classic. This is the best animated version with its only weakness being it's just 25 minutes long. The animation is outstanding, and for the first and only time we see parts of Christmas Present never shown in any other version like taking Scrooge out to see the Christmas cheer far out at sea on a storm-tossed ship or in a lonely lighthouse. And we do get to hear Sim doing the one key missing sequence I mentioned from the 51 classic.

    1977-"A Christmas Carol" (BBC). Michael Hordern graduates to Scrooge in this one. This is the first time I have ever seen Bernard Lee, M from the Bond films, in another role as Christmas Present.

    1978-"The Stingiest Man In Town" (animated). Abbreviated animated version of the 1956 TV musical done by Rankin-Bass. Walter Matthau voices Scrooge. Tom Bosley's "Humbug" narrator doesn't fit well into the action and takes the material down to the children's level it's aimed at but it's interesting to hear him in a musical given how he first became famous for his role in the musical "Fiorello!". It helped to have finally seen the original TV production this year to make me appreciate the source material better.

    1984-"A Christmas Carol." And we close with the George C. Scott version, second best behind the 1951 Sim classic (Clive Donner the director had been film editor on that film).
     
  20. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    No Flintstones Christmas Carol?

    I remember that one from TBS ages ago.
     
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