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Episodes

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (1938)This film begins our official Holiday pairing for 2020! Chosen by Chad, it's the 1938 version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol!" This version of the story contains a few changes from the original tale, but all of them work for this particular telling! Directed by Edwin L. Marin, and adapted for the screen by Hugo Butler, this film clocks in at a trim 69 minutes, but it doesn't skimp on Christmas cheer! Starring Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge, Gene Lockhart as Bob Cratchit, Kathleen Lockhart as Mrs. Cratchit (and yes, they were real-life husband and wife), Terry Kilburn as Tiny Tim, Barry MacKay as Fred, Lynne Carver as Bess, the great Leo G. Carroll as the ghost of Jacob Marley, the dazzling Ann Rutherford as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Lionel Braham as the Ghost of Christmas Present, in many ways, this film set the standard to which all subsequent versions would mimic! This film is also the very first cinematic appearance of a young June Lockhart as well!



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You've Got Mail (1998)

You've Got Mail (1998)The second film covers close to a whole year, but features the December holidays significantly, in a story about people at cross purposes, in love without knowing who each other are. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is the owner of "The Shop Around the Corner," a small New York bookstore specializing in children's literature she inherited from her mother. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) is the youngest member of a corporate dynasty known as "Fox & Sons Books." When their newest store imperils the survival of Kathleen's bookstore, the two meet and are immediately at odds with one another. But, unbeknownst to either, they have already fallen for each other online. After meeting in a chatroom, they've struck up an email correspondence and are both quite taken with each other, sight unseen. This is a modern take on the original 1940 film which shares a title with Kathleen's book store, and at the same time, a nod to the classic "Pride and Prejudice" story as well! Director/Screenwriter Nora Ephron, with screenwriting help from her sister Delia Ephron, create an engaging, twisty love story for the modern age, and brings Hanks and Ryan together for the third time to cement this as a lovely light-hearted romantic film! Featuring supporting roles by Dabney Coleman, Dave Chappelle, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Steve Zahn, and the legendary Jean Stapleton! Plus, the trio explain how their own rules for picking films resulted in a horse-trade between two of the crew, resulting in the Christmas films chosen for 2020!



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While You Were Sleeping (1995)

While You Were Sleeping (1995)The holiday season is approaching, and we're easing our way into it as well! Our first film, set around Christmas, is directed by Jon Turteltaub and written by Daniel G. Sullivan and Fredric Lebow. The story follows Lucy (Sandra Bullock), a subway toll-booth worker for the Chicago Transit Authority, who develops a huge crush on a handsome rider, Peter (Peter Gallagher) who comes through her booth every day. When he is attacked on the platform and falls onto the tracks, Lucy springs into action and saves him. Later on, at the hospital, she is daydreaming and talking to herself about how she was going to marry him. A nurse overhears her, assumes she is Peter's fiance, and announces her as such when his family arrives. Lucy protests, but is steamrolled by Peter's family. She soon finds herself swept into the family she never had by Peter's father Ox (Peter Boyle), his mother Midge (Micole Mercurio), family friend, and Peter's godfather, Saul (Jack Warden), family matriarch Elsie (Glynis Johns), and little sister Mary (Monica Keena). But it's meeting Peter's younger brother Jack (Bill Pullman) that really starts one of the strangest love triangles on film! A few plot holes, but they don't really detract from this sweet, enjoyable film, set during the December holidays!



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Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing (1987)Our second Thanksgiving holiday pairing film is also focused on the art of the dance, this time from 1987. Baby (Jennifer Grey) travels with her Dad (Jerry Orbach), her mom (Kelly Bishop), and her sister Lisa (Jane Brucker) to Kellerman's, a family retreat in the Catskills, for a week's vacation. There, Baby meets Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) and Johnny (Patrick Swayze), the "dance people," and is smitten with Johnny immediately. When Penny needs to take a night off, Baby volunteers to fill in, even though she has no dance experience. What starts as preparation for a single event builds to a romance and a declaration of love and freedom set in 1963, just before President Kennedy was assassinated. Directed by Emile Ardolino and written by Eleanor Bergstein, the movie "Dirty Dancing" became THE love story of the 1980s, and the soundtrack became, and is still, equally beloved! And the trio explain how they're edging into the Christmas holidays with their next two films!



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Footloose (1984)

Footloose (1984)Beginning our more family-friendly dance-film Thanksgiving holiday pairing, we're beginning with one of the four major dance films of the 80s, and one that made Kevin Bacon the household name (and focus of the "Six Degress of Separation" game), 1984's "Footloose!" Directed by Herbert Ross and written by Dean Pitchford (based on an actual event), the film follows Ren McCormack (Bacon) who has just moved to a small Oklahoma town with his mother (Frances Lee McCain), and finds the environment stifling to say the least. And for a kid from the streets of Chicago, the nightlift leaves a lot to be desired, especially since he can't even dance, thanks to a town ordinance forbidding such physical expression. He quickly meets the source of the rule, Rev. Shaw Moore (John Lithgow) who rails in church about the evils of sex and alcohol, both of which he links to dancing. His zealous ideals are balanced by his strong, soft-spoken wife Vi (Dianne Wiest) and tested by his hellion daughter Ariel (Lori Singer). Add in Ren's friends Willard (Chris Penn) and Woody (John Laughlin), Ariel's best friend Rusty (Sarah Jessica Parker), Ariel's jerk ex-boyfriend Chuck Cranston (Jim Youngs) and Ren's new boss Andy (Timothy Scott) and you have all the right people for a coming-of-age story set against the small-town mindset during the Reagan years!



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