Showing posts with the label Thanksgiving

The Gold Rush (1925)

I'd seen conflicting reports on whether or not Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush was a Christmas movie, so I decided to check for myself. I've seen several of Chapman's other films over the past year, and consider him one of the most consistently entertaining filmmakers of his era (possibly the most entertaining, in fact). While The Gold Rush might be my least favorite of his movies I've seen to date, it's still quite good, and it technically meets our definition for a Christmas movie, which you probably guessed from the fact you're reading this at all. I want to stress that the word "technically" is doing some heavy lifting. The movie doesn't mention or acknowledge Christmas itself, though both Thanksgiving and New Year's are significant dates in the narrative, making it easy to confirm the bulk of screen time is spent on or between these holidays. In fact, only the first and last fifteen minutes fall outside this range. I should mention the

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Are we doing Thanksgiving movies now? As a matter of policy, I'm not certain - we've always kind of punted on the question of whether we should view Thanksgiving as an independent holiday or whether it should be viewed as the kickoff to the Christmas season, and the general scarcity of movies centered around the holiday make the point largely moot. But John Hughes's Planes, Trains & Automobiles has started to feel like a notable omission in our collection of reviews of holiday media. Making matters more complicated is the fact the movie is sometimes advertised in a way implying it's a Christmas movie, with a large candy cane signpost displaying the title. Someone wants people to associate this with Christmas, even if the movie is explicitly set over the lead-up to Thanksgiving and culminates with that  holiday. It's also worth noting the movie prominently shows Christmas decorations, along with wintery imagery. None of this is out of place for Thanksgiving, of c