Showing posts with the label history

Elvis (2022)

I'll start by acknowledging what I assume is obvious: Elvis is not, by any reasonable definition, a Christmas movie. Despite that, there are aspects of the movie that use holiday imagery and associated plot points in ways that are unusual and interesting enough to be worth exploring here. That said, there's a reason this is getting written and posted in the "off-season:" this film is Christmas-related, rather than Christmas media. I'll start where I usually finish: with an assessment. The movie is good, though I'm not convinced it's quite in the same league as most of this year's best picture nominees. I found the movie technically impressive and intellectually interesting, but not at all emotionally engaging. I should probably acknowledge I'm not a huge fan of Elvis - this might play much differently to someone with more of an initial attachment to the singer. More importantly, I don't think this was trying to engage emotionally. Its approach

The Sound of Music (1965)

Along with The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music is one of two movies that have sort of broken into the canon of established Christmas movies, despite containing no scenes set at Christmas. Normally, we don't review movies simply because they've become associated with the holiday, but due to the significance of these two classics, along with the sustained connections they've formed, we're making these exceptions. For the time being, these are the only two movies we're granting this honorary status: maybe we'll revisit a few others in another decade or two. For Oz, we dedicated an entire article about the convoluted history between that and the yuletide season. I think The Sound of Music's Christmas credentials are a bit simpler, so let's get them out of the way upfront. The simplest and most straightforward holiday connection comes from the fact the song, My Favorite Things, has long been associated with Christmas and appears on numerous Christmas albums.

Why Is The Wizard of Oz Associated with Christmas?

We recently posted a review of The Wizard of Oz , one of two movies we consider "honorary Christmas" films despite lacking actual holiday credentials, but we didn't really investigate why it's associated with Christmas in the first place. Fair warning: the background here is a bit murky, so this is going to involve a bit of speculation when it comes time to connect the dots. That said, I think I've put together a fairly strong case for how an adaptation of a kid's book from 1900 became tangled with the holidays despite having no obvious yuletide connections. I think there are five primary factors at play: the movie's central theme, its star, its signature song, its most obvious imitators, and the decision to air it around Christmas in 1959. Let's start with that air date, because I think it's the simplest connection. Assuming the list on Wikipedia is right, The Wizard of Oz was first aired on television in 1956, when it was shown in early November.