Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Holidays and the Movies: Two Quick Memories
I know. I know it's only the beginning of September, but two thoughts came to mind regarding movies and the holidays and I wanted to get them down. I have always hated football, so growing up, Thanksgiving Day meant one thing to me. (I mean aside from the turkey and the giving thanks part) It meant....KING KONG! Every single year, for all of my childhood, WWOR (Channel 9 in NY) offered, as counter programming to all that football, a mini marathon of King Kong, Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young. Those three films, every year on Thanksgiving Day, would become as much a part of the holiday for me as the cranberry sauce and stuffing. Of course, growing up it never seemed odd to me that these three film would adorn the TV screen on this holiday. I took it for granted that the two went together. Some years, on the day after Thanksgiving, the same station would give Godzilla his turn and run a few Japanese monster movies in a row. (If I was lucky King Kong vs Godzilla was among them.) Occasionally, on Thanksgiving Day (before the Kong films but after the broadcast of the parade ended) there would be an airing of March of the Wooden Soldiers, with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. That film, along with the airing of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, meant the Christmas holiday had begun! And speaking of Christmas, the season wasn't complete without two films: It's a Wonderful Life, which ran endlessly in December on many independent stations (before the rights to the film were regained and airing it fell to NBC) and the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol, which, if I was lucky, I would catch in the wee hours of the morning between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, after the guests had gone home and we opened our presents. Seeing this film as Christmas Eve quietly turned into Christmas Day had an almost spiritual quality to it. Especially if a light snow was falling outside.