Photo credit by BigSisLilSis
Thanksgiving is a time of family, food, and tradition. You gather around the table and devour a Thanksgiving turkey, with all the trimmings. Then you push yourself back from the table, loosen your belt, and pass out in front of the television watching football, or maybe a movie. Yes, a movie. Believe it or not there are several movies with a Thanksgiving theme.
Here are a few of them.
Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (1987)
Steve Martin and John Candy starred in this comedy about two men trying to get home for Thanksgiving in this John Hughes directed comedy. Martin play Neal Page, a normal, everyday kind of guy. When his flight home is canceled, he decides to try other means to get home. In the process he finds himself saddled with obnoxious, loud and annoying Dell Griffith. (Candy) The fun is watching the lengths these two will go to while attempting to reach their destination. You are also waiting to see how long it takes Neal to want to kill Dell.
Alice’s Restaurant (1969)
This is the film adaptation of the famous song by Arlo Guthrie. The song tells the story of Arlo, who goes to see his friend Alice, on Thanksgiving. As a favor Arlo takes a load of trash to the dump. When he finds it closed, he dumps the trash in a ravine on top of more trash. He ends up being arrested for littering, and his courtroom experience ends up being brought up when he is about to be inducted into the army. Guthrie narrates the film in the same manner as the song. According to rumor, much of the story is based on Guthrie’s real life experiences.
Hannah and her Sisters (1986)
This Woody Allen directed Comedy/Drama tells the story of sisters Hannah, (Mia Farrow) Holly, (Dianne Wiest) and Lee (Barbara Hershey) over the course of two Thanksgivings. When Hannah’s husband Elliot (Michael Caine) falls in love with Lee, Hanna’s hypochondriac ex-husband (Woody Allen) connects with Holly. The film won 3 Academy Awards , Best Screenplay for Allen, and supporting actor nods for both Wiest, and Caine.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
While not strictly a Thanksgiving film, the story of a Department Store Santa Claus who claims to be the genuine article begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The film starred Edmund Gwen as Kris Kringle, and Maureen O’Hara as Doris Walker - the Special Events director for Macy’s who recruits Kringle to play the store’s Santa. When he claims to be the real Santa, he is declared insane and placed in an institution. John Payne plays a young lawyer who defends Kringle. The film also introduced Natalie Wood, who plays Doris’ daughter Susan. This young girl refuses to believe in Santa Claus. The film is often played on television around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Home for the Holidays (1995)
Jodie Foster directed this light hearted comedy, set amid the Thanksgiving holiday. Holly Hunter plays Claudia, a 40 year old single mother, who has just lost her job. She finds out her daughter would rather spend the holiday with her boyfriend rather than Mom, and now has to face Thanksgiving with her family alone. Robert Downey Jr. co stars as Claudia’s gay brother. Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning play Claudia’s parents.