Holiday classics and just-classics in store
Need a movie break this busy weekend (Dec. 11-13)?
Check out a few classics on broadcast and standard cable stations this weekend.
Julie Andrews reminds us what a radiant screen presence she can be in this delightful comedy with music from writer/director Blake Edwards. Some 18 years after winning an Oscar as Mary Poppins, Andrews is a singing, dancing and comic delight as a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. No surprise, she was again an Oscar nominee, as were Robert Preston and Lesley Ann Warren. What a delight.
Friday, December 11, 5:30 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
This could hardly be the holiday season without a visit from Charles Dickens’ timeless story of everyone’s favorite miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. In this musical interpretation – with a score by Leslie Bricusse – Albert Finney offers a heartfelt interpretation of a man who buries himself in work to escape life’s other disappointments. While the film was not popular when first released – partly because musicals were not popular – it’s a seasonal delight for the family.
Friday, December 11, 10 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
As disappointed as he may have been about the response to Scrooge, Albert Finney returned to musical movies as the ultra rich Oliver Warbucks in this movie version of the Broadway hit. Even though the great director John Huston appears to be clueless about how to stage a musical – and someone got the idea to relegate Tomorrow, the stage show’s signature tune, to accompany the credits – the film still entertains thanks to Finney and the wonderful Carol Burnett.
Saturday, December 12, 1:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 13, 12 noon, POP
Mary Poppins (1964)
Before this movie, Julie Andrews – still in her 20s – was a Broadway legend with three hit shows to her credit, My Fair Lady, Camelot and The Boy Friend. But when Warner Brothers turned My Fair Lady into a movie, producer Jack L. Warner preferred to dub Audrey Hepburn’s vocals than let Andrews recreate her stage role as Eliza Doolittle. But Andrews got the last laugh when Walt Disney cast her as the magical nanny and she won an Oscar.
Saturday, December 12, 8 p.m., NBC
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
On stage, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama told a simple story of the endearing friendship between an elderly woman and her driver. When translated to the screen, director Bruce Beresford and writer Alfred Uhry beautifully expanded the story to become a deeper study of the changes in race relations over the years. Jessica Tandy won a well-deserved Oscar as a woman convinced in the authenticity of her view of the world until she decides to change her mind.
Sunday, December 13, 4:45 p.m., Sundance
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Yes, the holidays are here, and what better way to celebrate the spirit of the season than this marvelous fantasy about a man who believes he is Santa Claus. With Natalie Wood as a young girl more mature than her years, and Maureen O’Hara as a woman less sympathetic than intelligent, the movie dares to ask us to question what we have heard and reconfirm what we would love to believe.
Sunday, December 13, 7 p.m., Sundance
Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online.
And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing.
That makes it even more fun.