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Annual Thanksgiving Movie Festival Question

Posted at 5:57 PM on November 16, 2007 by Euan Kerr (9 Comments)

For the last few years our family has had a tradition of going away to the cabin, armed only with a mountain of food and a few classic movies we feel we should have really seen but never have.

Over the years of our Thanksgiving Film Festival we have seen everything from "To Kill a Mockingbird" to Alexander Payne's "Election" with "Dogtown and Z boys" in between.

Every year I ask for suggestions from you the reader.

This year is a little different because Sarah-the-19-year-old is away at college, and Malcolm-the-16-year-old is bringing a couple of pals. With this radical change in the testosterone levels, and with a nod to the recent Joe Strummer film, we have already decided on Julien Temple's "Earth Girls are Easy."

Also as a way of pounding a little respect for his Scots heritage into the poor kid we're bringing Bill Forsyth's "Local Hero."

But what else? What classic movies do you think will hold the interest of a small group of teen males and their doting parents in a post-turkey haze? Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Comments (9)

Hi, I asked my 15, about to be 16, and 17, about to be 18, year olds, what old movies they would enjoy seeing again. After the initial rush of slasher movies (what is up with that, anyway?!), they both wanted to see "Metropolis", the old silent re-done. If they are interested in football, try Burt Reynolds original "The Longest Yard".
Oddly, both my boys liked "The Secret of Roan Inish", certainly a Celtic nod for you. "Waking Ned Devine" gives me an Irish giggle.
Any of the Ford trilogy (or all) of Westerns with John Wayne get my tribe settled back for popcorn without riling them up so much they can't sleep later.
Good luck!

Posted by Ginger | November 18, 2007 9:01 AM

Good ideas! I had forgotten all about "Metropolis" and of course there is the new anime version too. I should look out for Fritz Lang's "M" as well, a truely creepy film with Peter Lorre as a serial killer.

I also have a hankering for "The Searchers."

"Roaninish" is great as is "Ned Devine" but they have already seen those. I am going to get a copy of "Restless Natives" at some point, which is no masterpiece, but has a good dose of Scots humor in it with two bumbling bankrobbers holding up tourist buses while wearing gorilla masks.

Posted by Euan Kerr | November 19, 2007 10:04 AM

Hmmm. Teenage boys, eh?

My suggestions:


"3:10 to Yuma" (1957 version)

A driving movie, maybe... "Le Mans" how can you go wrong with McQueen?!

and maybe some
Mystery Science Theater DVDs

Hope I didn't repeat any you've already seen. Euan, can you post a quick refresher with links to previous years' lists?

Posted by Julia Schrenkler | November 19, 2007 10:12 AM

Of course that would help I suppose:

The Thanksgiving FilmFest list

2003: "To Kill a Mocking Bird" and "Dogtown and Z-boys"
2004: "The African Queen" and "Eating Raoul"
2005: "MASH," "Election," "Spirited Away," and "Kung Fu Hustle"
2006: "The Graduate" and "Clerks" (I also got Herzog's "My Best Fiend" about his relationship with Klaus Kinski, but ended up watching that on my own, although Sarah the-17-year-old dropped by and watched aghast for a while at Kinski. Its a great flick.)

Posted by Euan Kerr | November 19, 2007 1:16 PM

Gregory's Girl - don't know if it was made in Scotland but it clearly takes place there and is a wonderful coming-of-age movie. Hilarious and touching.

A World Apart - told from the perspective of a young teenage daughter whose parents are journalist/writers who are fighting apartheid in South Africa and willing to pay a steep price for doing so. Barbara Hershey is the mother.

Sugar Cane Alley - French-speaking movie about a young African boy's relationship with his grandmother in a impoverished sugar-growing region of the country.

Breaking Away-a soon-to-graduate teenage boy is infatuated with bicycle racing to the point of pretending he is an Italian racer and speaking that language to his parents. Interesting look at class distinctions in a working-class town, if I remember correctly.

House of Games or is it House of Cards?-David Mamet directed.

Posted by Linda Henning | November 19, 2007 4:20 PM

Great suggestions!

"Gregory's Girl" is an other family favorite. (Just after I was born I lived in Cumbernauld, the town where it was shot, and my parents claim one of the scenes takes place in front of our house.)

I'll check out the "World Apart" and "Sugar Cane Alley."

And of course "Breaking Away!" Although knowing my lot, they will spend a fair bit of time mocking the fashion sense of those guys!

Posted by Euan Kerr | November 19, 2007 4:59 PM

I will heartily endorse _Gregory's Girl_ and especially _Breaking Away_, the latter filmed entirely in Bloomington, IN, where I went to grad school. Females in the audience will be gratified by the tightly t-shirted Dennis Quaid in his youthful glory.

I recently got GG on Netflix, and was amazed to discover that there is both an English version (which was released over here) and a "Scottish" version--i.e. in English but with everyone's *real* accents.

You might consider the 1988 version of _The Blob_, or the more recent _Slither_ by way of creature features. And a great favorite in my family is _Big Trouble in Little China_, with Kurt Russell hilariously channeling John Wayne. Every kind of fu. Exploding henchman without fireball. Four stars, Joe Bob says check it out.

Posted by Mary Burke | November 20, 2007 11:19 AM

This is Euan's wife. Euan dear isn't remembering that we actually DID watch "Breaking Away" with the kids when they were younger teens. They were completely distracted by the boys' shorts and hairstyles. I think they missed several scenes because they were so busy chatting together about how the boys shorts were so short and tight and the hairstyles were "so 70's" (as if they would know).

We should try again now that they are older and able to appreciate that fashion is just fashion, but that feelings and experiences can be universal.

Posted by Jane Kerr | November 21, 2007 10:26 AM

Man! Busted! The great things about getting older is you can enjoying seeing movies for the first time several times sometimes.

Posted by Euan Kerr | November 21, 2007 11:17 AM

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