Monday, November 21, 2016

3 Classic Movies for the Thanksgiving Season

In the United States, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the things we appreciate. It also typically includes traveling long distances, large family gatherings, a feast, and televisions tuned to football games. Thanksgiving can be a hectic time of year. It is good to find time to relax during the down time between traveling, visiting, eating, shopping, and watching sporting events. Whether you are taking a break from the hustle and bustle, or just enjoying a long weekend, relaxing with a classic movie is a wonderful choice. These 3 movies are my favorites for lounging around and relaxing during this season.

 The Wizard of Oz 

The Wizard of Oz is a classic and has been shown on television nearly every year since the 1950s. While it has been televised at different times of the year, I get the urge to watch Dorothy find her way home every year around Thanksgiving. 

Dorothy and her dog Toto are whisked away by a violent tornado. They land in unfamiliar territory and embark on a sometimes frightening adventure in which the value of friendships and the threats of foes are the themes that are explored.  In this new land they find the help (and hindrance) of strangers along the way. 

While "home" is not perfect for most of us, there is some truth in the message that "there's no place like home" and the love that can be found there. And there's not much that is more soothing that caring, familiar faces surrounding us.

The Wizard of Oz

The Other Sister

The Other Sister is one of my favorite movies, ever. I am listing it here because it takes place around Thanksgiving but more importantly, because it reminds me of the important of love, independence, and being grateful for others - despite their perceived weaknesses. This movie is about acceptance, love, and family.

Carla Tate (Juliette Lewis) returns home after an extended stay in an out-of-home placement, a place where people are trained to address her special needs.  She returns sometimes misguided, but loving, family as a young adult. 

We watch this family try to both take care of Carla while helping her become independent.  Inevitably, conflict arises as some family members are more willing than others to let her spread her wings. Carla meets Danny (Giovanni Ribisi) and they traverse the bumpy road of falling in love. 

This movie has made me laugh and cry, as well as feel like a schmuck for not experiencing life more fully and being more thankful for the small moments in life. 

The cast is amazing - Juliette Lewis, Giovanni Ribisi, Diane Keaton, Tom Skerritt are the main four characters and in my opinion they give amazing performances. The other characters are believable and memorable.

The Other Sister

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 

Perhaps Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is not a classic movie by definition, but the struggles related to holiday travel, especially toward the snow-prone areas of our country, is a classic theme. Blizzards, cancelled flights, and finding alternative modes of travel are problematic, but throw in to the mix a traveling buddy that makes you absolutely crazy, and we have fun entertainment (as long as we are only the viewers and not the participants!)

Neal Page (Steve Martin) just wants to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving but his flight is cancelled. He is faced with dilemma after dilemma; one of the dilemmas is being paired up with a travel companion who is his polar opposite. Del Griffith (John Candy) is a goodhearted but highly annoying travel buddy. If you've ever traveled and experienced tantrum-inducing delays and cancellations due to weather, this movie may be fun to see.  A word of caution though: there is one brief scene that includes an adult tantrum with many adult words i.e. f-bombs.

The comedy of Steve Martin and John Candy with the topic of the travel stress of the holidays is a great combination.  

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

These three movies are the three that I think of when I think of the Thanksgiving season. I also think of Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving and I am aware that many people think of Miracle on 34th Street since it's story line spans from Thanksgiving to Christmas. 

For an in-depth and loving review of Miracle on 34th Street, be sure to see the post from our own Susan. Believe it or not, I've never seen the movie. But I'll be sure to watch this year, after reading her review.

Does your family have any movie traditions? Are there any movies you make sure to see during this time of year? 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Aha... the Wizard of Oz - an all-time classic I never miss. I've watched it every year for more years than I can count. It truly does point out how special 'home' and family are and Thanksgiving is an excellent time to have that reminder. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Dawn Rae.

  2. There is always a point at Thanksgiving when I need the downtime and relaxation with a movie. I love The Wizard of Oz and Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of my all time favorites. I very much appreciate the recommendation for a movie I have not seen. I'll have to get a copy of "The Other Sister" and watch it this week. Of course, I just might need to find the time to slip in the others as well. Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  3. I like your choices, though I haven't seen The Other Sister yet. I haven't watched The Wizard of Oz for a very long time, but it's certainly one of my all-time favorites. Thanks for missing my movie review and I definitely hope you'll get a chance to watch Miracle on 34th Street this holiday season. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. I've only seen the Wizard of Oz, I'll add the other two to my list.

    By the way, fabulous graphic for the top of your page! Love it.

  5. WE don't watch many movies, but your review has really made me want to see The Other Sister. It sounds intriguing.

  6. Strangely enough I've only seen one of these, now you've inspired me to add the other two to my list - I've scrolled past them several times and never stopped to watch. They sound good.


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