About Christmas TV History

Thursday, September 30, 2010

RIP Tony Curtis

Handsome hunk and brilliant actor, Tony Curtis, died recently and I'd like to honor his memory by reminding readers of his role in a Christmas movie, Christmas in Connecticut. This is the 1992 made-for-TV remake and TNT original movie. It was directed by...wait for it...Arnold Schwarzenegger. It stars Dyan Cannon in the role made popular by Barbara Stanwyck in the original 1945 movie.

Here, Elizabeth Blane is the star of her own cooking TV show and the author of several popular cook books. Her producer, Mr. Yardley convinces the head of the network to give Elizabeth her own prime time Christmas TV special to feature a special holiday dinner for her family and the latest headline maker, Jefferson Jones. He is a national hero who recently rescued a lost boy from the forest during a blizzard.

But this live TV special entitled ‘Christmas in Connecticut’ has just one flaw: Elizabeth is actually just Yardley’s media creation--she's a writer, not a cook! and she has no family or home in Connecticut. She may have just kept her professional persona intact except she’s falling in love with Jones and the lies of her life and career are getting in the way! Unfortunately, she decides to come clean about her false professional skills during her live TV broadcast on Christmas Eve.

There are slight variations from the original movie. This is TV not a magazine article as in the original film. Elizabeth’s fake family members vary slightly and the love interest isn’t a military hero but a park ranger. But the biggest difference here are not these small details but the lack of charm and wittiness that sparkles in the original. Though this TV movie isn't as enjoyable as the original, it is still fun to watch Tony Curtis as Mr. Yardley scrambling to cover up for Elizabeth's inadequacies to save their careers. This is certainly a lesser role for Curtis, but light holiday entertainment has its place as well.

The cast includes: Dyan Cannon as Elizabeth Blane; Kris Kristofferson as Jefferson Jones; Tony Curtis as Mr. Yardley; and Richard Roundtree is the TV network executive.

We'll miss you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BOOK TOUR--information

Coming Soon: to a location NEAR YOU!

I'm proud to announce my upcoming BOOK TOUR where I'll be leading discussions about Christmas on TV, signing books, taking pictures and meeting all kinds of new friends. Stay close to this blog for more details as more dates and locations are still being arranged. And, if you have any questions, comments or requests--let me know.

If you need even more motivation to attend, I've been collecting freebies to hand out at each event. You MUST be present to win!

Book Tour Fall &Winter 2010:

October 14 (Thursday)
Nordonia Hills Branch, Akron Public Library
Northfield, OH
7:00 PM

November 5 (Friday)
Taylor Books, Charleston WV,
11:00-1:00 PM

November 6 (Saturday)
Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
2:00 PM
***I used to live in Charlotte so this will be fun!****

November 9 (Tuesday)
East Central Georgia Regional Library (Main Library), Augusta, GA
7:00 PM

November 11 (Thursday)
Columbus Library, Columbus, GA

November 18 (Thursday)
Chop Suey Books, Richmond, VA
4:00-5:30 PM

November 20 (Saturday)
Ukazoo Books, Baltimore, MD
2:00-4:00 PM

December 6 (Monday)
Mudsock Books and Curiosities, Indianapolis, IN
5:00-7:00 PM

December 8 (Wednesday)
Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
7:00 PM

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Book Review--Go Rockets!

This is a review I recently received of my book from last year. It is taken from the alumni magazine from my alma mater, The University of Toledo, Ohio. Do NOT do the math to learn how old I am. I'm not kidding.

Thanks to Vicki L. Kroll for this great review.

For those interested, later this week I'll be posting the schedule for my upcoming book tour for November and December. Hopefully, I'll be coming to a major city near you!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Something Other than Christmas??

I've been asked to lead a workshop at the upcoming Akron Film Festival later this month. Exciting, right? On Saturday, Sept. 25th, I'll be leading a discussion "Deconstructing Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho" on how to read a film using the master filmmaker's creepy classic as an example. The workshop is free but they are asking people to register. This will be at 12:30 pm at the Akron Art Museum, downtown. Check it out: AkronFilm.com
Hope to see you there. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to get me to talk about something other than Christmas on TV.