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.

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