To celebrate National Classic Movies Day, I'm joining with 30+ other bloggers to share our lists of 5 classic movies we'd like to take with us if we are ever stranded on an island. (We're all assuming we have electricity, a projector, a big screen, and popcorn!) Since I limit my focus to holiday entertainment, I'll only be taking Christmas and New Year's movies to my island with me. Because it's about classic movies, I've only selected titles released in the 1970s or earlier. Don't criticize me for not picking 1983's A Christmas Story--thems the rulez. Isn't this fun? Can you predict what I'll select?
#5: Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
If I'm stuck on a deserted island, I'm going to need to be cheered up. This delightful comedy will certainly do that. In this movie classic, Barbara Stanwyck plays Elizabeth Lane, a well-known writer who details the best advice on wifely activities including housekeeping, cooking, and raising children (think: a 1940s version of Martha Stewart). This Christmas, Lane is asked by her publisher to host a war hero for a traditional holiday dinner at her country home in Connecticut as a publicity stunt to promote her magazine. Just one catch: Lane is a professional writer who is actually a single woman who lives in New York City! In order to keep her job, she will have to pretend to be married, set herself up in a beautiful country home, convince someone to loan her a baby, find a chef to cook the holiday meal, and pull off the whole elaborate deception in front of her publisher! The best snag in her scheme is that the war hero is just the type of man she's looking to meet and sparks are flying between them. This classic Christmas comedy just keeps twisting and turning as the lies and her far-out explanations keep heaping up. It certainly stands up to repeated viewings--the perfect film to endure a lengthy stay on a deserted island.
I anticipate having to perform quite a few mundane chores on this deserted island in order to survive. I'll probably have to gather palm fronds for a shelter, and fruits, nuts, and vegetables (I really don't see myself hunting and killing wild boar) in order to eat. I might even have to plant and harvest food to sustain a lengthy stay. UGH! These chores will go faster if I sing while I work--so I wanted to select a Christmas musical to sing along with.
The song "Snow" may help me chill out on those long, hot days stuck on a tropical island!
The lyrics to the title song "....I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know..." will certainly fit the bill, living on a tropical island. The song "Sisters" always puts a smile on my face, and "Count Your Blessings" may help inspire me to feel grateful that I'm alive during my darkest moments alone on the island. You can't beat an Irving Berlin soundtrack set against island living!
#3: The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
I want to make sure I have a variety of genres to watch while I'm stuck in one place. I think the action-adventure film The Poseidon Adventure will hold my attention. Sometimes people forget that this disaster film takes place aboard a cruise ship over the New Year's holiday. Remember the scene after the boat flips upside down where some of the crew and passengers climb up the inverted Christmas tree to reach the upper decks of the ship? Yeah--the ship still had its Christmas tree decorated and standing in one of the grand halls during the holiday cruise. Maybe some of the harrowing attempts at survival will be inspirational on the island. If I ever get desperate enough to think I can rescue myself from the island by trying to swim out into the ocean, I think Shelley Winters' final scene may set me straight. Don't be a hero, Joanna.
#2: Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)
If I'm going to be on this island for awhile, I'll crave a bit of art and culture too. This award-winning, critically-praised masterpiece of Canadian filmmaking takes place over Christmas. Although the emotions in this story are heavy, perhaps even smothering--it is NOT a sugary treat--this film is a brilliant reminder of the subtlety of emotion and the complexity of human experiences. I anticipate needing some edification as well as something complex enough to stimulate and satisfy the intellectual side of my brain while on this island. This should do.
#1: The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
If you haven't already figured it out, I wouldn't really enjoy being stuck on a tropical island. The experience doesn't sound like paradise to me--it resembles torture. So if I'm on a deserted island, my efforts will focus on trying to escape. Here's my best plan: request that the Star Wars Holiday Special be made available to me on my island. Since the 2 hour production no longer officially exists (George Lucas stopped acknowledging its existence decades ago), any search for an official print of the movie will alert certain people of importance. Disney purchased the Lucas catalog a few years back--so aggressive Disney lawyers will become involved. After they hunt down my location to deliver a cease & desist/restraint order, I'll have access to a lawyer's boat to escape my deserted island! My plan doesn't require me to actually watch the absolutely awful Star Wars Holiday Special--not again, please!--but merely to request a print for my island visit.
However, if somehow my brilliant plan doesn't work--and I do acquire a copy for The Star Wars Holiday Special for my deserted island experience, and anyone else ever washes ashore, then this movie will give us a laughable conversation piece for the rest of our long lives!
If you were to take five classic holiday movies with you to an island, which ones would you choose? Please feel free to check out the other lists of 5 Classic Movies on an Island at Classic Film & TV Café.
Joanna, this may be my all-time fave among your posts (and that's high praise indeed). I seriously considered WHITE CHRISTMAS--even without taking a holiday focus. CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT is a personal favorite and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE was a surprising and pleasant pick (I'm an admirer of it, too). I was also impressed with your practical approach to island living--you know, that palm frond shelter sounds very nice!ReplyDelete
I HAVE watched a lifetime's worth of Gilligan's Island. I feel like I have island survival skills even if I don't ever want to find myself in that situation. Thanks for the comments :)Delete
Ha! Your island will be just like those souvenir shops that sell Christmas ornaments all year round. Well done.ReplyDelete
Hahahaha! That's another survival technique: lure people to my deserted island with the promise of souvenirs and holiday movies. Then I won't be alone. I love it!! Thanks for commenting :)Delete
White Christmas, Holiday Inn, It's a Wonderful Life, Bundle of Joy (New Year's),ReplyDelete
Miracle on 34th Street.
What a spectacular list! How could I survive Christmas each year (on my island) without watching Miracle on 34th Street? I see myself making coconut dolls of Kris Kringle. Doris Walker, and Susan Walker--and putting on my own dramatization. It's probably a good thing that I'm not alone of a deserted island! Thanks for your list!Delete
Inspired list... Such variety!ReplyDelete
Yeah--I would need variety if I could only see 5 movies for an extended period. What 5 classic Christmas movies would you take Jeff?Delete
This will take some thought. I will be back! ;)Delete
Black Christmas (Original, of course)Delete
Mon Oncle Antoine
A Midnight Clear
I went a bit of another way, instead of being cheered up, I went with longer, moodier, more emotionally dense films to take up more time and give more to chew on as I’m dragging palm fronds around, building my island screening room… (I was obviously influenced by your inclusion of Mon Oncle Antoine, but it is a fav, and certainly a film to keep fixating on rather than worrying about the constant stream of encroaching headhunters, giant spiders and Japanese pilots, if Gilligan’s Island is to be believed). Regular watching of MOA might actually cause time to stop, so years of waiting to be rescued might just melt away...
Just missed the cutoff:
A Christmas Story
I couldn't select several of those titles because I was restricted to movies released in the 1970s or earlier--but yeah! Those are great movies. This was so much FUN! Thanks for playing along :)Delete
Just a delightful list and glad you added your great plan for NOT being stranded, even with such watchable titles! :-) Wonderful!ReplyDelete
Thanks Lisa. It was actually quite a challenge to limit myself to just five titles. I'd be more comfortable with a list of 50 or maybe even 500. Thanks for commenting :)Delete
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How cool that you only chose Holiday movies! And they are as diverse as White Christmas and The Poseidon Adventure! And, well, I'd also think twice before swimming after what happened to Shelley Winters!ReplyDelete
Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)
Yes--Le is right. Let's all check out the other entries in the blogathon. Thanks for you comments :)Delete
Great list... love the fact that you added holiday titles!ReplyDelete
I'm glad you got a kick out of it :) Thanks for commenting.Delete
I'm particularly impressed with THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE!! Love that movie and can watch it on a loop. Such an interesting combination you have too.ReplyDelete
Thanks Aurora. This was so much fun to put together as well as read all the comments on the other participating blogs. Thanks for stopping by :)Delete
One of the movie channels--pretty sure it was Fox--used to do a marathon of POSEIDON ADVENTURE on New Year's Eve. One year they showed it with "pop-up info" about scenes. Another year they showed a special they filmed about POSEIDON ADVENTURE fans, including a man who had his entire house remodeled to look like rooms on the ship.Delete
Joanna, I really enjoyed reading your criteria for your selections. I think "Christmas in Connecticut" would especially help lighten one's heart if one were indeed stranded on an island. Do you think you could smuggle in Felix to attend to the cooking, too? Sheesh! A girl's got to have some comforts when she's away from home!ReplyDelete
Don't you know it! Thanks for your comments :)Delete
It's a pity that the only movie I've seen from your list is White Christmas! I'm planning to watch Christmas in Connecticut during the holdiay season this year. Well, there's still half a year to go, but I'm really interested in what it's going to be like!ReplyDelete
Domi (Little Bits of Classics)
One can never go wrong with Barbara Stanwyck. Thanks for your comment :)Delete
I really have to sit down and watch CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT some day (yes, I've never seen it, just scenes from it), especially since I read somewhere recently that Stanwyck was based on Gladys Taber. (Taber, however, could cook and had raised a child.)ReplyDelete