Holiday Party Convo and Classic Movie Junkie

Did I say last week that the holiday season had begun?

XmasOkay. What I meant to say was, the pre-season had begun. The holiday season doesn’t really get cooking for me until the day of my writers’ group holiday party. That day came and went too quickly yesterday as about twenty of us gathered at the home of one of our esteemed members to share good food, good fun, and good talk.  Only in the company of fiction writers do I hear snippets of conversations like:

“… but, in reality, she was a Celtic princess…”

“…dead within days after she slipped poison into his….”

“…abducted by aliens…”

Fun, huh? (And I didn’t even mention the sexy snippets. 🙂 )

So, what unofficially kicks off your holidays?


Classic Movie Junkie

Here’s what’s on my watch list this week.

Sunday Dec 8

2:00 pm  Scrooge (1970)  Holiday Classic. TCM. No synopsis needed. Albert Finney, Alec Guinness.

Why? It ain’t December if you don’t watch The Christmas Carol, right?  This one is a nice rendition for a cozy Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday  Dec 10

6:00 pm   Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Drama/Comedy. TCM.  An older white couple’s liberal principles are tested when their daughter announces her engagement to a black doctor. Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katherine Houghton.

Why? This movie is touching, thought-provoking and funny, but my reasons are more sentimental. This was the last time Hepburn and Tracy appeared together in a film. Tracy’s performance earned a posthumous Oscar nomination.

Friday  Dec 13

1:00 am  Chinatown (1974) TCM.  Neo-noir/mystery. A private eye in 1930s Los Angeles stumbles into a web of murder and deceit when he’s hired by the wife of a cheating spouse who isn’t what she pretends to be.  Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston.

Why?  In this hardboiled period piece, Jack Nicholson not only measures up to the gold standard set by Bogart as Philip Marlowe, he sets his own platinum standard as Jake Gittes. Faye Dunaway also scores as the femme fatale with a devastating secret. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards.

Saturday Dec 14

10:45 am   The Cowboys (1972)  Western.  AMC.  An aging rancher is forced to hire a group of schoolboys when his own men desert him before a 400-mile cattle drive. John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern.

Why?  A great boys-to-men story and a sentimental favorite of mine from among the last ten films made by John Wayne. Entertaining performances by Roscoe Lee Browne and Bruce Dern, too.

This week’s Amazon Prime Pick:  Chinatown
I could expound at great length on why I adore this film, but for today I’ll  just say,

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

Have a great week!

(Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule. Or here for AMC.)