The chill of fall is in the air and not a week too soon because it’s just in time for Thanksgiving.
Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is on many Turkey Day agendas, especially while final preparations are being made for the dinners that follow. If you’re thinking of binge-watching movies throughout the day, here’s a short list of films that your entire family will enjoy before and after that scrumptious meal.
“Miracle on 34th Street”
This classic motion picture is a wonderful choice to begin any Thanksgiving Day movie marathon, especially since it’s one of the reasons why the Macy’s parade is world famous. “Miracle on 34th Street,” which begins at the parade, tells the story of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real thing.
I prefer the 1947 original version, which won several Academy Awards and was preserved in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2005 as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” You might, however, also watch the 1994 remake, which has a more serious tone and a greater focus on religious faith.
“Planes, Trains & Automobiles”
This hilarious comedy, starring Steve Martin and John Candy, is about the misadventures of two guys on a three-day road trip from New York to Chicago. Their goal is to arrive at their destination in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
The 1987 film has a wonderful soundtrack of rock-and-roll, country and pop music, which includes a cover version of “Back in Baby’s Arms” performed by Emmylou Harris (it was originally popularized by Patsy Cline). “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” also features another popular song called “Mess Around,” which is performed by Ray Charles.
The 2013 animated buddy flick “Free Birds” is about two turkeys that travel back in time and arrive at the first Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth Colony in 1621. They plan to change history — by taking turkey off the menu.
“North by Northwest”
This list would not be complete without something by the legendary director, Alfred Hitchcock, and though “North by Northwest” isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving movie, it does have a loose connection to the holiday.
If you look closely, you’ll see that the newspaper being read at the United States Intelligence Agency is dated Tuesday, Nov. 25, 1958. Although there is no mention of the holiday, part of the film’s action takes place on Thanksgiving Day, which occurred Nov. 27 that year.