Saturday, December 24, 2011
It's a Wonderful Life
(1946, Frank Capra) (James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore)
Miracle on 34th Street
(1947, George Seaton) (Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, Natalie Wood)
Scrooge (aka A Christmas Carol)
(1951, Brian D. Hurst) (Alastair Sim, Meryvn Johns, Michael Hordern)
(1942, Mark Sandrich) (Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds)
(1970, Ronald Neame) (Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, Edith Evans)
A Christmas Carol
(1938, Edwin L. Marin) (Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Leo G. Carroll) ‘
(1954, Michael Curtiz) (Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney)
(1935, Henry Edwards) (Sir Seymour Hicks, Maurice Evans, Robert Cochran)
'Twas the night before Christmas and all round my hips
Were Fannie May candies that sneaked past my lips.
Fudge brownies were stored in the freezer with care
In hopes that my thighs would forget they were there.
While Mama in her girdle and I in chinstraps
Had just settled down to sugar-borne naps.
When out in the pantry there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen I flew like a flash,
Tore open the icebox then threw up the sash.
The marshmallow look of the new-fallen snow
Sent thoughts of a binge to my body below.
When what to my wandering eyes should appear:
A marzipan Santa with eight chocolate reindeer!
That huge chunk of candy so luscious and slick
I knew in a second that I'd wind up sick.
The sweet-coated Santa, those sugared reindeer
I closed my eyes tightly but still I could hear;
On Pritzker, on Stillman, on weak one, on TOPS
A Weight Watcher dropout from sugar detox.
From the top of the scales to the top of the hall
Now dash away pounds now dash away all.
Dressed up in Lane Bryant from my head to nightdress
My clothes were all bulging from too much excess.
My droll little mouth and my round little belly,
They shook when I laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
I spoke not a word but went straight to my work
Ate all of the candy then turned with a jerk.
And laying a finger beside my heartburn
Gave a quick nod toward the bedroom I turned.
I eased into bed, to the heavens I cry--
If temptation's removed I'll get thin by and by.
And I mumbled again as I turned for the night
In the morning I'll starve... 'til I take that first bite!
- In "The Night Before Christmas" Santa landed his sleigh on the roof
- Santa's Reindeers are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
- Saturday Evening Post artist, Norman Rockwell, was known for his whimsical pictures of Santa Claus
- Scrooge improves Cratchit's life the day after Christmas by giving him a raise
- Scrooge's deceased business partner in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was Jacob Marley
- Sharing their names with two Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie, are two friends in It's A Wonderful Life
- Silent Night was written in 1818, by an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be prepared in time for Christmas Eve. He was saddened by this and could not think of Christmas without music, so he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music. He sat down and wrote three stanzas. Later that night the people in the little Austrian Church sang "Stille Nacht" for the first time.
- Since the 1840s, the residents of Pietarsaari, a town on Finland's coast, have decorated a Christmas street, Storgatan, since the 1840s. Suspended over the street are three large illuminated decorations: a cross symbolizing faith, an anchor representing h
- St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early fourth century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.
- St. Nick's nose like a cherry!
- Suzy Snowflake tells you she's in town by tap, tap, tappin' at your windowpane
- Telesphorus, the second Bishop of Rome (125-136 AD) declared that public Church services should be held to celebrate "The Nativity of our Lord and Saviour." In 320 AD, Pope Julius I and other religious leaders specified 25 December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.
- Thanksgiving has traditionally been the start of the Christmas season in the U.S was moved Thanksgiving back a week to extend the holiday shopping season. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a move to help out Depression-strained retailers. Since 1859 Thanksgiving had been celebrated on Nov. 30, but in 1939 FDR declared the holiday to be the fourth Thursday in November. Two years later, FDR signed a bill making the move permanent and official.
- The '12 Days of Christmas' are the 12 days after Christmas: December 26 to January 6
- The 1990 movie “Home Alone” told of a boy's experience when two men break into his house during Christmas
- The abbreviation of Xmas for Christmas is not irreligious. The first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which is identical to our X. Xmas was originally an ecclesiastical abbreviation that was used in tables and charts.
- The actual gift givers are different in various countries:
England: Father Christmas
France: Pere Noel (Father Christmas)
Germany: Christkind (angelic messenger from Jesus) She is a beautiful fair haired girl with a shining crown of candles.
Holland: St Nicholas.
Italy: La Befana (a kindly old witch)
Spain and South America: The Three Kings
Russia: In some parts - Babouschka (a grandmotherly figure) in other parts it is Grandfather Frost.
Scandinavia: a variety of Christmas gnomes. One is called Julenisse.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Orson Welles's Oscar for writing "Citizen Kane" - regarded as one of the best films ever made - sold for $861,542 on Tuesday as a hot market for Hollywood memorabilia helped erase memories of an unsuccessful auction four years ago.
The best screenplay statuette awarded in 1942 - the only Oscar given to "Citizen Kane" - failed to meet its undisclosed reserve price when it was last up for auction at Sotheby's New York in 2007. At that time it was expected to sell for around $1 million.
Although tarnished by age, the Oscar, sold by Los Angeles auction house Nate D. Saunders on behalf of its anonymous seller, carried a reserve price of between $600,000 and $1 million. Bids came in from around the world in what the auction house termed an "exciting" sale.
"This is a testament to the popularity of Orson Welles and his magnum opus 'Citizen Kane,'" said Nate D. Saunders, owner of the auction house, in a statement.
The Oscar has a story worthy of a Hollywood movie in its own right. Welles had lost it, but it resurfaced after his 1985 death when it was put up for auction in 1994 by a cinematographer, who claimed Welles had given it to him as a form of payment.
Welles's daughter Beatrice sued and won back ownership of the statue, but she was sued in turn by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives out the awards, when she tried to auction it in 2003.
After a legal battle, Beatrice Welles was given the right to dispose of the Oscar. She sold it to a California non-profit organization called the Dax Foundation, who tried unsuccessfully to auction it in 2007.
In a bid to stop public sales, the Academy in 1950 introduced an agreement that banned winners from selling their Oscars to anyone but the Academy for the nominal sum of $1.
But several pre-1950s Oscars have gone under the hammer in recent years, including the best picture Oscar for the 1939 film "Gone with the Wind," which was sold for a record $1.54 million in 1999 to Michael Jackson.
I WANT TO GO BACK TO A TIME WHEN....
It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."
Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.
No shopping trip was complete unless a new toy was brought home.