CHRISTMAS 2021 ADVENT DAY 21 BLOG POST
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Tuesday 21st December 2021
ADVENT DOOR 21 – 24 DAY COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS DAY!
4 SLEEPS UNTIL CHRISTMAS DAY
- A CHRISTMAS CARD.
- THOUGHT FOR CHRISTMAS.
Steven Spielberg’s favourite movies: 20 classics and 1 surprise
The favourites of a Hollywood legend
Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest geniuses that the world of cinema has ever seen. With titles such as ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘The Bridge of Spies’, he has been making history in Hollywood for more than 40 years.
From 1937 to 2014
In fact, anyone asked about their 20 favourite movies would surely include one by Steven Spielberg. The question is, what if we asked Steven Spielberg for his 20 favorite movies? That’s what ‘Far Out’ magazine has done.
Recognized movie buff
It is a surprising list, as it mixes more recent and mainstream titles with unknown classics from the early years of cinema.
John Ford, his inspiration
Of course, it seems that if Steven Spielberg had to choose just a single creator, it would be John Ford. As he confessed in an interview with the AFI, «I always try to see a John Ford movie before starting a shoot, simply because it inspires me. He is like a classical painter, he celebrates the setting, not just what’s inside».
- ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, the push I needed
‘Lawrence of Arabia’ is a masterpiece that inspired Steven Spielberg to make his own. «It was the movie that put me on the road. It was little things that made me want to know more about how to make movies.»
With that in mind, these are the 20 favourite movies of the King Midas of Hollywood.
- ‘Captain Courageous’ – Victor Fleming (1937)
This 1937 film won an Oscar – brought home by lead actor Spencer Tracy – and garnered three other nominations. It is a stirring coming-of-age drama based on a Rudyard Kipling novel.
- ‘Fantasia’ – Walt Disney (1940)
Walt Disney’s musical marvel is now over 80 years old and has a privileged place on Steven Spielberg’s list.
- ‘Citizen Kane’ – Orson Welles (1941)
‘Citizen Kane’ is arguably the greatest movie ever made, and the story of how it was written is the subject of Netflix’s ‘Mank’.
- ‘Dumbo’ – Walt Disney (1941)
Steven Spielberg has given Walt Disney a massive honour by including two of his films on this prestigious list. ‘Dumbo’ is the second entry, and its flying elephant will be familiar to many.
- ‘A Guy Named Joe’ – Victor Fleming (1943)
World War II, pilots, aeroplanes, guardian angels and romantic relationships – how could Spielberg not like this melodrama? In fact, Spielberg’s ‘Always’ (1989) is a remake and homage to this Fleming classic.
- ‘The Best Years of our Lives’ – William Wyler (1946)
Directed by the legendary William Wyler, this drama shows how difficult it is for three World War II veterans to adjust to civilian life. It deservedly won several Oscars and attracted rave reviews.
- ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ – Frank Capra (1946)
Curiously, the film failed at the box office and at the Oscars, and of the six nominations it had, it only won the Technical Achievement statuette. Time has done justice to this Christmas jewel.
- ‘War of the Worlds’ – Byron Haskin (1953)
The special effects of this film were a revolution and, without a doubt, an inspiration for Spielberg’s aesthetic approach to cinema.
- ‘The Seven Samurai’ – Akira Kurosawa (1954)
Not only has Spielberg recognized this Kurosawa masterpiece, but the film is also popular with many of cinema’s top directors.
- ‘The Searchers’ – John Ford (1956)
This masterpiece is by John Ford, who, as we know, is Spielberg’s biggest inspiration. The plot revolves around John Wayne’s thirst for revenge and his quest to find his abducted niece. The film has inspired diverse projects such as ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Breaking Bad’.
- ‘The 400 Blows’ – François Truffaut (1959)
With a plot centring around a rebellious childhood, fabulous black and white cinematography and a shocking ending, this film is definitely worth a watch.
- ‘Psycho’ – Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
The master of suspense influenced Spielberg, and in truth, hundreds of other directors. It was nominated for several Oscars and Janet Leigh won Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes.
- ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ – David Lean (1962)
Steven Spielberg himself acknowledged that this film pushed him to be a director. One can only thank David Lean.
- ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ – Stanley Kubrick (1968)
Kubrick was ahead of his time with this epic space odyssey. A sci-fi lover like Spielberg couldn’t help but be enamoured by this classic. As a result, his ‘Encounters of the Third Kind’ is a nod to Kubrick’s film.
- ‘The Godfather’ – Francis Ford Coppola (1972)
The masterpiece of his close friend Coppola could not be missing from the list. They were part of the gang that met in the ’70s, and they went on to dominate cinema for the next 20 years.
17 ‘Day for Night’ – François Truffaut (1973)
Truffaut actually makes an appearance in this film, and its title is inspired by the technical name for filming outdoors. Even though it is essentially a melodrama, it won Best Foreign Language Film at the 1973 Oscars.
- ‘Tootsie’ – Sydney Pollack (1982)
Dustin Hoffman turned into Dorothy, the new television sensation. It is a wonderful comedy, and it deserves to be on this list.
- ‘The Dark Knight’ – Christopher Nolan (2008)
Christopher Nolan’s superhero saga changed cinema forever and inspired the Marvel movies that came after, so it is little wonder that Spielberg is a fan as well.
- ‘Untouchable’ – Olivier Nakache and ÉricToledano (2011)
French movies dominate this list, and this modern tale of love and friendship captured the affections of moviegoers around the world, Spielberg included.
- ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ – James Gunn (2014)
In this era of Marvel dominance, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is a fun surprise, with Chris Pratt at his most charismatic and the plot zipping along nicely. Undoubtedly, Spielberg would love to be involved in a project like this, if only to have a hand in choosing the music for Pratt’s Walkman.
- A Christmas Track.
- 10 Queen Thank God Its Christmas 4:17
- A CHRISTMAS ALBUM.
- AN ANNUAL.
- A CHRISTMAS THEMED GAME.
- CHRISTMAS FILMS.
- CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATESELECTION BOX.
- A CHRISTMAS THEMED JIGSAW.
- A CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS BOOK.
- DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS.
- ADULT CHRISTMAS BOOK.
- A CHRISTMAS TREE.
- CHRISTMAS JUMPERS.
- CHRISTMAS TV TIMES.
- CHRISTMAS RADIO TIMES.
- A PANTOMIME.
The first pantomime I ever went to was this one Humpty Dumpty at the Nottingham Theatre Royal in December 1954. I just loved it. It really did thrill me and scare me in every way. I cannot fimd the correct poster for it. The above one on the left is the poster for the Nottingham Theatre Royal Pantomime of the same name in December 1946. On the right is the programme for the 1954 one I saw.
Humpty Dumpty Pantomime December 1954
Humpty Dumpty, the Theatre Royal Pantomime for 1954.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
This Theatre Royal Pantomime production of Humpty Dumpty starred comedian Norman Evans as Martha the Dame, with Betty Jumel, Margaret Mitchell, George Arnett, Donald Anderson, Damon Deste, Clement Hamelin, June Kennedy, Hal Collins, Kay Rose and Bert & Bert.
Highlights of this pantomime were broadcast on BBC Radio on Saturday 18 December 1954 at 9,15pm in a programme called Panto Parade, featuring stars of the year’s pantomimes.
- ELF ON THE SHELF.
- CHRISTMAS TOP FIVE.
CHRISTMAS DAY TOP FIVE MOST WATCHED TV
When it comes to watching TV on Christmas Day we are predictably creatures of habit as we are still made for the soap operas.
Of all the people watching TV on Christmas Day the viewing figures have been calculated to see which is the most popular TV programme. The highest was Coronation St. 34% of all people watching TV on Christmas Day watched Coronation St.
- Coronation Street – 34%
- EastEnders – 31%
- Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special – 29%
- Doctor Who – 26%
- Queens Speech – 25%
- SANTA & RUDOLF.
- A CHRISTMAS FACT OR TWO OR THREE.
- Nicholas Day is celebrated every 6th December.
- 1 in 3 men do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve
- The original location for the 1947 Miracle on 34th movie was the NY Macy’s in Herald Square. However, for the remake in 1994, Macy’s refused to participate therefore the fictional store Cole’s was created.
Macy’s was the store where Kris Kringle worked in the 1947 “Miracle on 34th Street”, he’s the department-store Santa who insists that he’s the actual St. Nicholas. However, the reason the store refused to let its name be used in the 1994 remake, so it told the New York Times was that the original was “a one-of-a-kind classic that just gets better with age.”
However, the remake’s writer and producer, John Hughes, pointed to another factor. He had added to the new film a subplot of the store going through financial troubles, while in real life Macy’s actual financial troubles, a recent bankruptcy filing and a hostile-takeover bid, were frequently on the cover of newspaper business sections nationwide.
- A CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE.
What beats his chest and swings from Christmas cake to Christmas cake?
- CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD HOUSE.
©2021 Phil M Robinson