Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tired of the usual Christmas film fare?

Most of us have a favorite Christmas film classic we have to watch each year—Holiday, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol (my husband is partial to the 1951 version with Alastair Sim), It’s A Wonderful Life.

My list is influenced by the fact that A) I’ve never had cable or satellite service, B) Every place I’ve lived has had poor television reception, and C) I’ve not seen many other Christmas movies. Until this week.

Double-click on the video for full view.

Our public station here broadcast an old black-and-white film I’d never heard of: The Great Rupert. It features Jimmy Durante and a philanthropic vaudevillian dancing squirrel. The film (now in the public domain) captures an era not unlike the one we’re currently in—people losing their life savings, old industries giving way to new ones, families struggling to make ends meet. The difference is Rupert, the squirrel.

I’m not sure The Great Rupert will make it onto my perennial must-see list, but it held my interest from an historical perspective. It’s worth watching just to see the filmmaking (i.e., the squirrel-making) of 1950. Plus it’s sweet and nonviolent and stars an animal. All good.

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