Kudos to Kerns’ holiday film picks
Kudos to A-J Media’s Entertainment Editor William Kerns for the marvelously entertaining column “Top Holiday Films” on Dec. 17. It was an enjoyable account of Kerns’ favorite Christmas (and Christmas-related) movies, and Bill did his usual skillful job of analyzing the movies on his “favorites” list.
As much as I enjoy “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Polar Express,” my list would be topped with “A Christmas Story,” the 1983 film written and narrated by humorist Jean Shepherd and directed by Bob Clark set somewhere around 1940 about a boy who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Shepherd has a great cameo appearance as the man in the line for the department store Santa who points out to young Ralph where the back of the line is, and Clark did a cameo as the dimwitted neighbor in the front of the house who was asking Ralph’s father questions about the leg lamp in the front window.
“Reader’s Digest” once published an article about Charles Dickens’ “The Christmas Carol” with the memorable title “The Second-Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told.” There have been some good big- and little-screen productions of it, but my two favorites are the whimsical “Muppet Christmas Carol” from 1992 and the 1984 version starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. My friend and former co-worker Joe Hughes introduced the latter one to me by lending me his VHS tape of it. I was impressed by how well it brought Dickens’ story to life and how closely it matched the way I visualized it when I first read it.
Thanks, Bill Kerns, for your fun Christmas-themed column. I’ll bet a lot of his readers are now watching (or rewatching) many of the films on his list.