Christmas Flickers: Father Knows Best – Home for Christmas
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
2M ago
Father Knows Best: Home for Christmas (1977) Starring Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray, Lauren Chapin, Priscilla Morrill and Kyle Richards / Directed by Norman Abbott / From Columbia Pictures Television All images © Columbia Pictures Television or current ownership. No ownership intended by the author. Jim and Margaret Anderson (Young and Wyatt) are anticipating the coming holidays. Christmas for them has always meant a house full of children and grandchildren but this year is shaping up differently. First of all, their neighbours are selling their house and the real estate ..read more
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I Sing Noel: The Christmas Music of Bing Crosby
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
“When you trim your Christmas tree, think of me beside you” Most of my Christmas music articles will include some variation of the statement “it all started with Bing Crosby” and that’s because it did. If we are talking Christmas music, as we do at this time of year, it always warrants mentioning that it really did become a thing when Crosby recorded “Silent Night” in 1935. At that point in time – and even for the next seven years – singers of popular song did not generally record Christmas music. 1942 was of course the year of the film Holiday Inn and it’s stand-out song “White Christmas”. W ..read more
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The Flickers: Diner
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
Diner (1982) Starring Mickey Rourke, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly, Daniel Stern, Ellen Barkin, Paul Reiser, Kathryn Dowling, Michael Tucker and Colette Blonigan. Directed by Barry Levinson. From Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. All images © MGM It is Christmas Night in Baltimore, 1959, and five best friends are at a dance. Modell (Reiser) is looking for Boogie (Rourke). Apparently, a drunken Fenwick (Bacon) is downstairs punching out windows. Boogie talks him down and the gang heads for their hang out, Fells* Point Diner. Shrevie (Stern) drops his wife, Beth (Barkin), off at home and joins ..read more
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Christmas Music: We Three CDs Volume 2
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
We’re having fun this Christmas looking at the magical world of physical media and compact discs specifically. What we are focusing on are the wonderful CDs to be found second-hand in the wild, choosing three of them and discussing their content. Some of these relics are gems that we will add to our yearly Christmas listening rotation, others may intrigue us but not enough to make us keep the hard copy and – yes, Virginia – some we discover are sadly lacking in the spark or the emotion or the charm we so love to cozy up with over the holidays. This time we have another batch that was discover ..read more
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Christmas Music: We Three CDs
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
As an avid music collector and as a lover of Christmas music…I collect a lot of Christmas music. Throughout the year, I’ll be scanning the shelves at thrift stores and I am always happy when I find Christmas CDs to add to my collection. I will grab almost anything, the thinking being that I need not love or keep the compact disc but maybe just listen to it, enjoy it (or not) and then pass it on to my local thrift store for someone else to discover. Or I may just “rip” the contents of the CD onto my computer. The CD has to be good or the contents of the disc must have some rarity for me to kee ..read more
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Christmas Flickers: It’s a Wonderful Life
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Sheldon Leonard, Larry Simms and Jimmy Hawkins. Directed by Frank Capra. From RKO Radio Pictures. All images © RKO Radio Pictures Prayers are going up for George Bailey (Stewart) of Bedford Falls. It is apparent that he is in trouble; it is equally obvious that he is a beloved figure in the town. The angels hear these prayers and a guardian is chosen for George. His na ..read more
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The Flickers: Diner – Scene By Scene
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
Diner (1982) Starring Mickey Rourke, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly, Daniel Stern, Ellen Barkin, Paul Reiser, Kathryn Dowling, Michael Tucker and Colette Blonigan. Directed by Barry Levinson. From Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. All images © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and/or current ownership Any article you read on Barry Levinson’s Diner will tell you that the film is basically the starting point of movies and TV shows seemingly about nothing and featuring guys talking. It paved the way for Seinfeld, Pulp Fiction, The Office and many other works. A generation of men have Diner stories and have had ..read more
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Christmas Caveats: Dean Martin
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
For many of us who love Vintage Leisure, one of the most significant things we appreciate about the entertainment of the past is the feeling of warmth and sincerity we get from it. The lack of cynicism. I have noticed something about Dean Martin. No doubt, Dino looms large over the media of mid-century; we all love his records, his films, his television work. But – and I don’t feel that this is an indictment of Dean – it seems to have never really been his thing to be overly heartfelt or serious. He was not what you’d call a comedian, but much of his appeal springs from how light he always ke ..read more
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Playlist: Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
I have suggested in the past that Christmas music benefits from being sequenced throughout the season. My A Saturday in November playlist put forth the notion that the music of Christmas could actually be handled like a musical. Even back in Apartment Zero Days, sequencing a mixed tape was a big deal to me. It had to do with flow and sustaining a mood, taking a listener by the hand and leading them down the path you would have them trod. In the case of those old cassettes, it was more about the music, making sure you sequenced the fast and the slow songs properly. With Christmas music, it’s m ..read more
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Mr. Christmas: The Christmas Music of Andy Williams
Vintage Leisure » Christmas
by Gary Wells
3M ago
I grew up listening to Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby at Christmas. Actually, I grew up thinking they were essential Christmas listening, maybe even all you’d ever need. While it’s true that for me and my family these two artists have become cherished Yuletide traditions, as I’ve grown older I have come to embrace and love many other artists’ contributions to Christmas music and much listening has been added to my year-end celebrations. I’ve come to learn that other singers also thought highly of the season and returned to it in song regularly. Some artists have affected people much the same w ..read more
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