It is November and All Hallow’s Eve has come and gone, but before you start with all of the December Holidays preparation, don’t pass over the November Holiday that is often overlooked when it comes to movies. Yes, Thanksgiving has it’s share of movies, maybe not completely based on the holiday, but it’s in there.
So, since last year over Thanksgiving I started to compile a list; one of my readers Jenn Anaya had started tweeting about Thanksgiving movies. I haven’t personally watched a ton of these, so I’m going to give you two lists. First, my Thanksgiving movies in alphabetical order and then all of the other thanksgiving movies I have found.
Now to define what a “Thanksgiving movie” is, I’m just going to say Thanksgiving is a part of it. It doesn’t have to be completely based upon the holiday, some for example just have a scene or two around the table, while some are even more loosely related. But with this list, I’ve relied a bit heavily on the internet and within my judgement these all make the list for me.
My Top Thanksgiving Movies
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) & This Is America, Charlie Brown (1988) – Can Americans celebrate any kind of colloquial holiday without Charlie Brown? No. I don’t think we can.
Alice’s Restaurant (1969) – One of the traditions that my mother and father have passed down to me is listening to “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie on Thanksgiving Day. This movie is based on the song of the same name and Arlo plays himself.
The Big Chill (1983) – I’ll find any reason I can to put this movie on any list. It’s arguably one of my favorites, but it’s here because it contains a Thanksgiving-like turkey dinner and football. (It’s also a great movie I’ve already written about.)
Brokeback Mountain (2005) – Yes, there is a massive movie-esque turkey dinner in this film. And if you didn’t like the film, may I suggest listening to The Kilted One from 7 Days A Geek give the famous “I can’t quit you” Speech. (He does it every so often.)
Grindhouse (2007) – Why is this here? Because of the fake trailer included in the film for Eli Roth’s THANKSGIVING. Because what Thanksgiving needs is more
blood gravy, right?
Grumpy Old Men (1993) – Lemmon, Matthau and a host of other talents like Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hanna, Kevin Pollak and a music score by Alan Silvestri. If you haven’t seen it, you should and if you have, it may be time to revisit.
The Ice Storm (1997) – Do you know what Thanksgiving needs? Angst. Well, maybe not angst but a key party couldn’t hurt? Or maybe just some infidelity for the holidays. This drama has a stellar cast and is in a class of its own when it comes to tragic comedies.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) – This is one of the few Thanksgiving movies that actually comes to mind for most people. It’s Steve Martin and John Candy with director John Hughes. I’ll stop because “The last thing I want to be remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth.”
Scent of a Woman (1992) – Come on people, Pacino is great in the whole movie and there is an awkward Thanksgiving dinner scene that will make your dinner seem normal? (Am I helping?)
Son in Law (1993) – It’s a guilty pleasure for a certain demographic and just a pleasure for another, but it’s early Nineties Pauly Shore when he was still bringing the funny!
Other Thanksgiving Movies
- American Son (2008)
- Aurora Borealis (2005)
- Awkward Thanksgiving (2014)
- The Blind Side (2009)
- Blood Rage (1983)
- Don’t Say a Word (2001)
- Dutch (1991)
- For Your Consideration (2006)
- Funny People (2009)
- Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
- Hollidaysburg (2014)
- Home for the Holidays (1995)
- Home Sweet Home (1981)
- The House of Yes (1997)
- Jack and Jill (2011)
- The Last Waltz (1978)
- Love Happens (1999)
- Miracle of 34th Street (1947)
- The Myth of Fingerprints (1997)
- Nobody’s Fool (1994)
- Palo Alto, CA (2007)
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
- Pieces of April (1993)
- Rescue Dawn (2006)
- She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
- Tadpole (2002)
- ThanksKilling (2009)
- Tower Heist (2011)
- The War at Home (1996)
- What’s Cooking (2000)