With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

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Yes it is time for our annual countdown of great Irish heroes from film and books. Let me tell you, this year was hard. I had two, then that grew to seven in August. After a lot of thinking, it finally rounded out to seventeen.

I’m great

But then I realized one of those on my list wasn’t actually Irish!

I was sunk.

It was down to the wire…but with a little luck I finally found someone.

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17) Lady Bess Sedgwick from At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie

At Bertram’s Hotel is a Miss Marple mystery, in which Miss Marple goes on vacation for a fortnight to the place she though was the most delightful place of her youth, Bertram’s Hotel. Miss Marple enjoys the hotel, it looking as if it hadn’t changed a bit since she was young, but at the same time feels uneasy. It almost seems as if there is evil lurking about the place. Besides old friends she sees Lady Bess Sedgwick, best described as an adventurer, and also becomes interested in the interactions of a young girl, Elvira Blake. Soon a train is robbed, a Canon goes missing, jewelry is stolen, young girls are running off to Ireland, a race car driver is causing discord with mother and daughter, the doorman is murdered: and Bertram’s is right in the middle of it.

Why Lady Bess Sedgwick is Awesome: *Contains Spoilers*

Bess Sedgwick is an amazing person who has done everything daring you can think of. She was a member of the French Resistance, she fought German troops, she flew solo across the Atlantic, driven racing cars, saved two children from a burning building, and is the second best dressed woman in England. But she isn’t all great- she has a string of marriages, gave her daughter up to her ex- husband (and guardians after his death never having contact with her), is a crime syndicate boss and thief. However, what earned her a spot on this list was that even though she spent her whole life being selfish and just doing what she wants and likes, is that when her daughter was in trouble she was there for her and tried to take the blame for her to let her daughter live. It might not have been the morally right thing to do, but it showed how much she loved her daughter in that she was willing to sacrifice everything for her daughter.

For more Agatha Christie, go to There Wouldn’t Be Any Difficulty in Finding a King: The Secret of Chimneys

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16) Shannon Christie from Far and Away

Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) is a poor Irishman, who after his father’s death could no longer pay the high rent. After his family farm is burned down, he goes off to take his revenge on the landlord Daniel Christie. That attempt fails, and by some strange coincidence he finds himself being a valet to Christie’s daughter, Shannon (Nicole Kidman), on her voyage to America. What was thought as being a temporary arrangement becomes more permanent, as all of Shannon’s things are stolen and she finds herself becoming dependent on Joseph for survival. With the two masquerading as brother and sister they start working in the factories to earn enough money to buy land in the West. As the two continue to work in America they find out that their road West will not be an easy one.

Why Shannon Christie is Awesome:

At first she appears to be nothing but a spoiled brat, but as we continue to watch the film Shannon has some real hutzpah. She will not live off Joseph, but sets off to help provide for their travel West, working in horrible conditions of a chicken factory. When she and her family finally go West, she is instrumental in showing them the skills she learned and teaching them what they must do to survive now that they are no longer gentry, but just like everyone else.

For more on Far and Away, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

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15) Professor Laurence MacKay from Please Don’t Eat the Daises

Professor Laurence MacKay (David Niven) is leaving the academic world to become a drama critic. His wife, Kate (Doris Day), is at first thrilled for him, but as he becomes more sought after and being invited to parties nearly every night; she starts to wonder if the fame will go to his head and that he will change for the worse. When the lease comes up on their apartment, and they find themselves going to homeless, they decide to live their dream of being in the country. However, Laurence finds it hard adjusting to country life and the constant repairs of the house. Kate sends him back to New York to finish his book, while she completes the house. Throw in the mix a Broadway writer angry at his bad review plotting revenge on the MacKays and a starlet setting out to seduce Laurence; and you have one highjink-filled film.

Why Professor Laurence MacKay is Awesome:

Laurence does spend a majority of the film a jerk as fame and flattery have turned him from the person he was into this stranger; but when such things are pointed out to him, he realizes his mistakes and the old Laurence resurfaces. Above all he loves his wife and his children, turning down the siren and staying true to them.

For more on David Niven, go to On the 7th Day ‘Til Christmas: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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14) Regan Reilly from The Regan Reilly Mysteries by Carol Higgins Clark

Regan is the daughter of mystery writer Nora Reilly, and funeral director Logan Reilly. Instead of joining either parent’s professions, she decides to become a private investigator.

Why Regan Reilly is Awesome:

She is a great private detective who is always looking in every direction for the answer to any problem that may come her way. She is a likable character,intelligent, along with being caring and compassionate. I am looking forward to reading more of her novels.

For more on Regan Reilly check out my sister blog Mysterious Eats with Decked

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13) Bridget Hennessy from 8 Simple Rules

Paul Hennessy is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate, a nurse, and they have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, middle child, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is the youngest, an adorable sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues.

Why Bridget Hennessy is Awesome:

While at first Bridget only cares about her looks and popularity, we see that as the show progresses and she grows up that her character develops and she begins to extend in her interests and hobbies. She cares about her family and tries to be there for them; especially after the death of her father. The fact that her ex-boyfriend is dating her sister bothers her at first, but ultimately she cares more about her sister and wants her to be happy. She may not be the most intelligent person in schoolwork, but her kindness and compassion grows with her.

I love the episodes when she dates her tutor Jeremy, Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I wish they had had more of him.

For more on 8 Simple Rules, go to It’s Fantastico!

12) Finn O’Finnegan from Too Many Leprechauns Or How That Pot o’ Gold Got to the End of the Rainbow by Stephen Krensky

Finn O’Finnegan returns home and finds that leprechauns have invaded his town of Dingle, making shoes and keeping anyone from the town from sleeping, working, or cooking, etc. O’Finnegan comes up with a plan to out trick them, and be able to enjoy his mother’s soda bread.

Why Finn O’Finnegan is Awesome:

This is a cute children’s book with a great main character in O’Finnegan. He looks like a rogue or a rascal, so a lot of people don’t trust him; but it doesn’t matter what he looks like, he has brains in his head and uses them to not only outsmart the Leprechauns, but save his whole village. A hilarious story and perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day.

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11) Sharon McKendrick from The Parent Trap

Susan is traveling to camp from California. She meets Sharon from Boston. This wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that they look exactly alike. That’s right, Sharon and Susan are twins, separated after their parents divorced, as each took one sister home with them. The two become friends and decide to switch places in order to get to know the other parent and reunite their parents. Unfortunately, a lot has changed while Susan was away. Her father met someone and is engaged! Now the girls are trying to reformulate their plan to break up her dad and his fiancé, and get their mom and dad back together.

Why Sharon is Awesome:

So both girls are Irish on their mom’s side, but as Susan wasn’t really raised by her mother, I decided to include only Sharon.

Sharon is very talented in music, conversation, art, elocution, etc. She is also very intelligent, putting together the fact that they are siblings long before Susan.

We also see that out of the two, Sharon is quieter and kinder; trying to be friends, or at least civil, with Susan in the beginning, only going to war after the first shots were fired. Sharon is also very brave as she lets her untrained sister cut her hair and pierce her ears, (there are some things I would never let my sister do even though I love her). A fun and sweet character you can’t help but love (and so much better than the remake.)

For more on The Parent Trap, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more Hayley Mills, go to That Darn Cat

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10) Paul Hennessy from 8 Simple Rules

Paul Hennessy (John Ritter) is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate, a nurse, and they have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is adorable and a sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues.

Why Paul Hennessy is Awesome:

Paul Hennessy is a great dad. At times he can be a little overprotective of his girls, but he only wants the best for them. He knows how guys are and he wants to help their teen years be good ones, (he also is having a hard time letting go). As always John Ritter is hilarious, I just like to think of Paul Hennessy being Jack Tripper with a family.

For more on John Ritter, go to She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

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9) Sarah Nolan from Must Love Dogs

Sarah (Diane Lane) is a 40-year old, divorced, kindergarten teacher. Her brother and sisters are all happily married, and her father is dating (on the internet); so they all think it is time she put herself out there and started again. After an embarrassing snafu in which she ends up accepting an email invite from her father, she tries to navigate the dating world, both electronically and physically. As she begins dating, she finds herself drawn between two very different men: the strong, silent, divorced, father of one of her students (Dermot Mulroney); and the talkative, less orthodox, unexpected, recently divorced boat craftsman (John Cusack). Whom will she choose? Or will this voyage into dating confirm that she is better off with a dog?

Why Sarah is Awesome:

I like that Sarah is a very real character, expressive of people today who are lost in the new way of dating; along with being comfortable in herself and what she likes/wants. She enjoys a quiet life of being with friends, family, animals to love, old movies to watch, etc. You connect to her because she could easily be you, a friend, a family member; she just feels so real.

Also Sarah is brave to begin dating after her jerk of a husband. She also is sweet and funny (only negative, it takes her a while to spot the real winner of the two men.)

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8) Lady Henrietta Flusky from Under Capricorn

This film takes place in early 19th Century Australia. Australia has formerly been a place where England sent their criminals: serving out their sentence and living there, or returning home to England. Now however, more and more “good” citizens have found themselves emigrating to Australia and civilizing the towns. The new Governor, Sir Richard, arrives bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare. Charles meets, Samson “Sam” Flusky, an ex-convict, former murderer, and prospering land owner. He intrigues him in a business deal and brings Charles to his house, in which he meets Sam’s wife, Lady Henrietta, who turns out to be an old family friend. Charles soon spends all his time at the house and finds something strange about Henrietta’s actions, as she is no longer the same woman he knew. As with all Alfred Hitchcock films, there is suspense, mystery, and an old secret’s truth is revealed.

Why Lady Henrietta Flusky is Awesome:

Now if my little synopsis has encouraged you to watch the film, then stop reading. If you aren’t interested in watching the film, proceed.

Lady Henrietta spends most of the film going insane from her guilt at killing her brother, the guilt of Sam taking the blame for it, not understanding Sam’s drive (he feels unworthy of her), unable to figure out how to talk to him, and being harassed by a maid who is hoping to replace her as Mrs. Flusky.

However, we discover later how much Henrietta cares for her husband. She loves only him and would do anything to help him. When an accidental shooting looks like he will spend the rest of his days in prison, she is willing to speak up and admit who really killed her brother, (something she would have done in the beginning to save him but was stopped by Sam), and go to prison if it means securing Sam’s freedom. She loves him and would do all she can to help him in any way.

For more on Under Capricorn, go to I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

For more Ingrid Bergman go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

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7) George McFly from Back to the Future

In Back to the Future Marty McFly, Michael J. Fox, accidentally goes back in time in a time machine built by his friend Dr. Emmet “Doc” Brown. When he gets there he accidentally changes the future by causing his parents not to meet. So not only does he have to discover a way to get back to the future, he also has to get them back together before he ceases to exist.

Why George McFly is Awesome:

George is an incredibly sweet, intelligent, and talented guy. He’s the type that you always want for a friend. A geek, he has never dreamed of stepping out and taking a risk; even though he is in love with Lorraine. However, with a little encouragement from Marty, (and Darth Vader from Planet Vulcan), he will do anything to stand up and protect the person he cares most about.

For more on George McFly and Back to the Future, go to I Will Face My Fears for You: Back to the Future (1985)

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6) Macaulay “Mike” Connor from The Philadelphia Story

Tracy Lorde (Katherine Hepburn), high society girl, is planning on getting married again and wants everything to go perfect, but unfortunately that is not in the cards. First, her ex-husband C. K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) returns to her life trying to reunite. Spy Magazine wants to do a feature on her and have sent in a reporter, Macaulay “Mike” Connor (Jimmy Stewart), and a photographer to do the story. She has to contend with them snooping around and try to hide that her father has run off with a dancer. She enlists her uncle to pretend to be her father, which as you can tell brings on gaffes and guffaws. As Tracy spends time with Dexter Haven, Connor, and her fiancé George Kittredge; she starts to wonder who it is she is really in love with and wishes to marry.

Why Mike Connor is Awesome:

Mike is a top reporter: sarcastic, snoopy, cynical, sharp edged, cold, and full of wit. However, while he seems like your typical newshound, there is much more to him than meets the eye. Connor has a romantic soul; a compassionate and tenderness about him that is revealed in the short stories he has written and when he romances Tracy. At first he is a little prejudiced at the upper class, seeing them as snobs looking down at him; but when such judgement is proved false he realizes his mistake and finds himself enjoying the company of the upper crust. A great character and played wonderfully by the fantastic Jimmy Stewart.

For more on Jimmy Stewart, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

5) Detective Phoebe O’Hara from Kindergarten Cop

Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been on the case of putting away drug dealer Cullen Crisp for a long time. Every time they get a witness, Crisp somehow finds out and takes them out. The only one left is his ex-wife, but she took off with their child, and changed their names. They have managed to locate the area she was in, but have no idea their names or what they look like. All they know is that the child is six years old. He is partnered with Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Pamela Reed), ex-kindergarten teacher turned detective. They are going to pretend to be husband and wife while she teaches at the school in order to hunt out which kid is Cullen Crisp Jr. Unfortunately, O’Hara gets food poisoning and Kimble has to be the teacher. He thinks it will be a cinch, but those of us who have worked with kids know nothing is ever that easy.

Why Detective Phoebe O’Hara is Awesome:

I just love this character. Here is a petite woman who is is incredibly strong and able to hold her own against the toughest criminals. She is intelligent and quick witted, assessing situations and navigating them on the fly. For instance, when she realizes that Kimble is attracted to one of the teachers, she rewrites their cover story in seconds, becoming his “sister” and flawlessly speaking in an Austrian accent. I also love that she is always eating, and not just healthy food, but good food, calories don’t matter. Besides that she is hilarious, every time she is on the screen I am cracking up. A fantastic and fun character.

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4) Doris Walker from Miracle on 34th Street

Doris is in charge of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade but is experiencing a major problem when the person she hired to be Santa is drunk! Luckily she finds a man who is the exact image of Santa and can have him fill in, a man who goes by Kris Kringle. He is then hired on at the store and becomes even more invested in her life as he moves in with her  neighbor (and guy she is interested in); along with befriending her daughter and helping teach her how to be a child. But when Kris insists that he is the “real” Santa Claus, it lands him in a mental facility, the only way out?A huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is “real”.

Why Doris Walker is Awesome:

So some of you might be wondering, how do I know that Doris Walker is Irish, after all, Walker is an English name? Well, first of all Walker is her married name so it has no bearing on her ethnicity, and secondly: every character that O’Hara plays is Irish because she is Irish.

Doris Walker is a great character because here is a woman who was so totally destroyed by her husband’s misdeeds (we are never told what they are but they must have been bad), but works hard to not only provide for herself and her daughter; but be sure to spend as much quality time with her. She is kind and caring, not wanting Kris at first in her life, but once she gets to know him finds herself falling for his charm and wanting to help him in any way. She stands up to others trying to trick him and get rid of him, vowing to be no part of their evil plan. She spends a lot of time going against imagination, blind trust, and faith for realism; but in the end realizes she is wrong and tries to raise her daughter to believe in those intangible things and to believe in Kris. “I was wrong when I told you that, Susie. You must believe in Mr. Kringle and keep right on doing it. You must have faith in him.” She even “writes a letter to Santa”, encouraging and supporting him.

For more on Miracle on 34th Street, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Maureen O’Hara, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

3) Andrew O’Brien from Copper

Copper is about the NYPD in the mid 19th century. New York is a crazy place with the Civil War  going on bringing tension between Southerners and Northerners; the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. Corky is one of the “coppers” trying to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

Why Andrew O’Brien is Awesome:

Andre O’Brien is a good man. He is good to his woman, making her his one and only, along with not staying out too late but being home at night (as if he didn’t she would probably belt him). He’s a good friend, always  there for Corky when he is needed, no matter the job. Honorable and loyal to the end. He is also a good cop; protecting, patrolling, and caring for the people in his community. That’s why I put him up so high, he’s all around a great man and as everyone knows a good man is hard to find.

For more Copper, go to Simply Fantastic

2) Father Lonergan from The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man tells the story of Irish-American born Boxer Sean “Trooper Thorn” Thornton (John Wayne), returning to Ireland to regain his family land. What no one but Father Lonergan knows is that Thornton killed a man in the ring, and decided to give up boxing and fighting for good. While in Ireland Thornton tries to adapt to the culture and at the same time falls for the feisty, traditional Mary Kate Danagher (Maureen O’Hara). Thornton wants to date her, but has to go through all the traditional methods of courtship, something extremely foreign to him.

Why Father Lonergan is Awesome:

Father Lonergan is a kindly priest who cares about the people in the community and tries to help them in any way he can. He is the first to accept Sean Thornton into the community, as others are not quite so welcoming of an “American” (they don’t recognizing him as Irish). Father Lonergan is helpful in not only explaining the culture and the way life is to Thornton, but there to counsel him and Mary-Kate through their matrimony.

Even though Father Lonergan is Catholic, and is most of the people, when the Protestant church is about to be shut down by its overseers for lack of members, Father Langoren gets his congregation to pretend they are part of the church so that Rev. Playfair can remain in the area. Even though he might not agree on everything, Father Lonergan is there for any one who needs help in the community, no matter what.

But while Father Lonergan is a kind priest, there is a lot more to him than one would imagine. He is an avid boxing fan (which is how he knows Thornton’s secret) and the leader of the local IRA. For him he doesn’t want to have bloodshed or bombings (which is what most of us think of when we hear IRA), but he wants to unite the Irish people so that they achieving independence and freedom.

For more on The Quiet Man, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

1) Jessica B. Fletcher AKA J.B. Fletcher from Murder She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher is a retired, widowed schoolteacher from Cabot Cove, Maine. When she writes a book for fun she never dreamed it would take off as it did or that she would become one of the best-selling mystery writers in the United States. Besides writing her stories, Jessica always manages to come upon a mystery and murder. Using her Miss Marple-ian way of observing; she manages to solve every case she comes upon (and still have time to write).

Why Jessica B. Fletcher is Awesome:

No matter how wealthy, famous, or powerful she becomes: Jessica always stays the same. She never uses any of this to abuse others, manipulate those she comes across, or have it mold her into a different person. She still visits her extensive relatives, always having time to aid them in anything they need. She is never too busy to make new friends (from all walks of life), help a struggling writer, give advice when needed, tutor those who need help, fundraise for charities, etc. Even when she solves case after case, she never lords over the police or tries to take over investigations; she is respectful and offers her observations. She is kind, caring, understanding, compassionate, adorable, sweet, intelligent, and never says I told you so.

For more on Murder She Wrote, go to Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

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So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some soda bread made by my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. And my yearly tradition, watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish.

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For the 2013 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes 

For the 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

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25 Films of Christmas

So last year I tried to do 12 Posts of Christmas, unfortunately that didn’t work out as I got sick and involved in Christmas-y activities. However, this year I decided to do some thing in the vein of the Chinese New Year and Saint Patrick’s Day posts. Instead of posting everyday, a countdown of 25 of my fav Christmas Films. Now these aren’t my top 25, but I randomly picked them and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

Holly

25) Love, Actually (2003)

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This has a complex storyline as the film has multiple paths. There is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight, redoing Christmas songs.  Mark is secretly in love with his best friend’s girl Juliet but says nothing to honor his friend. Jamie flees to France after his last girlfriend cheats on him with his brother, there  he falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Harry, the direcctor of a design studio, contemplates having an affair with his assistant Mia. David has just become Prime Minister and develops feelings for a girl who works for him, Natalie. Daniel has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson.  Sarah has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Why it’s Great: It has Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman , etc; need I say more? The Colin Firth storyline is really good, in fact keep an eye open for it’s reappearance this Feb.

Holly

24) Twas’ the Night Before Christmas (1974)

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Santa isn’t coming this year as he has received an hurtful letter. A mouse and the clockmaker try and figure out what is wrong and fix it. The mouse’s son is the one that caused the issue and they are trying to get him to say he is sorry so that all can have Christmas.

Why it’s Great: They used to show this every year on the 25 Days of Christmas on abcFamily. It’s a great spin on a classic tale.

Holly

23) Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Frank is a conman who pretends to be a teacher, pilot, doctor, and lawyer all before his 21st birthday. He steals millions of dollars in forged checks. Tom Hanks is the FBI Agent, Carl, that tracks him through the years, finally  catching up with him.

Why it’s Great: While this isn’t your typical Christmas film, Christmas plays a significant part as it is the time that the two intersect throughout the years in the film. DiCaprio and Hanks are amazing in this film as they are such subperb actors. It’s a great thing to watch.

Holly

22) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

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This film takes place in the midst of Beauty and the BeastThe Beast hates Christmas, because in this version that’s when the Enchantress came and turned him into a Beast. Belle is trying to bring back Christmas to the castle and help heal the Beast’s soul, but has to contend with an evil organ played by Tim Curry. For more Beauty and the Beast posts go here.

Why it’s Great: While the song “As Long As There’s Christmas” is no “Be Our Guest” or “Tale as Old as Time“, it is extremely adorable. Plus Tim Curry as the villian? You just know its going to be awesome. 😀

Holly

22) Frosty the Snowman (1969)

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Short film based on the song about the magic hat that brings a snowman to life and his adventures with the town’s kids.

Why it’s Great: Its Frosty! How can you not love him?

Holly

21) Babes in Toyland (1986)

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Drew Barrymore is a young girl who is not quite in the Christmas’ spirit. There is a huge storm and she gets into an accident waking up in Toyland. Mary Contrary (who looks just like her sis in ‘real life’) is being forced to marry the evil Barnaby Barnacle. She really loves Jack Be Nimble (played by Keanu Reeves and looks like her sis’ bf in ‘real life’.) Barrymore tries to stop the wedding and Barnaby’s atempt to conquer Toyland. They have to find the toymaker and get his help in saving the land.

Why it’s Great: This Wizard of Oz-esque film is adorable as it brings all the nursery rhymes you learned as a child to life.

Holly

20) Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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A young creation, Edward Scissorhands, is discovered by an Avon saleslady, Peg. His creator was going to give him actual hands, but was not able to finish Edward before he died. The Avon saleslady takes him home to her place and has him join the family. Edward falls for the daughter Kim, played by Winona Ryder. Edward quickly becomes liked by all as he uses his scissors to create lawn art and cute hairstyles. After he is caught burglarizing a house, for Kim and her jerk boyfriend, he finds himself ostracized. In the end Edward is able to find love, his place, create more art, and make it snow.

Why it’s Great: First of all it has Vincent Price, in fact this was his last film before he died. It also is a super cute story, even though it has its sad moments. The last section of the film deals with Christmas, as Peg and her family throw a huge Christmas party that no one comes to as they are shunning the fam. I love Winona Ryder’s white dress in this film, I really want one for myself. It’s also really cute at the end when Edward makes the ice sculptures, and snow.

Holly

19) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Our second Tim Burton film on our list. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and the most popular guy in Halloweentown is disatisfied with his life. He journeys out of town and discovers doors to other holiday towns. When he goes into Christmasland he decides that he will take over Christmas and improve it. Of course nothing turns out quite as he plans.

Why it’s Great: Its an amazing film, the music, characters, etc. Of course best lines, “why does nothing turn out as I plan“. My favorites are “What’s This?” and “Sally’s Song“.

Holly

18) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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Sandra Bullock works at a toll booth and everyday she watches the distinguished (and my opinion ugly) Peter Gallagher and has developed a crush on him. One day he is attacked and injured and she saves his life. At the hospital she is mistaken for his fiancé and soon brought into the family. She falls in love with them, along with Gallagher’s brother, played by Bill Pullman. Gallagher wakes up to find himself massively confused, and Bullock finds herself engaged to the wrong brother. Everything works out on the end as all is righted.

Why it’s Great: Well first of all it has Bill Pullman :D. Secondly it is a hilarious film, just like all of Bullock’s comedys. I mean the amnesia scene is to die for. The proposal scene with Bill Pullman is so an adorable and romantic!

Holly

17) The Holiday (2006)

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Two women who have  suffered horrible breakups switch homes for the Christmas holiday. Iris, Kate Winslet, in England goes to California, and befriends an elderly neighbor and falls in love with a Hollywood movie theme writer (played by Jack Black). Amanda, Cameron Diaz, in California, moves to England and falls for Iris’ brother, Jude Law, widower with two kids.

Why it’s Great: Its an absolutely adorable idea and the couples match up are perfect. Of course the most points go to the sexy dad, Jude Law. 😀

Holly

16) Nestor: The Long- Eared Donkey  (1977)

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Nestor is a donkey born with extremely long ears. In the vein of Dumbo, Nestor is constantly picked on and bullied for being so different. An angel encourages him that he was born that way for a reason and has a special purpose in life. Eventually, Nestor finds himself being the donkey that Mary rides in to Bethlehem, protecting her and the unborn Baby Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is such a cute movie!!!

Holly

15) The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

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This film is based on the song, “Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy“. A little boy and his animals end up becoming slaves to a circus, being treated cruelly by all. He escapes and one of his animals is injured. He meets up with the Three Magi’s caravan and goes with them to see Baby Jesus. His animal is healed and he plays his drum as thank you to Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is one of the most adorable classic cartoons that they used to show every year on abcFam.

Holly

14) Jack Frost (1979)

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Jack Frost has fallen for a human girl and makes a deal that will allow him be human. He is until Spring to win her over and must also gain a horse and bag of gold in order to remain human. Being a human is harder than he thought as he has no idea the social niceties and has to contend with Kubla Khan, the evil dictator.

Why it’s Great: Jack is amazing, much better than the gold knight the girl end sup with ;(. Makes you knida wish he was real. This cartoon also has great musical numbers as “Jack Frost” and “Just What I Always Wanted“. I also loves Kubla Khan’s little dummy that he talks to.

Holly

13) The Godfather (1972)

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Such an awesome film! The Godfather is a story about the Italian mafia in the 1940s. This specific sect is overseen by Don Corleone. He has three sons; Alfredo (played by John Cazale), Santino (James Caan), and Michael (Al Pacino); and one daughter, Connie (Talia Shire). Santino is next in line to be godfather, skipping over his brother Fredo. Unlike his siblings, Michael wants nothing to do with his father’s  business, instead wanting to live a “legal” life. When Don Corleone is shot by a rival, it changes everyone’s plans as they are all spiraled down a new path.

Why it’s Great: Two words, The Godfather. There is no way to describe how amazing this film is, well actually You’ve Got Mail does a pretty good job.  You just have to check it out for yourself. This film isn’t a Christmas movie really, but does have a Christmas scene, so it counts. It’s funny, but even though this doesn’t have Thanksgiving, we usually watch it then in my family.

Holly

12) The Nativity Story (2006)

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A retelling of the birth of Christ from Mary and Joseph’s point of view. It shows the struggle that Joseph goes through, contemplating what to do about pregnant Mary. Then the two have to travel far and long to Bethlehem.

Why it’s Great: They tried to keep the story as historical accurate as possible and do such a great job. It really tries to bring the biblical text to life and get you to empathize with the two and the situations they are going through.

Holly

11) The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

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A mini-series based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved books. Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, enter a wardrobe and a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

Why it’s Great: C.S. Lewis’ great book = Great movie. Enough said! While Christmas isn’t the biggest part of the plot, the group do run into Father Christmas who gives them gifts they need to win the fight against the White Witch. Peter gets a sword and shield, Susan a bow and horn that will always bring help, and Lucy a dagger and a healing substance to help the wounded. While this movie was remade by Disney, it doesn’t hold a candle to this mini-series, as the series while not having the great special effects, is almost exactly the book.

Holly

10) White Christmas (1954)

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Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are WWII veterans who became a song and dance duo. The two meet up with a pair of singing sisters and both head off to the same ski lodge. There they discover their old general is the owner, and may lose the place from lack of buisness and snow. The two come up with an idea to house a show there with the sisters. Bing Crosby starts a romance but the two break it off due to some misunderstandings. In the end they are all reunited and have a great number honoring the General and singing the title, White Christmas.

Why it’s Great: First of all Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye! Secondly this has some truly great musical numbers; such as “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army“, “Sisters“, along with the title song. It’s a silly and zany film, you’ll love it.

Holly

8) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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The Peanut gang try to figure out the true meaning of Christmas amid all the insanities of the holiday.

Why it’s Great: It’s Peanuts! Snoopy is adorable as ever and Linus gives a great true meaning of Christmas speech.

Holly

9) A Garfield Christmas (1987)

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Garfield and the gang head out to the Arbuckle farm for some old fashioned country Christmas

Why it’s Great: Its from the good Garfield cartoons I grew up watching as a kid. That hilarious fat cat always makes the season brighter. Go here to watch.

Holly

7) A Christmas Story (1983)

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Adult Ralphie narrates the time when his nine-year-old self desired a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and all the trouble he went through to try and get it. Throughout the time leading up to Christmas, he, his family, and friends are involved in all kinds of crazy antics. The father wins a female leg lamp, Ralphie’s friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a pole, his brother won’t eat unless pretending to be a pig, Ralphie gets a pink-footed bunny pajamas, etc. It all leads up to one crazy Christmas.

Why it’s Great: This movie is extremely hilarious. Pretty much every scene I mentioned there and more. It is  is truly a classic piece. You gotta add it to your Christmas countdown. 😀

Holly

6) The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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The Bishop is trying to get a new cathedral built along with all his other duities. Feeling stressed out, he calls out to God for help, and is answered by angel Dudley, Cary Grant. Dudley helps out, that is by spending all his time with the Bishop’s wife. Through this the Bishop is finally able to see what really matters in his life and the true meaning of Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Uh…Cary Grant! It also has such funny actics as when we see Grant’s angel powers. I mean I wish I had his tree decorating skills. This film also proves the old adage, “be careful what you wish for” is something that one should think on. 😀 For more thoughts on this film go here.

Holly

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

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The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

Why it’s Great: The Grinch was always my fav Dr. Seuss book. I just love the story so much! I remember that one year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal and sent away for a special Grinch keychain. I lost it though in one of our moves.  This film is also awesome because it has the amazing Boris Karloff narrating, and has one of the all-time best songs, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.

Holly

4) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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A Macy’s department store Santa believes himself to be the “real” Santa Claus. His insistence lands him in jail and then in a huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is real

Why it’s Great: It’s an amazing film about faith, believing in the intangible, and the true meaning of Christmas.  Edmund Gwenn is a perfect Santa, Maureen O’Hara is lovely as always, and it stars a young Natalie Wood.  It has amazing scenes as Santa turns Macy’s into a store of goodwill, taking down the psychologist, and pretty much just being adorable. Best scene ever is the court scenes when they prove Santa’s real. 😀

Holly

3) Holiday Inn (1942)

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Bing Crosby plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life. It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place) Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love. Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, played by Fred Astaire, comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Why it’s Great: The holiday songs are amazing; White Christmas, Happy Holidays, (Come to) Holiday Inn, Be Careful It’s My Heart, I Can’t Tell a Lie, etc. The wonderful partnership of Bing and Fred make this movie really great! 😀 A great watch. Now for some fun facts. This is the first time “White Christmas” was performed in a film.  The same set was used for the film White Christmas which also stars Bing. The hotel chain Holiday Inn got their name from this movie.

Holly

2) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

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Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan work together in a shop in Budapest and can’t stand each other. Unbeknownst to them they are actually the pen pals that they are falling in love with. Stewart realizes this and does everything he can to show Sullivan that he is the man she loves and the two end up happily ever after. It was later remade as You’ve Got Mail.

Why it’s Great: JIMMY STEWART! That pretty much says it all. I love this film so, so, so, much, there are no words to describe how great it is. So romantic! ❤

Holly

1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man. An angel, Clarence, is given the story of George’s life and sent down from heaven to help him. George has always dreamed of leaving his hometown and traveling the world. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he continues to be stuck there. He marries and helps the town in many ways, but doesn’t realize all the good he does. However, when a large sum of money goes missing and everything in his life seems to be going wrong he wishes he was never born at all. Clarence helps him by granting his wish and showing him how ugly Bedford Falls would be without him.

Why it’s Great: This is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. There’s a reason why this film is played every year, besides the fact that it is JIMMY STEWART! It is a great movie that really shows you how even the smallest acts can make a difference in people’s life. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this film go here. This film always makes me think of my dad. He has done so much for people and can get frustrated as he doesn’t feel like his has accomplished much. “Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great day full of family, friends, and fun. 😀

Horrorfest Hangover


Horrorfest has ended. 😦 I am actually very sad that it is over. I thought I’d be a bit relieved to have the pressure of posting everyday be over, but I actually kind of miss it. I toyed with the idea of doing a Thank-o-Rama: the 4 Thursdays of Thanksgiving and posting a fav TV episode or movie that revolves/has Thanksgiving in it (I had to include TV Shows as I can only think of three movies with Thanksgiving; Holiday Inn, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and Miracle on 34th Street. Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street don’t even really count since they are Christmas movies.) Then I thought of doing War Writings: 11 Days to Honor Armed Forces for Veteran’s Day, but I thought it would be far too soon to commit myself to another everyday project. I need to take a momentary breather.

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I am considering doing something like The 12 Posts of Christmas and something like Lovetales: 14 Fun-filled Romances for Valentines Day. Also Viva Mexico: Cinco dias de los Chicanos for Cinco de Mayo. I’m still working on the actual titles for these. I thought about doing Pot o’ Gold: Seven Irish Tales for St. Patrick’s Day because I don’t think I can think of 17. The only films I could think of that I have seen that revolve around Irish people/Irish flavor are Rudy (Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish), Luck of the Irish, Gangs of New York, Far and Away, A Leprechaun’s Christmas (doesn’t really count as it is a Christmas movie), The Fighter, and Under the Waterfall. That’s exactly seven.

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Doing this whole project was completely different than I expected. I planned to do posts for all the Universal Monster Movies ; like The Mummy, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein and Phantom of the Opera; along with all their remakes, to you know compare and contrast, but I just ran out of posts to finish them all. I also really wanted to do posts on Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, like The Birds, Psycho, Rebecca, and Strangers on a Train; but also wasn’t able to get to them. I really, really, really wanted to do Vincent Price films; like House on Haunted Hill, The Tomb of Ligeia, The Pit and the Pendulem, etc.

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I noticed that a lot of posts I chose to do really depended on how much time I was able to devote a day to a post; along with what I was in the mood for to write about. Sometimes I started a post, but never finished it as I wasn’t in the right mood.

I also wrote posts on films I just happened to watch at the time like Perfect Stranger, Aliens in the Attic, Hallowe’en Party, The Black Cauldronand The Cabinet of Dr. Caligarithose were not films I had seen before or planned to write a post on. They just kind of happened along the way. Well I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did making them.

I’d like to know which were your faves are so vote, vote, vote! If you are unsure which to pick then why don’t you pop over and start at the beginning. Also I’d like to know what you wish I had posted on. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the page! 😀

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For more on Horrorfest, go to Horrorfest II: The Oddities of October

Or check out my leatest Horrorfest postings, Horrorfest III: The Revenge

When Horror Doesn’t Stay on the Screen: Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

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When horror doesn’t stay on the screen!

I loved this film so much as a kid! There are so many amazing things involved in it!

  1. It’s a DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie). Now I’m from the generation that these movies came out every month and were amazing. Today all the DCOMs are completely dumb, and poorly written, but back in my day they were actually something to look forward to on a friday night.
  2. It’s a very well done modern version of the Phantom of the Opera. I loved how well they do it! I love almost everything Phantom of the Opera-y. (The 1945 version was atrocious! Don’t watch it!)
  3. They reference so many other movies, that it just makes a cinephile like me squeal in delight!
  4. It has MICKEY ROONEY! Yes this amazing man plays a misunderstood guy, and classic film buff. When I watched this film I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to have quotes and film plots memorized that I just whipped out whenever something came up that was similar. Phantom of the Operamay have started me in my love of classic film, but this film completely changed my personality.
  5. It takes place in a movie theater, one of my favorite places to be and where I have always wanted to work at. I wish I could get a job there, but so many others want to work there it’s hard to get in. 😦 One day!
  6. Taylor Handley was the main guy. I had the hugest crush on him when this film came out, I was like 8 or 9 and in love with him.

So the film starts out with the credits and Fugue in D Minor, classic, horrific stuff! Love the creepiness of the organ! We are also told that when the original theater was destroyed to create the new megaplex, a man was supposedly trapped in there and now haunts the megaplex for all eternity.

Taylor Handley’s character, Pete Riley, introduces us to the megaplex where he works at.

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They are getting ready for a huge film premiere, Midnight Mayhem, at the theater. He is the assistant manager and not only in charge of a making sure everything goes just right, but a crazy collection of workers.

  1. There’s Shawn MacGibbon and Senior Manager. He is getting passed over for the owner’s doofus son. Something he is not happy about. He’s Pete’s boss.
  2. Ricky “Rules”. He always follows the rules to a T and makes sure everyone else does.
  3. “Scary” Terry. She is always talking about some seemingly innocent thing turns out to be murderous. She loves the macabre.
  4. Hillary “Honey”. She’s the mom of the group and always calling everyone dear, sweetie, or honey.
  5. “Question” Mark. Whenever he’s told to do something, he always answers with a question mark.
  6. “Racy” Lacy. Always moving a mile a minute.
  7. Merle. He’s not really under Pete either, he kind of does what he wants. He’s the projectionist and handyman extraordinaire. He feels under-appreciated at his job.
  8. “Movie” Mason. Played by the wonderful Mickey Rooney! I love Movie Mason and wanted to be just like him. Movie Moreland!  I love the sound of that. Mason is mistreated by Shawn MacGibbon. Everyday Mason comes with a mock schedule, his family owned the old theater and it was his personal playground. MacGibbon hates him, and is verbally abusive to him every time he sees him. Mason is absolutely awesome though. He has an amazing speech in the film. It was so well written.

Movie Mason: When we arrive in this world magic is all around us…Yet as the years pass, simple pleasures aren’t quite so simple to find. Myths… Legends… Fall away. Santa’s secrets are revealed. Card tricks lose their fascination. True wonder is hard to come by… But there is always magic at the movies. Pirate ships… bicycles that fly… angels earn their wings, beautiful women marry handsome men and we all learn that there is no place like home. To destroy that magic, to shatter those moments to me is a sin so grave it would almost be incomprehensible!”

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Pete’s mom is going out that night so he ends up being stuck with his cinephillic brother and sister. This turns out to be the least of his problems as there is a masked figure roaming about that is causing all kinds of disasters all over the theater.

Electrical systems fail, a candy machine breaks down and shoots the gumballs all over the lobby. Then the popcorn machine goes haywire and Pete has to figure out how to stop it. Every time he solves one problem new ones start popping up.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Phantom then starts pranking films based on their plot or name. In Cyclone Summer, a Twister like film, he places a giant fan that blows destructively at the audience.

In Cut to Black, he makes lights flicker on and off, cutting to black. He continues on this spree. Giant blowups ballons are misplaced and pop up elsewhere, MAYHEM ALL OVER.

Pete valiantly tries to stop him and determine who he is! Will He find out? Watch and see!

Now for movies he references are the following (I watched this a few weeks ago so sorry if I don’t list all of them, comment any I don’t catch):

  1. King Kong: The Gorilla balloon that attacks the people in the Mayhem Movie
  2. The Wizard of Oz: Mason quotes from it and references it.
  3. Twister: Cyclone Summer is a parody of it
  4. Godzilla, The Giant Behemoth, The Great Gila Monster, or The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms: Midnight Mayhem has a huge dinosaur that attacks a city.
  5. Scream. The girls are in the bathroom and the phantom is lurking around scaring them much like he tries to scare Sydney.
  6. Scream 3. A similar scene with the phantom lurking around happens in here too.
  7. Sleepless in Seattle. The kids hope that the mom will be proposed to in this way.
  8. Miracle on 34th Street. He references it in his speech he gives on magic.
  9. Hollywood Hotel. Mickey Rooney sings the song “Hooray for Hollywood“.
  10. The Sword in the Stone. They are running a promotional that if you pull the plastic sword out of the plastic stone you will win free movie passes. Pete runs and grabs it to destroy the blow up balloons.
  11. Tarzan or George of the Jungle. Pete swings on a vine over to capture the phantom.
  12. Phantom of the Opera. Of course, the whole film is based on it!

That’s the fearful post for today! More to come! 3 Days ‘Till Halloween

Here is a cover page/poster I made for my facebook page for my countdown to Halloween.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to Feast Your Eyes on My Accursed Ugliness

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For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to It’s BACK: The Sequel

For more of horror happening in a movie theater, go to Midnight Madness

For more on Disney, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m An Assistant Pig-Keeper

For more on Disney Channel Original Movies, go to Bowled Over

For more on The Giant Behemoth, go to From the Sea Burning Like Fire 

For more of my fav quotes, go to I Want Friend Like Me