Thanksgiving at Holiday Inn
Posted on: 5th November 2011 12:49:43


 Welcome to the November Installment — Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn was chosen for inclusion in the workbook because it fits well into the overall holiday theme of the book.

In fact, this film is a great companion piece to many of the other films. It takes us through several holidays referenced in the guidebook -- New Year, President’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Therefore, if you find yourself in need of an additional film for any of these holidays this one is it.

I love this film for the 3 traditional reasons, the Irving Berlin score, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire but also for another not so traditional reason – it is ripe with great trivia, (The Holiday Inn hotel chain took its name from this film, Ginger Rogers and Rita Hayworth were the first choices for the female leads), and great early performances by its stars. 

Holiday Inn introduces us to Irving Berlin classic songs,  White Christmas”, “Easter Parade” and the under appreciated “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For”— yes, there is a song for Thanksgiving!

Astaire gives a great performance and proves that he is not always the nice guy. In this film he is not very likeable–from the beginning he is a thief out to steal from his partner Bing Crosby, starting with Crosby’s fiancée Virginia Dale.

As the story unfolds we find that each gentlemen has stolen his share of women from the other.  We find that neither is very likeable which is uncharacteristic for each actor. Although the story follows the basic formula of boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl—the way in which it is accomplished is different from most films.  Each character has to prove their worth to the audience.

It is during these scenes that my group and I discuss the measure of a man, if men plot against each other to steal a girl or use a girl as bait are they worth the trouble? Some great conversation comes out here.

This film is not only great for its use of character but also its use of history.

My group and I talk about World War II and military service during the Independence Day scene.  We reminisce about life on a farm when Bing Crosby’s character Jim, decides he wants to live the “lazy” life of a farmer.  The ladies in my group remember their grandmothers “putting up” preserves when Jim brings preserves to his friends in the city.

 For the first time, we find ourselves reminiscing not only about flirting and dating but also proposing to your mate as Jim clumsily attempts to propose to his girl.  Some great stories come out here!

Of course as with all the films I find the language irresistible from it’s use of ”dungarees” to “stuffed shirts”  --which opens the door to a word finding exercise.

Exercise aside, where else could you find not only a great way   to promote language, self-expression, long-term and short-term memory  but also to promote the holiday during one of the best movies to come from 3 of the greatest musical talents of all time  – Berlin, Crosby and Astaire?  Nowhere  but Movies and Music~



Thanks for looking in!

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Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!


See you in December for a trip to another Inn—The Columbia Inn in Pine Tree Vermont – for a White Christmas!



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