The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, December 15 (7:30 p.m.)
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (CBS-TV, 1971)
This made-for-television movie about a family in Depression-era rural Virginia was the inspiration for popular series The Waltons that aired on CBS for nine seasons. Written by Earl Hamner, Jr., it was based on his book Spencer’s Mountain, which was also the source for the 1963 theatrical film of the same name starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara. Hamner also served as the narrator of the film. Apart from the children and Ellen Corby as Grandma Walton, the actors in The Homecoming were not the same as those in the later series. Patricia Neal won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for playing Olivia Walton and the movie was also nominated for three Emmy Awards. Andrew Duggan played the father.
Friday, December 16 (7:30 p.m.)
White Christmas (Paramount, 1954)
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as a top song-and-dance act who accompany Betty and Judy Haynes, a pair of sister entertainers (played by Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney) to the Columbia Inn in Vermont where the women are scheduled to perform during the Christmas holidays. They arrive to discover that the inn is run by the boys’ former WWII commanding officer who is about to go out of business due to a lack of snow. The foursome decides to put on a show to save the establishment. Michael Curtiz directed this Technicolor Christmas classic that features Irving Berlin songs Sisters, Snow, Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me, the Oscar-nominated Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep and, of course, White Christmas.
Saturday, December 17 (7:00 p.m.)
Martin Family Circus – Live in Concert SOLD OUT!
Just like a circus—upbeat, unexpected, accomplished and exciting—the Martin Family Circus aims to bring that same joy and a room full of fun with their heartwarming and lively “music that makes you smile!” This self-contained vocal-driven melodic band of two parents and four kids ranging in age from nine to eighteen packs a punch with their rich stack of family harmonies in a soaring blend, which Rolling Stone magazine calls “exuberant.” Representing four generations of musical heritage, Martin Family Circus delivers soulful family harmonies, steeped in traditional roots. Free ticket reservations for this family-friendly concert will be available at EventBrite.com beginning on November 21.
Sunday, December 18 (2 p.m.)
A Christmas Story (MGM, 1983)
Humorist Jean Shepherd narrates this memoir of growing up in Hammond, Indiana, during the 1940s when his greatest ambition was to receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. The film is based in part on Shepherd’s 1966 compilation of short stories titled In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, which originated on his radio and television programs. Writer-director Bob Clark had long dreamed of making a movie based on Shepherd’s work and his reverence for the material shows through as detail after nostalgic detail rings true with period flavor. Dozens of small but expertly realized moments reflect an astute understanding of human nature. Peter Billingsley—with his cherubic cheeks, oversized glasses and giddy grin—portrays Shepherd as a boy. Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon are his harried-yet-lovable parents. A Christmas Story was added to the National Film Registry in 2012.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.