2017 Kids On Classics Movie Schedule

Jan    The Curse of the Cat People 1944

catpeople

Feb   My Favorite Wife         1940

Mar   Road to Utopia             1945

Apr   Top Hat                         1935

May  It Started with Eve       1941

June The Big Store                1941

July Stage Door Canteen     1943

Aug   The Parent Trap           1961

parent-trap

Sept  Good News                   1947

Oct    Tales of Manhattan     1942

Nov   The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938

Dec   It’s a Wonderful Life          1946

“Tell the crew they can sleep in the next world.” -The Pilot

Air force 1943

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Air Force was based on the events of Pearl Harbor but because the movie was made in 1943, the war not being over, there is some level of propaganda to keep the U.S. remembering the reasons we were fighting.

This movie features the B-17 bomber, Mary Ann, flying to Hawaii on December 7th when the radio is jumbled with the sounds of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Unable to land at first, the plane and its crew find the immediate aftermath of the island, reconfigure the plane, quickly refuel and bravely continue missions on several other islands.  The crew needs complete accuracy for a bombing run. Tension is high when the bombardier has got to be exact and a mix of weather and plane complications have the crew wondering if they will be able to hit the target.

According to IMDB the plane in this movie was a B-17B.  There were supposedly 19 of these aircraft that had the gunners’ bubbles replaced by the gun positions of the B-17C and B-17D respectively.

Christmas is coming!

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All month long, TCM is showing Christmas classics.  I will let you know each day which family friendly Christmas classic you need to see with your kids.  Bonus: they’re commercial free!

December 1st

The Man Who Came To Dinner

It happened on 5th avenue

O. Henry’s Full House

Meet John Doe

11 Veterans Day Classic Movies

This is the perfect day to share the reasons we are so grateful for all the people who serve and protect our beautiful country. Here is a list of 11 classic movies, made between 1941 and 1959, include a few dramas and many comedies. Thank a Veteran, watch a movie and open up a brand new conversation with your kids about our freedoms.

Since You Went Away 1944

The storyline:

The new normal many people faced when members of their families went away to serve in the war. The father leaves and his wife (Claudette Colbert) and two daughters (Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple) and the family takes in a boarder (Monty Woolley).

Kids discussion topics:

Drafting during the war, refugees, propaganda, rations and victory gardens.

Watch for:

Agnes Moorehead, of “Bewitched” fame plays the awful Mrs. Emily Hawkins who gossips, horded food and plays at being patriotic only when it gives her credit. Shirley Temple, by the way, became U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and chief of protocol of the United States later in her life.

 

Air force 1943

The storyline:

The B-17 bomber, the Mary Ann, is flying to Hawaii on December 7th when the radio is jumbled with the sounds of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Unable to land at first, the plane and its crew find the immediate aftermath of the island, reconfigure the plane, quickly refuel and bravely continue missions on several other islands.

Kids discussion topics:

This is certainly a little more of a heavy hitter for war pics. There are some deaths but the crew perseveres. This is when war becomes more real. You can also talk about American ingenuity when Joe Winocki (John Garfield) makes an alteration to the airplane for the tail gunner.

Watch for:

The opening credits begin with this message, “It is for us the living …. to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced ….. It is ……for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ….. that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln

The crew needs complete accuracy for a bombing run. Tension is high when the bombardier has got to be exact and a mix of weather and plane complications have the crew wondering if they will be able to hit the target.

 

Mister Roberts 1955

The storyline:

Mister Roberts (Henry Fonda) butt heads with his commanding officer (James Cagney) when he tries to get transferred from the cargo ship he is currently on onto a war ship.

Kids discussion topics:

There are always important roles to play and many ways to help our country. The captain preventing Mister Roberts from writing letters for transfer comes close to extortion.

Watch for:

The men have not had shore leave in some time. There is some drunken revelry. Also, the Doc (William Powell) makes a concoction out of hair tonic to taste like alcohol for Ensign Pulver (Jack Lemmon) to serve it to a Lieutenant. Great time to get some popcorn. Don’t pass this movie up on account of these small incidentals. These are great performances by these star players.

 

Once Upon a Honeymoon 1942

The storyline:

A social climber, Katherine (Ginger Rogers) marries a baron (Walter Slezak) and is followed by a newspaper man, Pat (Cary Grant) who thinks the baron has Nazi ties. They travel the country on their honeymoon and happen to stop at countries with occupied forces and the woman realizes the danger she is in.

Kids discussion topics:

Spies, newspapers (media), and there is a point where the girl and newspaper man are temporarily sidelined with a group of Jewish captives.

Watch for:

This film starts with humor but there is another layer of drama. At one point in the film, Katherine meets a maid at her hotel who is afraid because she and her children are Jewish. Katherine doctors her passport so they can gain their freedom. Watch this film to see the touching repayment of this deed.

 

The Glen Miller Story 1954

The storyline:

The story about Glen Miller (Jimmy Stewart) and how he continually needed to hock his trombone to do what he loved is backed by a fantastic musical score, of course. But there is also Millers real need to get involved during the war which mimics slightly how Jimmy Stewart was originally turned away from serving in real life because he did not meet the weight requirements. Stewart persevered and became a highly decorated colonel.

Kids discussion topics:

“America means freedom and there’s no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music.” Glenn Miller

Watch for:

Glenn Miller was flying to Paris on December 15th 1944 when his plane disappeared. The passengers and the plane have never been recovered.

 

Operation Petticoat 1959

The storyline:

We lovingly refer to this movie as the “pink submarine”. Why? Because when a spoiled Lieutenant con-man (Tony Curtis) is commandeering parts to fix their damaged submarine the crew has to mix grey and red paint together to cover the ship. The ship reluctantly accepts a group of stranded nurses and this gets everyone in trouble.

Kids discussion topics:

This one is just for fun. This movie has some of the best lines, though may promote some slightly bad behavior.

Watch for:

There is some tension with the girls aboard the ship. You will easily identify places during the movie to get popcorn refills.

 

The Best Years of Our Lives 1946

The storyline:

When three random soldiers return to the same home town after the war ends, each one finds that their families have changed but the veterans have changed as well.

Kids discussion topics:

This is a big movie to handle some realities facing the men and women coming home from war. A soda jerk (Dana Andrews) has to put up with a wife, job, coworkers and customers that don’t seem to take account for all that he did during the war. A banker (Fredric March) has a daughter who gets involved with the aforementioned soda jerk and has problems of his own when the bank he works for starts to commercialize loan processes and won’t do the right thing when lending money to vets. Homer (Harold Russell), a man who had both hands amputated after a fire in the war comes back to his sweat heart with doubts that she will still love him. There will be plenty to talk about.

Watch for:

Favorite scene when Homer, holding his sweet hearts hands, is getting ready to put a ring on her finger. Get tissues.

 

Hollywood Canteen 1944

The storyline:

Two service men are on sick leave and head to the Hollywood Canteen, based on a real night club for service men and women only. The character Slim (Robert Hutton) meets Joan Leslie and falls in love. The story is farfetched but it is irrelevant. It is the Hollywood stars that play themselves in fantastic skits, music revues and cameos that you are after here.

Kids discussion topics:

The real Hollywood Canteen apparently, after closing when the war ended, had nearly $500,000 remaining in the bank. A foundation was formed and still provides contributions to projects for the armed forces. This movie pays special tribute, curtesy of Joe E. Brown when he sings “You Can Always Tell a Yank”, to all the different countries, races and cultural backgrounds of the allies that were helping to win the war.

Watch for:

Roy Rogers, along with his beloved horse trigger, sing “Don’t Fence Me In”. Jack Benny does his thing with the violin up against concert violinist, Joseph Szigeti.

 

To Be or Not to Be 1942

The storyline:

An acting company in Poland takes matters into their own hands during the Nazi occupation.

Kids discussion topics:

“Wait a minute. I’ll decide with whom my wife is going to have dinner and whom she’s going to kill.” Josef Tura (Jack Benny). This is a comedy but done correctly on the seriousness of war. It brings again to light that everyone has a chance to do good things and help in ways when we don’t know how brave we really are until we are faced with a dire circumstance.

Watch for:

Greenberg (Felix Bressart) gets to finally recite his lines in the end when he thinks all is doomed.

 

Four Jills in a Jeep 1944

The storyline:

Four Hollywood stars head out to entertain troops on the USO circuit and showcase their adventures with mud, little warmth and not many of the creatures of comfort from home make you wonder how they always seemed to look so pretty in site of these things.

Kids discussion topics:

Let’s be obvious. Many things have changed since the 1940s. Many women served our country at home, in the factories, hospitals, as WACs, WASPs and WAVES during the war. We all try and help when and where we are able to serve. In this film, the truth is, the real actors were doing what was needed and that was to help to create a positive moral among the soldiers. Many of these Hollywood stars did risk their lives to go to places around the world to entertain. This is a lighthearted look at how these women took on some inconveniences so that they could help where they were needed.

Watch for:

Betty Grable, Alice Faye and Carmen Miranda all have song cameos. And the dance sequence by Mitzi Mayfair makes you think she has legs made out of rubber.

 

Never Wave at a WAC 1953

The storyline:

A socialite, Jo McBain (Rosalind Russell) decides to join the army. Nothing could go wrong here.

Kids discussion topics:

The discussion about women in the war during this time period will come up frequently. This is a playful fish out of water romp. The main character tries to use her social ties to gain leverage which also brings the subject up about going through the proper channels and doing what you said you would do. When McBain thinks she can just get away with easy work she realizes that she needs to actually work in the army to gain the real achievement that she is after. There is no substitute for hard work.

Watch for:

McBain does her fair share of stunts in this picture. The army put her through a series of tests including; freezing temperatures, crawling in mud and some type of gas exposure. Pretty sure the army still does this. Just with newer technology. Hail the heroes in the wool coats.

 

Bonus:

Watch the movie “Pinup Girl” 1944 with Betty Grable. Or at least watch the last 5 minutes. Betty Grable goes through, with an entire squad of women, a sequence of army marching commands.

Yes, it’s on youtube.

 

These girls had a great time watching “Bells are Ringing”.  A movie about a switchboard operator, played by Judy Holliday, who falls in love with a playwrite, played by Dean Martin.  Things get complicated when a *bookie sets up a phone line where the switchboard operator works.

 

*slang for book maker, a person who places bets on horses for people who gamble

 

Kids on Classics

Hi there,

We are glad you found us.

We are just getting started so grab your favorite snack and check back to see videos.  Kids will be telling you about some classic movies that you will enjoy with your entire family!

You will also be able to get lists of classic movies that kids will have fun watching and tips to help your family enjoy them even more.

Stay tuned!

Sarah