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Article Archive >> Featured Topics

Popular Culture

Popular Culture

* As the holiday most associated with family gatherings in the U.S., Thanksgiving is often humorously portrayed in movies and television as an occasion for extended family members to bicker with one another.
* A popular American film about a character trying to get home to his family for Thanksgiving is Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
* The reverse situation is at the core of the more recent Pieces of April, which details an estranged older daughter hurriedly preparing to welcome her family for the holiday.
* A number of U.S. television programs have featured Thanksgiving Day specials. Friends, a program that aired on Thursday nights in the U.S., was especially noted for this. From 1991 to 1995, Comedy Central aired all-day Mystery Science Theater 3000 "Turkey Day" marathons on Thanksgiving. Also, the series of specials taken from the popular comic strip Peanuts includes A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, the holiday's most noted animated offering.
* In the U.S., the song "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie is associated with Thanksgiving, as the precipitating events described in the song occurred on Thanksgiving of 1965. "Alice's Restaurant" is played by many radio stations across the country at least once on that day.
* In the movie Shadowlands, British author C. S. Lewis marries an American woman (Joy Gresham played by Debra Winger), and he and his cook try to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for her and her son (Douglas Gresham played by Joseph Mazzello). Douglas insists on cranberry sauce but the cook doesn't know what that is. She tells Lewis, "You find me some cranberries and I'll sauce them!" She succeeds in making something, but it doesn't impress Douglas.
* In the film Grumpy Old Men, Ann Margaret's character reveals that she is not crazy about turkey and would thus not look forward to Thanksgiving should her new husband (played by Jack Lemmon) pass away before Christmas; her first husband's passing during Easter marred the holiday for her.
* The last concert ever performed by The Band occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 1976 and was recorded in the documentary The Last Waltz.

Source: This article incorporates text from the Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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