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Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Movies

by Angel C|November 29, 2013|in Best & Worst Lists, News|

Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Movies

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? There are actually countless reasons for it. The occasion is especially celebrated in North America on the fourth Thursday in November as a religious observance and tradition to commemorate a harvest festival made by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621.

As people gather together for the Thanksgiving meal, the movie industry also sees to it that it participates in the celebration by providing entertainment for the entire family or household to enjoy. Throughout its history, Hollywood has made countless Thanksgiving-themed movies; some of which, though, may be forgettable; but many are being played over and over again every year.

Here are my top 10 best Thanksgiving movies that I’m sure a lot of Americans love to watch. You may even want to add your own favorites in the list.

Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Movies

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#10 – Grumpy Old Men (1993)

Over fifty years of fighting (since childhood) over nothing, these grumpy old neighbors have finally found something worth fighting for – a woman who just moved in across the street. I like Jack Lemmon’s and Walter Matthau’s performance as the feuding Grumpy Old Men. They are hilarious; see what love can do, indeed! Although Thanksgiving is not the center point of the story, the occasion definitely captures the spirit.

#9 – What's Cooking? (2000)

Four different cultures from different ethnic backgrounds gather together to share dinner along with their respective stories at Thanksgiving! Isn’t this a lovely occasion? I like how these characters handle their peculiar problems in a light manner, making me laugh along and empathize with their drama. What’s Cooking gives us a glimpse of the varied problems that each family has to deal with and how they handle it. This may some-how lead us, the viewers, to think that we are not alone in having so many burdens in life. At least, we should be thankful for the life we have.

#8 – Son-in-Law (1993)

This is hilarious! A college girl, whose lifestyle has changed with city life, comes home to a farm community with his equally flamboyant best friend, to the surprise of everyone. You simply can’t help laughing at how the conservative neighborhood gape at the sight of these two free-spirited individuals. The story is simple and yet full of thrill. The overall production is very satisfactory. Son-in-law is worth spending time on.

#7 – Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

This comedy-drama is one of Woody Allen’s finest films, which starts and ends with two different Thanksgiving dinners. The story revolves around a dysfunctional clan with complex issues to deal with, but handled in a hilarious way. I commend the performance of the lead characters here. Hannah and Her Sisters is one of the must see movie on Thanksgiving.

#6 – Dutch (1991)

This comedy-drama film has a heart! Its story is simple and yet focused on what it is all about, giving importance on family get-together during Thanksgiving. I like the way Dutch makes his way to persuade his girl-friend’s son to come home with him for the occasion. The overall production of Dutch is carefully planned out.

#5 – Alice’s Restaurant (1969)

“You can get anything you want at Alice Restaurant…” so goes the song that Arlo Guthrie wants his listeners to sing with feelings. Yes, Alice Restaurant is a very good Thanksgiving treat. The story is light and the performance of the actors is perfect because director Arthur Penn cooks it just right.

#4 – A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

I like Peppermint Patty’s move of arranging everyone in their gang to celebrate Thanksgiving at Charlie Brown’s place for Thanksgiving. Linus, Snoopy, Woodstock, and the rest learn the true meaning of the occasion as they gather around a table tennis table for their unique meal of buttered roast and popcorn. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is indeed a good treat for the young ones.

#3 – Pieces of April (2003)

Pieces of April shows us that we don’t need to have a perfect place to live in order to build a family home. What matters most is the harmonious relationship of one another in the household. Yes, the directing may be quite amateurish, but the director is able to drive the essence of the film.

#2 – Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles captures the very essence of Thanksgiving, teaching us that the best way to spend it is with loved ones and family, but also with due respect for those who have lost some kin. The movie is both funny and sentimental: the ending may make you cry. It has a wholesome plot.

#1 – Home for the Holidays (1995)

This Jodie Foster-directed biting comedy-drama is a perfect treat for Thanksgiving. It’s wholesome and endearing to spend this special occasion with ones’ old parents once a year because it renews family ties. Besides, keeping the oldies company even for a short period is surely a delight for them. Home for the Holidays reminds its viewers the essence of family.


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