Daily Dirt: Start your Thanksgiving movie watching with ‘The Big Chill’


The cast of "The Big Chill."

Daily Dirt for Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

If you’ve never seen “The Big Chill,” you absolutely must, if for no other reason than the 3-minute opening. Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 440 of The Daily Dirt.

1. The best movies with Thanksgiving as one of the primary themes? Here are my choices. I don’t think you can wrong with any of these medal winners.

Gold medal: “The Big Chill” (1983).  A terrific cast, some perceptive insight and, of course, a great soundtrack. The death of a mutual friend brings a group of friends together for both reflection and re-evaluation. It’s a movie that remains as fresh as it did almost 40 years ago. “While ‘The Big Chill’ isn’t explicitly a Thanksgiving movie, it has many of the holiday’s themes (gathering with loved ones, the explosion of simmering disagreements, preparing and sharing a meal together) and a nostalgic flashback scene that takes place during a Thanksgiving past,” writes Cady Lang for Time magazine. Stars include Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Tom Berenger, JoBeth Williams and Glenn Close.

Silver medal: “You’ve Got Mail” (1998). The film’s autumn setting in New York City, plus the performances of Tom Hanks and pre-plastic surgery Meg Ryan, make this movie the perfect flick to watch on a cool November evening in the comfort of your living room. You’ll feel great afterward. I promise. 

Bronze medal: “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947): Most think of this black-and-white classic as a Christmas movie, but don’t forget that it actually begins on the day of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Stars include Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and John Payne.

2. Jerry Lee Lewis, once described as the “untamable” rock and roll pioneer, died a few days ago at age 87. While he may always be remembered by many for marrying his 13-year-old cousin in 1958, his talent, unlike his morals, never will be questioned.

Lewis was a part of the inaugural Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction class in 1987. He entered the hall with Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers.

Lewis is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, one of only seven artists to claim that honor. The others are Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Hank Williams and the Everly Brothers. 

The best-known songs of Lewis are arguably “Great Balls of Fire” and Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On.”

“He was a one-man stampede who made the fans scream and the keyboards swear,” wrote Hillel Italie of the Associated Press.

Fittingly, he was known as “Killer.” 

“I was born to be on a stage. I couldn’t wait to be on it. I dreamed about it. And I’ve been on one all my life,” Lewis said in “Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story,” a 2014 biography by Rick Bragg. “That’s where I’m the happiest.”

3. The best of “Found on Facebook” in recent days:

  • “Procrastination is totally a good thing. You always have something to do tomorrow, plus you have nothing to do today.”
  • “What did the buffalo say to his son at the school drop-off? Bison.”
  • “I exercise daily by running up and down the street, knocking on all the doors. It’s called Jehovah’s Fitness.”
  • “Amal and Juan are identical twins. Their mom only carries one photo, because if you’ve seen Juan you’ve seen Amal.”
  • “The girl in the middle of a tennis court is Annette.”

Steve Thought O’ The Day
“If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.” Now THAT is a classic.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. If Steve watches “The Big Chill” on Thanksgiving, odds are he doesn’t make it to the end because of the mandatory Thanksgiving afternoon nap.

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