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Three Days of the Condor? A Christmas Movie? And what other unlikely films are filled with seasonal…er… cheer? December 26, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Well, I never thought of it as such. Er… not many Christmas films open with a bloodbath as a covert US Intelligence unit is wiped out at its safe house. But this Slate piece does have some logic to it.

Christmas remains in the background throughout, playing a supporting role, but it’s as important to the film’s overall impact as Tiny Tim is to A Christmas Carol. It makes itself known through three popular carols: “Good King Wenceslas” lingers behind Joe as he’s reporting the murder of his colleagues; “Joy to the World” plays in concert with the electronic soundtrack of hospital equipment; and carolers sing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” over the film’s final scene. The emotional tenor of each of those episodes shifts as Joe’s outlook changes—taking him from devastation to cynicism to determination—but taken together these carols transform the movie into something like a dirge, a lament not only for the specific circumstances of Joe Turner’s bereavement, but also for the loss that we will all someday come to know: the loss of everything. (Merry Christmas!)

I guess this functions in much the same way as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (and the author mentions Die Hard too, in comments people talk about Lethal Weapon(!) ), mentioned here some years back, also has hints of a Christmas movie too.


1. Dermot O Connor - December 26, 2016

Just saw ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ (1945) for the first time. Wonderful movie. Bit of the Horatio Alger to it, but not so much that it’s nauseating. The poor family have to lie and cheat to survive the ‘American Dream’ (and dad dies in a final attempt to give his daughter the education she deserves). A far cry from Jimmy Stewart and his bloody angel.

Of course, ‘Die Hard’ has become a de facto xmas classic (the cinemas here in Portland usually screen it for a couple of days in the week before xmas).


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