Festive Facts in a Film File of Fun #3

 Egg nog Yen.

1] IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE flopped on first release but became a Christmas television favourite, prompting director Frank Capra to attempt to capitalize on its success by producing yuletide versions of several of his other films. Results included IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, SAINT NICK AND OLD LACE, MR. SMITH GOES TO CHRISTMASTOWN, SANTA’S DIRIGIBLE, and the rather surprising THE BITTER EGG NOG OF GENERAL YEN.

2] THE MUPPET’S NATIVITY was to have starred Kermit and Miss Piggy as Joseph and Mary, Little Robin as the Baby Jesus, and The Great Gonzo as Herod, before alarmed TV execs cancelled the project in favour of THE GREAT MUPPETS ESCAPE with Fozzie Bear as Steve McQueen and Professor Bunsen Honeydew as Donald Pleasence.

I can't see a bloody thing.

3] After the success of THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES and DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN, director Robert Fuest and A.I.P. planned a seasonal follow-up, I SAW MOMMY KISSING DR. PHIBES, in which Vincent Price’s mad surgeon would execute the members of the jury who convicted him using methods derived from the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. But the script ran aground over the issue of how to murder somebody using eight maids a-milking.

Terry-Thomas is slain by the two French Hens

4] Apart from the modern-dress SCROOGED with Bill Murray, and the porno SCREWED with Johnson Package, there have been numerous reimaginings of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, including a giant version with Peter Mayhew and Richard Kiel, HUGE SCROOGE, Chantal Akerman’s Belgian translation, BRUGES SCROOGE, and the 1930s canine version from the makers of the Dogville Shorts, CUJO SCROOGE-O.

Quality sledging.

5] Steven Spielberg bought the sled supposedly used in CITIZEN KANE for $20,000. He said at the time, “Rosebud will go over my typewriter to remind me that quality in movies comes first.” But in fact he just uses it for sledging.

3 Responses to “Festive Facts in a Film File of Fun #3”

  1. I was lucky enough to find BOTH “Phibes” movies sitting on a sales table at my local library for about a dollar each. What fun. Vincent Price scared the hell out of me as a kid, much more so than Lugosi or Karloff. It was the voice, I think. John Carradine was like that too. Brrrr…

    Steven Spielberg owning the sleigh from “Citizen Kane” is like Jed Clampitt owning an original Picasso. Truly sickening…

  2. just back from its a wonderful life at the filmhoose – sob sob

  3. Nice analogy, Cliff! I personally like to think it’s not the real “Rosebud” (welles claimed they burned every sled they had) but the one seen in HELLZAPOPPIN.
    Glad you had a good time, Mary! That movie is guaranteed to squeeze the tears out at xmas time. My next post is about another, more obscure Ho’wood classic that has the same impact in a quieter way…

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