Christmas Top Ten Throwback #9: It's A Wonderful Life

215px-Its_A_Wonderful_Life_Movie_Poster It's a Wonderful Life is that one Christmas movie that makes you realize that the people in your life matter for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  George Bailey learns this lesson the hard way...but at least he learns it and so do all the people whose lives he has touched and vice-versa.

It's a Wonderful Life,  produced and directed by Frank Capra, is based on the short story "The Greatest Gift", which Philip Van Doren Stern wrote in 1939 and published privately in 1945. The film is now considered one of the most popular films in American cinema and due to numerous television showings in the 1980s has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season.

Despite initially performing poorly at the box office because of high production costs and stiff competition at the time of its release, the film's break-even point was $6.3 million, approximately twice the production cost, a figure it never came close to achieving in its initial release.

It's a Wonderful Life was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made...making it one of the most inspirational American films of all time.  Capra revealed that this was his personal favorite among the films he directed and that he screened it for his family every Christmas season.

Let's take a look back to George Bailey and his wonderful life...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4u-8FmlaO4

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Christmas Top Ten Throwback #8: Miracle on 34th Street

220px-Miracle_on_34th_StreetDidn't we all want Santa to be real when we were kids?  Wasn't life so much simpler and easier then?   It certainly was  for Virginia.  "Yes, Virginia...there is a Santa Claus" became a famous quote from the Oscar winning film Miracle on 34th Street. First released as The Big Heart in the United Kingdom, in 1947 Miracle on 34th Street was written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn.  Taking place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, the story focuses on the impact of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa and the  film has become a Christmas favorite.

Miracle on 34th Street won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Picture, losing to Gentleman's Agreement.

Davies also penned a short novelization of the tale, which was published by Harcourt Brace simultaneously with the film's release.

Let's take a look back a a very young Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara (who was also Jane in the Tarzan flicks...remember?) in Miracle on 34th Street...

[youtube=http://youtu.be/BvGKq7T9OD4]

 

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Christmas Top Ten Throwback #7: HOME ALONE

  220px-Home_aloneBaby...who can forget that look on McCauley Culkin's face and that famous scream.  Home Alone let us see up close and personal what could happen when a child accidentally gets left home during one of the busiest holiday seasons of the year and what this kid does for survival.  Kevin initially relishes being home alone, but soon has to contend with two would-be burglars played by Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci. The film also features Catherine O'Hara and John Heard as Kevin's parents.  In its opening weekend, Home Alone grossed $17 million in 1,202 theaters, averaging $14,211 per site and just 6% of the final total.It spawned a successful franchise, with four sequels and three video games, and with the main cast reprising their roles for the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Written by the late, great John Hughes (who brought us Ferris Bueller and 16 Candles), Home Alone was the highest-grossing comedy of all time.  Home Alone proved so popular that it stayed in theaters well past the Christmas season. It was the No. 1 film at the box office for 12 straight weeks, from its release weekend of November 16–18, 1990 through the weekend of February 1–3, 1991.  The film ended up making a final gross of $285,761,243, the top grossing film of its year in North America.  The film is listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-grossing live-action comedy ever.

By the time it had run its course in theaters, Home Alone was the third highest-grossing film of all time, according to the home video box. In total, its cinema run grossed $477,561,243 worldwide.  According to William Goldman the film's success prompted the creation of a Hollywood verb: "to be Home Aloned, meaning to have film's box office potential affected by the impact of Home Alone. Examples of movies that were Home Aloned include Three Men and a Little Lady and Kindergarten Cop.

Take a look back at Kevin and his adventures of being Home alone...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iNmVVlmmv8

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Christmas Top Ten Throwback #6: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

  220px-SCICTT_coverAs mentioned with some previous posts on Christmas Top Ten Throwback, Rankin-Bass produced many animated specials for television from hit Christmas songs.

In 1970 they produced the stop motion special...Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town. The film stars actor Fred Astaire as the narrator S.D. Kluger, Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus, Keenan Wynn as the Winter Warlock, and Paul Frees in various roles. Based on the hit Christmas song of the same name, Santa Clause is Comin' to Town tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be. The famous and traditional song was originally  introduced on the radio by Eddie Cantor in 1934.

The special was created using stop motion animation called "Animagic", in which all the characters are made out of wood and plastic and animated via stop-motion photography. It originally telecast December 14, 1970 by ABC and continues to air every year on sibling channel ABC Family, though both channels have at times edited the special to make room for commercials (ABC has cut two key songs, as well as two other songs in half; ABC Family has cut several scenes that might be traumatizing to younger viewers, like Kris climbing, and leaping to escape to prevent children from doing dangerous stunts, Winter Warlock knowing Kris will return, & telling him he'll never escape including the scene where the Burgermeister Meisterburger character torches the seized toys in front of the children of Sombertown).

It is always fascinating to see how Claus came to be and how other holiday traditions began as well.  It is one of my favs along with sooo many others.  Take a nostalgic look back to Santa Claus is Coming to Town...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jQy_ppY2bI

 

Of course I HAD to post my favorite song about the Heat Miser...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SGlPnA_iCk

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Christmas Top Ten Throwback #5: White Christmas

WhiteChristmas Every holiday season when I am asked to sing a Christmas song, I choose "Count Your Blessings" from one of my favorite Christmas flicks White Christmas starring Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen.

White Christmas was intended to reunite Crosby and Fred Astaire for their third Irving Berlin showcase musical. Crosby and Astaire had previously co-starred in Holiday Inn (1942) – where the song 'White Christmas' first appeared – and Blue Skies   Financially, the film was a partnership between Crosby and Irving Berlin, who shared half the profits, and Paramount, who got the other half.

White_Christmas_1954_detail

Within the film, a number of soon-to-be famous performers appear. Dancer Barrie Chase appears un-billed, as the character Doris Lenz ("Mutual, I'm sure!"). Future Academy Award winner George Chakiris also appears as one of the stone-faced black-clad dancers surrounding Rosemary Clooney in "Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me". John Brascia leads the dance troupe and appears opposite Vera-Ellen throughout much of the movie, particularly in the "Mandy" and "Choreography" numbers. The photo Vera-Ellen shows of her brother Benny (the one Phil refers to as "Freckle-faced Haynes, the dog-faced boy") is actually a photo of Carl Switzer, who played Alfalfa in The Little Rascals, in an army field jacket and helmet liner. A scene from the film featuring Crosby and Kaye was broadcast the year after the film's release, on Christmas Day 1955, in the final episode of the NBC TV show Colgate Comedy Hour (1950–1955).

Here is one of my favorite moments from White Christmas...Rosemary Clooney singing Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXKxazgio2s

and my MOST favorite moment...SISTERS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ3FYYTOn5U

Years later...it has again been immortalized in a stage musical by the same name..WHITE CHRISTMAS...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgvuWaFJbN8

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Christmas Top Ten Throwback #4: Holiday Inn

6d6a6ec3-3dda-432a-a146-2b8e97ae2d25 I have a special affection for classic films.  Especially those that take me right back to being a kid in St. Louis. My Mom and I would watch lots of old movies and one of my favs starred Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn.

Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby), Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), and Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale) have a musical act popular in the New York City nightlife scene. On Christmas Eve, Jim prepares to give his last performance as part of the act before marrying Lila and retiring with her to a farm in Connecticut. At the last minute, Lila decides she is not ready to stop performing, and that she has fallen in love with Ted. She tells Jim that she will stay on as Ted's dancing partner. While heartbroken, Jim follows through with his plan and bids the act goodbye.

Holiday-Inn

One year later on Christmas Eve,  Jim is back in New York City. Farm life has proven difficult and he plans to turn his farm into an entertainment venue called "Holiday Inn", which will only be open on holidays.  The musical numbers are fused with a score written by Irving Berlin featuring his Christmas classic "White Christmas".  It's a lot of fun, so take look back with to Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgxObbIqubE

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Christmas Top Ten Throwback #3: A Charlie Brown Christmas

charlie-brown-christmas-cartoon-wallpapers-1600x1200 Ok...who does't love Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and the Peanuts gang??!!  "Chuck" as he was affectionately called by Peppermint Patty was a permanent fixture of my holiday season on television for as long as I can remember.

Believe it or not 2015 marks the 50th Anniversary of "A Charlie Brown Christmas".  Take a listen to this fabulous look back a the historic classic via NPR Radio

NPR RADIO SPECIAL ON "A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS"

[audio mp3="https://carlarenatascorner.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/20151130_atc_its_your_50th_christmas_charlie_brown.mp3"][/audio]

Lee Mendelson, working with veteran Disney and Warner Bros. animator Bill Melendez, collaborated on their first work, the holiday special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” a TV show that took chances and defied certain conventions and has remained utterly authentic to the trio’s collective vision.

a-charlie-brown-christmas

The debut of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” would capture not only the Emmy and Peabody awards, roughly half the people watching television across America and solidified its place in the nation’s holiday tv traditions where it  has remained a fixture ever since.

Everyone has had that Christmas where they couldn't afford a tree or that plastic one owned for decades finally die a slow painful death...lol.

e245019359efc29943674cc04dc18075

Take a look back with me to A Charlie Brown Christmas...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQeKdvXliIU

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Christmas Top Ten Throwback #2: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

11898278-mmmain When Spanky was a little pup, I took him out for a day trip to the doggy park on Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills.  He was so small, couldn't run fast like the other dogs due to a hip issue and I was immediately reminded of Rudolph. I vividly remember thinking, Spanky couldn't partake in the "reindeer games" and how sad that made me.  My little Spanky would always be different.

Have you ever had a moment when you felt different or didn't necessarily fit in?  Spanky and I have and so did Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Rudolph was loved unconditionally by his Mom and a cute little girly reindeer - Clarice.  However, his coach, his Dad and the other reindeers wanted nothing do with him because of his red nose that glowed.  It was the very thing that made Rudolph different that landed him a spot as lead reindeer for the big man himself - Santa Claus.

Rudolph_and_Santa

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is timeless because it is a lesson in not judging on looks but what is one's character.  A lesson that in the 21st century has yet to be mastered.

RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer_Soundtrack_CD

It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electricunder the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which was itself based on the 1939 poem Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer written by Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS, with the network unveiling a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005.

It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest running Christmas TV special in history, and one of only five 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast, the other four being A Charlie Brown ChristmasDr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole ChristmasThe Little Drummer Boy, and Frosty the Snowman.

Take a look back with me to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xqACmJvqaU

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Top 10 Countdown to Christmas #TBT - Frosty The Snowman

IMG_0275 Adults of a certain generation would remember waiting with excitement and anticipation during the holiday season for the day their favorite Christmas movie would come on television.

For the next ten days, I will share my top ten in no particular order.

Frosty The Snowman was one of those classics that even though its primary audience was children...most of the characters were voiced by adults, including voice legend June Foray.

Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin. Bass was also responsible for several classics including The Little Drummer Boy (1968), The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970), Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971), Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979) and the ver popular Rudolph the REd-Nosed Reindeer...most of which were based on classic Christmas tunes.

The classics were done with an animation style called stop-motion, which is being used again in such current animation films as The Boxtrolls.

Frosty comes to life when a discarded hat lands on top of the snowman, but the evil Professor Hinkle is determined to melt the good natured snowman in an attempt to prevent him from ever coming to life again.

I know it sounds sinister and a little to evil for children to bond with, but I assure you, I would cry like a baby. When Frosty melted and he came back to life, I was just as elated as the children in the cartoon if not more! It was one of the many things that help foster the imagination that led to my success as an actress.

Take a look back with me at Frosty the Snowman...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0uhieKvRXc

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!