As an almost 90-year-old sentimental guy, I look forward to this season’s offerings of classic holiday movies. However, I wonder how younger people feel about seeing smiling faces, hearing happy voices and enjoying the lively dancing of those who are now deathly quiet.
In 1989, Robin Williams (more about him later) starred in the very descriptive movie, “Dead Poets Society.” The title was a sarcastic way the teacher told his students that all the famed authors they were studying were long gone.
Speaking of the dead, at this festive season we again watch the late Natalie Wood as the little girl who didn’t believe in Santa Claus in the 1947 movie. The title, “Miracle on 34th Street” hints that she would find out there really is a Santa Claus. She could’ve used a miracle when she was drowning off Catalina Island in 1981.
Judy Garland was another tragic star who died much too young in 1969. Her classic movie, “Meet Me In St. Louis”, featured her plaintive song, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. She died in a London loo after an overdose of merry little barbiturates.
Annette Funicello starred in all those rocking 1950s beach movies, and again in the 1961 Christmas musical, Babes In Toyland”. We remember her talented singing and dancing, but mourned her passing in 2013 after years unable to move or talk while confined to a wheelchair.
Of course, a shocking show business loss happened this year, when Robin Williams took his own life. Interesting in a very sad way is that he stars in the 2014 holiday movie, “Merry Friggin’ Christmas”.
Not only has Robin passed on to perform in the great theater in the sky, but the new movie’s title seems to indicate he left behind a typical snide gesture. We can only guess it’s aimed at those of us who try to enjoy the holiday in the tradionally religious way …. by drinking and gorging ourselves into unconsciousness.