Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On the sixth day of Christmas…

VCI Entertainment continues its “12 Days of Christmas” sales promotion with a “Six Geese A-Laying Bargain” you may not be able to pass up…three holiday treats for one low price.

First, the bad news.  VCI has available on DVD the 1990 telefilm Home for Christmas, a Yuletide-themed special that stars bane of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s existence Mickey Rooney as an elderly homeless thief who is caught by Reg Spencer (Simon Richards) breaking into his car and is put to work by Spencer doing odd jobs in order to pay for damages to the automobile.  Spencer, who didn’t have the good sense to remain a lifelong bachelor, is married and has an “adorable” little six-year-old girl (Chantellese Kent) who is convinced that Santa has brought her a “grandfather” (Rooney) for Christmas.  I know I shouldn’t criticize movies I’ve not seen but as a wiser man than I once observed, “You don’t have to eat a whole egg to know that it’s rotten”—and with Rooney in the proceedings, I know to stay away from it.  (I suppose it could be worse—the little girl could have been played by Margaret O’Brien.)

Things get better with the second of the three features, the hardy 1940 perennial Beyond Tomorrow (also known as Beyond Christmas)—in which the spirits of three wealthy millionaires (Harry Carey, Charles Winninger and C. Aubrey Smith) do a good Christmas deed by aiding and assisting a young couple played by Jean Parker and Richard “I Led 3 Lives” Carlson.  This film has turned up on TCM a few times in the past but regrettably I have not watched it—but since it seems completely uncontaminated by Mickey Rooney’s presence it sounds like it’s worth checking out.

Finally, a movie that I have seen—and one of my all-time favorite Christmas films.  It’s a shame this film seems destined to continue doing penance on AMC (and often in its colorized form, no less) because I’m really not a huge fan of the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol (which TCM owns); the 1951 Alastair Sim vehicle (also known as Scrooge) is miles and away superior and is such a delight to watch that if I had a copy I’d look at it even when it wasn’t Christmas.  So today and today only, you can get A Christmas Carol (1951), Beyond Tomorrow (1940) and Mickey Rooney Ruins Home for Christmas (1990) for the combined price of $19.99 simply by remembering to use the coupon code HUMBUG after putting the three DVDs in your shopping cart.  God bless us, everyone!

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