OUR HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIE

christmastown

Valerie is a beautiful young lady works for a powerful advertising agency.  With her job on the line, she is given the mission to travel to the corporate headquarters of a major account.  She is to renew their account before the end of the year.

While traveling by car to the client, she is engulfed by a terrible blizzard.  In the blinding snowstorm, she crashes her car.  She is unhurt but there is no cell coverage so she cannot call for help.  Wearing only yoga pants and a light jacket, she has resigned herself to freezing to death when a handsome stranger drives up in a fire engine red 1957 Chevrolet pick up truck.  He offers to help her, and she accepts.  He drives her home to a small village just a few miles down the road.

The town is festooned with Christmas decorations which she learns are kept up year-round. It is aptly named “Christmastown”.  The innkeepers of the Christmastown Inn are an elderly couple.  Sam is a short balding, man with more than a couple of extra pounds who sports a full white beard.  His wife is Martha who has an equally ample figure.  They offer Valerie a room but seem to forget to charge her for it. 

The next day Valerie calls her boss to tell him of the accident.  He is unforgiving and tells her she must make the pitch before January or she is fired.  Martha suggests that what she really needs is a nice breakfast and directs her to the town diner just down the street.  The warmth of the diner in inviting as she settles in a booth to read the menu.

Just then, the handsome young stranger walks up and introduces himself as “Dylan”.  As he sits down, he orders two hot chocolates with marshmallows and peppermint sticks. He skillfully deflects any question Val has about his background.  While she complains about being so cold, the diner’s cheerful waitress says that the General Store has all that she needs. 

The garage calls and the cheerful mechanic says her car will not be fixed for days. 

With a visit to the General Store Valerie is soon decked out head to foot with the latest in a practical, stylish, sexy, flannel outfit.  The cheerful storekeeper welcomes her to Christmastown with the solemn warning not to go out at night.  The store does not seem to charge her as she leaves to explore Christmastown.  There is a banner stretching all across the street announcing that the Christmas Festival is coming on December 24th.  Dylan explains that the town is excited about the Christmas Festival.  Some townsfolk are making even more decorations, and some are collecting toys for the nearby orphanage.  He himself is in charge of getting the sleigh ready.  Valerie is surprised to find out it is a real sleigh and joins Dylan.  Decorating this and painting that. 

As Christmas approaches Valerie spends her days helping Dylan with the sleigh and her nights trying to think up a presentation for her client.  Her nighttime walks in the woods are relaxing but she does start to notice shadowy figures darting form tree to tree. She starts having feelings toward Dylan but is afraid that there is no future in them.

Out of the Blue, Valerie’s ex-fiancée shows up and demands they rekindle their romance.  He wants to whisk her away from all this drudgery and marry her in the small European city state where he is a Prince.  Dylan feels totally cock blocked and does not want Valerie to help him on the sleigh anymore. He has fallen in Love with Valerie and the asshole keeps lauding Val over Dylan by walking arm in arm and kissing her.  Ona nighttime stroll, Dylan emerges from the woods and confronts the couple.  He confesses is love for Valerie.  Asshole Prince decides that now is a good time for a fist fight.  Valerie’s tears turn to horror as Dylan transforms into a Windago in Reindeer form and pulls the Prince apart limb from limb. 

The next day is Christmas as Valerie searches for Dylan to tell him she is in Love with him too.  As night falls there is music and food and dancing in the streets.  The sleigh is in the town square loaded with presents for the poor little orphans.  She sees Dylan standing by the sleigh but before she can go to him the Client pops out of the crowd demanding to see her presentation.  She is stunned to see him with his staff and her BOSS!  She gives the Client an ad-lib presentation based on Christmas and giving and Love.  He thinks it is great and renews his contract with her ad agency.  Her boss gives her a promotion and invites her back to the city. 

Dylan emerges from the crowd to tell Valerie that he Loves her and wants to marry her.  She confesses her Love for him and joyfully accepts his proposal.  They kiss as the crowd parts again and Innkeeper Sam walks up.  He is wearing an awfully expensive Santa Suit.  The townsfolk respectively remove their hats and Val is shocked to see that everyone is sporting pointed ears.  Even DYLAN!  Sam climbs into the sleigh and addresses the townsfolk.   “CHRISTMAS IS HERE! HO! HO! HOI”.

There is a blinding blue flash, and eight tiny reindeer appear.  The Sleigh sparkles with light as it hovers off of the ground and then dashes into Christmas Night. 

“That’s my Dad,” says Dylan as the couple embrace in a long kiss and the townsfolk cheer.

WHY WE LOVE HALLMARK MOVIES

THEM!

“THEM!!” is possibly the best of the B-Movie Sci-Fi-Horror flicks ever.
Watch Marshall Dillon (James Arness) enlist the help of Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn) to track down whom or what is killing people in the New Mexican desert. The key to this 1954 opus is that it presents the story has a murder mystery. James Whitmore (Who looks a lot like Spencer Tracy) stars as a crusty New Mexico highway patrolman who finds a little girl played by Sandy Descher (Miracle on 34th Street) wandering in the desert. 


Keep watching to spot Leonard Nimoy and Fess Parker in minor parts.

SPOILER ALERT

Stop here, watch the movie and come back.

Did you like the movie?  This is one of my favorite scenes…

This movie was number one of a Saturday morning sci-fi Double Feature that I played for the kids as soon as they were  old enough to change the channels.  It was cute to see them bounce up and down yelling “SHOOT THE ANTENNAE!  SHOOT THE ANTENNAE!”  But check out Spencer Tracy running back to the squad car to get the Thompson out of the trunk.  Now there’s a man of action.

I’ve been watching this movie since about 1966 or 1967 and probably is responsible for my life-long love of flame throwers.

Yeah, they’re puppets but the plot is so good you tend to forget.  Like the mechanical shark in Jaws, you don’t see much of THEM.  Technically this is a RED SCARE movie and you have to love it when the U.S. Army swings into action at the end of the movie.

It was this role that got James Arness the role of Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke” when the TV producers spotted him.  Fess Parker also won his role of “Davy Crockett” when Walt Disney saw him in THEM!

UFO fans will notice this is a not to subtle reference to the Flying Saucers seen by Ken Arnold June 24, 1947.

Did you miss Leonard Nimoy?  Here he is….

Keep an eye out for the crew pushing the ants around.

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