A Turkey and a Film on Thanksgiving Day

I love Thanksgiving.  The turkey, the family, the late afternoon naps, and the good conversation centered around a crackling fire.  As for the cooking, well, I leave that up to someone else because I have been cursed with the inability to cook the simplest things.  I’ll stick with filmmaking…it’s much easier.

Let’s chat a little about a few yummy recipes you can try for that big Thanksgiving turkey and a few of the best films that celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
I call it…”A Turkey and a Film“:



  • Herb Roasted Turkey:  Roasting this turkey with four fresh herbs creates a wonderful aroma that will fill your house. Progresso® Chicken Broth makes the turkey moist and flavorful and the gravy delicious!  GET THE RECIPE!



  • Cherry-Glazed Turkey with Dried Cherry-Apple Stuffing:  Complement savory slices of roast turkey with a fruity stuffing and cherry glaze.



  • Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey:  Wow your dinner table with this super simple Thanksgiving turkey recipe.  GET THE RECIPE!



  • Juicy Two-Stage Thanksgiving Turkey Marinade:  “This recipe has two different marinades that are started on Tuesday morning. This is a marinade recipe only, and makes a pre-Thanksgiving marinade for a juicy turkey with lots of flavor.”  GET THE RECIPE!



  • Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey:  “Delicious, juicy and tender, this recipe was given to me by a true Cajun sixteen years ago and has been on our Thanksgiving table ever since.”  GET THE RECIPE!



  • Maple Roast Turkey and Gravy: “A New England style turkey with maple syrup. It makes for a mellow Thanksgiving dinner. Try stuffing it with Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing.”  GET THE RECIPE!



  • Megaturkey: “Yummy, moist, tasty turkey! I combined two of my favorite turkey recipes to make this one superb apple flavored roast turkey with stuffing.”   GET THE RECIPE!



  • Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way: “A simple, down to basics recipe when it comes to the good old tom turkey.” GET THE RECIPE!




  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973):  Charlie Brown and his gang never fail to give us the warm and fuzzies, so of course you should curl up for this installment Charles Schulz’s holiday TV specials.



  • Curly Sue (1991): Try not to fall in love with the adorable heroine of this John Hughes film, who assists a homeless man in conning people for food and shelter (you’ll be extra thankful for that big Thanksgiving meal after watching).



  • Home for the Holidays (1995):  Stick Robert Downey, Jr. in a film about Thanksgiving, and it’s easy to guess what kind of tone the movie will have. Directed by Jodie Foster, Home for the Holidays squeezes all kinds of messed up family tropes into 103 minutes: a teen daughter (Claire Daines) planning to lose her virginity, a gay brother Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.), a conservative sister (Cynthia Stevenson) and her privileged husband (Steve Guttenberg).



  • The Ice Storm (1997):  A brittle Connecticut family comes together for its 1973 Thanksgiving weekend (laced with bad weather and marital recriminations) in Ang Lee’s expert take on the Rick Moody novel. Christina Ricci, playing the subversive daughter, ruins the festive mood with her heavily politicized grace.



  • Pieces of April (2003):  Riding high with Dawson’s Creek, Katie Holmes confidently anchors this dark Sundance comedy about a young Lower East Sider who draws her bitter, broken relatives to her shitty apartment for a Thanksgiving reunion.  The oven doesn’t work, Mom’s dying of breast cancer and everyone’s in a foul mood, but this one deserves a spin for its concentrated inventiveness and touching finish.



  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987): Steve Martin’s marketing executive just wants to get home to New York for Thanksgiving in John Hughes’ 1987 comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but fate constantly stymies those plans–well, fate and John Candy’s shower-ring salesman, a chipper and clumsy clown who becomes his unlikely traveling partner during this rollicking three-day odyssey. The pillow scene remains an all-time classic gag.



  • Free Birds (2013): This 2013 animated film follows Reggie the turkey, who has always been afraid of Thanksgiving for its turkey-filled menu. His fears initially make him an outcast with his farm-based flock, but when they realize he’s right, they try to sacrifice Reggie in order to stay themselves. In a surprise twist, Reggie ends up receiving a presidential pardon and goes on a mission to try and turn Thanksgiving into a turkey-free holiday. Featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler, this holiday film is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.



  • Pocahontas (1995): Pocahontas is a 1995 American animated musical romantic-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 33rd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and was produced during a period known as the Disney Renaissance. Directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg, the film is inspired by the known history and folklore surrounding the Native American woman Pocahontas.



Matt Duhamel, Filmmaker/Host

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