Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tales of Toylands and Stooges

I spent a sunny morning watching movies and making this year's Christmas Baking, Card, and Shopping Lists. My shopping is limited to my nephews and cousins and my sister Jessa, who has no kids and can make crafts for herself. I'm assuming we'll be doing the Secret Santa on the Cape May side again this year, too. It was certainly a big help to me last year. I'm in the midst of crocheting presents for Lauren and Amanda. Everyone else will get cookies, desserts, or baked goods. (I'll ask Rose if she'd like me to bring anything for her Christmas Day brunch when we get closer to Christmas.) I also went through my Christmas cards to make sure I have enough. Thanks to the half-price boxes of Christmas cards I bought last year, I have more than enough to give out this year, and probably next year as well.

I did fantasy-oriented holiday movies all morning. March of the Toy Soldiers is the Laurel & Hardy version of Babes In Toyland. Ollie and Stan are residents of Toyland who get mixed up in trying to save the mortgage on Old Mother Hubbard's shoe home and keep pretty Bo Peep (Charlotte Henry) out of the clutches of the wicked Barnaby.

They're not the only ones having trouble with moving soldiers. Clara (Gerry Kirkland) finds herself defending her beloved toy from an army of rats in the 1978 American Ballet Theater version of The Nutcracker. She gets quite a shock when the toy soldier turns into a prince (Mikhail Baryshnikov) and whisks her away to a land of dancing candy and snowflakes.

Switched to a Christmas short while having leftovers for lunch and preparing for work. One of the earlier Fleischer Brothers Popeye shorts was also the only Christmas short they did with the character, "Season's Greetinks!" Popeye and Olive are out skating, but Bluto interferes...and Olive is the one who ends up on thin ice.

Work was on and off busy all afternoon. There were a few obnoxious customers who were cranky and wouldn't help bag. Otherwise, they day went quickly, and my relief was on time.

When I got home, I made CranApple Muffins, then put on leftover Salisbury Turkey Steak with roasted Brussels sprouts and turnips and Cranberry Flummery for dinner. Ran Snow White and the Three Stooges while I baked and ate. While we still have Snow White (Carol Heiss) fleeing her wicked stepmother (Patricia Medina), here she runs right into the rented home of four traveling minstrels - the Three Stooges and their handsome adopted son (Edson Stroll). Though she falls for their son, the Queen and her henchman are right on their heels...

I know a lot of Stooge fans have problems with this, mainly because there's a lot less slapstick than usual for their movies. I think this movie is really cute, especially if you're a fan of big Technicolor musicals and can overlook the stiff leads.

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