Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing rush job, November 25, 1998
This review is from: AMC American Movie Classics: Great Christmas Movies - Celebrating the Best Christmas Films of All Time (Hardcover)
In the acknowledgments, the author admits that this book was rushed to print, apparently to be timed with an AMC special, and the rushing shows, both in the production--several typos, a rather poor selection of photos (too many photos from the MGM "Christmas Carol" and none at all from the silent versions or the Seymour Hicks version, all of which get several pages of text attention)-- and in the odd imbalance of film coverage. Imagine a book on Christmas movies that gives 11 pages over to "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, but only 4 1/2 pages to "It's a Wonderful Life"!! Because the author interviewed people like June Lockhart, Margaret O'Brien, and Chevy Chase, he apparently felt the need to include almost every word they said, even though most of the interviews have little light to shed on the movies under discussion. This is especially wasteful when 15 pages are devoted to an "oral history" of "A Christmas Story"; some judicious editing would have helped greatly. The space would have been much more wisely used for some deeper analysis of the Christmas movies. As it is, the author settles mostly for plot summary and the odd production detail and, despite mentioning the interesting fact that Fred Astaire bowed out of "White Christmas" because he hated the script, the author doesn't even get around to summarizing the plot at all, not even noting that it's basically a remake of "Holiday Inn." The chapters on silent films and the various "Christmas Carol" films are interesting, and he justly notes some overlooked gems like "Remember the Night" and "Come to the Stable." Still, my advice is to skip the book and wait for the TV special.
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