Friday's Top Five: Thanksgiving movies
November 25th, 2011
09:33 AM ET

Friday's Top Five: Thanksgiving movies

Turkey Day is officially over for most Americans, but the holiday has only just begun in my household.

I have another Cajun-injected, deep-fried turkey waiting to be carved, a slew of great football waiting to be watched, and my favorite Thanksgiving movies to extend the celebration.

Of course, we still have some weeks left before really having to confront the annual post-holiday season depression. But to keep the spirit of excess and thankfulness from fading, take comfort on Black Friday with this week’s list. It’s dedicated to movies related to carving the turkey.

So if you’re ready to heat up some leftovers and take a shopping break, check out any of the following Thanksgiving films. What are your favorites that you'd suggest watching this holiday weekend?

1. "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" (1987): “Those aren’t pillows!” – Neal Page


2. "Avalon" (1990): “You cut the turkey without me?!?!” – Gabriel Krichinsky


3. "Home for the Holidays" (1995): “Well, that was absurd, let's eat dead bird!” – Leo Fish


4. "Rocky" (1976): “WHAT DO I OWE YOU, PAULIE? WHAT DO I OWE YOU? I treat you good! I cook for you! I cleaned for you! I pick up your dirty clothes! I take care of ya, Paulie! I don't owe you nothin'! And you made me feel like a loser! I'M NOT A LOSER!” – Adrian’s Thanksgiving rant


5. "Dutch" (1991): “You might be the toughest little whacker at the junior high, but in my world, you're about as worrisome as a cloudy day.” – Dutch Dooley (John Hughes' second best holiday road trip film, the first of which is topping this week’s list).


soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. tom*

    Also worthy of consideration: Woody Allen's BROADWAY DANNY ROSE.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tom*

    Please check out PIECES OF APRIL. Well deserved Oscar nomination for Patricia Clarkson. Not an over the top obvious message film, but when Katie Holmes finally explains the real meaning Thanksgiving to a Korean couple after two politically correct misfires, you realize that this movie really got the holiday right.

    November 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Booo

    I LOVE Dutch. Great movie. What about "The Ice Storm." Also, this is not a great movie, but I have to admit that the couple playing David Alan Grier's parents getting it on in Eddie Murphy's bathroom at Thanksgiving dinner in "Boomerang" was awesome. Like I said not the best movie, but one of the funniest parts of the movie!

    November 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bml

    Um, Scent of a Woman......The Big Chill???

    November 28, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. flashtrum

    AVALON – one of the best movies (and soundtracks) I've ever seen.

    November 28, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Smack-it-up-Flip-it-Rub-it-down

    The best movie of all times... SOUL FOOD (1997)

    November 28, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. jason83

    you know your getting ol when yoy can remeber these movies playing at your local cinemas. I wish next year for Planes, Trains and Automobiles 25th anniiversary they would incorporate the delted scences like the ones that were featured in the original trailer. RIP John Candy. Man, I wish he were still around today making us all laugh, especially during these times. Dutch was also hilarious, but incredibly hard to find if you want to purchase it.

    November 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jdurand1970

    Glad to see "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" on the top of this list. It is definitely in my "Top Five" list of favorite comedies and watching it on Thanksgiving is a tradition in my family.

    Nobody makes 'em like John Hughes made 'em.

    November 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SoberFilmCritic

    How about Spider-Man? The Thanksgiving scene there is absolutely hilarious. For more of my picks, check out

    November 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chewe

    yes it good' it' s high.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. mmi16

    Planes, Trains & Automobiles

    The deer in the car scene – Comedic genius!

    November 26, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      That was Tommy Boy. Wrong film, but it gets mistaken quite a bit!

      November 26, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • same underwear since Tuesday

      Yeah, I LOVE Planes, Trains, and Automobiles! It's hysterical! You're thinking of the ultimate car FIRE scene! It is Tommy Boy with the deer. 🙂

      November 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Colleen

    Trading Places – watch it every year at Thanksgiving, without fail.

    November 26, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. Rich

    It depresses me to see that one of my favorite Thanksgiving movies, "Pieces of April," isn't on this list. Probably because no one has ever seen it. 🙁

    November 25, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr.Positive

      Cheer up, buckaroo. You've seen it and that's all that counts.

      November 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      My family watches Pieces of April every Thanksgiving. This year, however, we were on the road, and it didn't quite seem the same without the tradition. Highly recommend the flick.

      November 27, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. Graphite J

    The Last Waltz

    November 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. starrfire

    None of those movies in the topic sound too exciting. I watched "The Human Centipede" for the 1st time last week... *gag* lol

    November 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  16. yobrobob

    Nice to see Lord of the Rings on someone else's list. It may not have been turkey, but the line, "Meat's back on the menu boys!", sure is close!

    November 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Steve-O

    The Human Centipede is my pick. We just imagine they are turkeys being joined together rather than humans for that festive vibe.

    November 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  18. MiMi

    Hey, Baltimore Lady,
    Laurel & Hardy movie: "Babes In Toyland 1934: March of the Wooden Soldiers". I also love it! along with Home for the Holidays, Dutch, and Avalon. Great Top Seasonal Five. Baltimore Grandmother

    November 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  19. LGK

    Home for the Holidays was the BEST. Great cast. Love Robert Downey.

    November 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Ground Zero

    Miracle On 34th Street.
    People think of it as a Christmas movie,
    but it starts during Macys Thanksgiving day parade,
    and the little girl gets her mother to invite the nice man
    accross the hall for turkey.
    It always starts off my holidays.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • binny

      Yea for Miracle on 34th Street!

      November 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • xqt

      Yes! Everyone forgets that it starts at Macy's Thanksgiving parade. And how about Hannah and Her Sisters? Great Thanksgiving flick.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Right you are Ground Zero. It IS a Thanksgiving movie. And a great one.

      November 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  21. TheWordMaster

    No no no no no! You left out Charlie Brown!

    November 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Going In Circles

      I dont remember Charlie Brown carving a Turkey.

      November 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      But the topic is movies, and Charlie Brown cartoons were television specials, usually no longer than half an hour.

      November 28, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  22. moviecritic

    Who picks your movies! These are with out a doubt all the worst movies ever!! How bout Lord of the Rings any of the 3) Princess Bride, Parenthood, In America,Emperor's New Groove, Madagascar???

    November 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Erica

    Best Thanksgiving movie? "Thankskilling," hands down.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Yvonne

    "Home for the Holidays" (1995): “Well, that was absurd, let's eat dead bird!” – Leo Fish – Leo Fish did not say that it was Tommy Larson.

    November 25, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  25. sid

    It has been a tradition of mine to watch Dutch every thanksgiving for so many yrs. I love that movie!!!

    November 25, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  26. corpsetide

    But dont forget Uncle Buck. also based on actual events

    November 25, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  27. corpsetide

    not really

    November 25, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  28. Moi

    "THE PASSION OF CHRIST" I hear that is based on a true story.

    November 25, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  29. SKY


    November 25, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  30. Ben

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of the best films ever made! It's my tradition to watch it on Thanksgiving. So glad that it's available on Blu-ray.

    November 25, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Walker

      I know everyone enjoys different things, but I thought Trains, Planes, and Automobiles was dumber than a box of rocks.

      November 27, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      I think it was one of the more entertaining movies of the 80s, but I don't know about one of the best movies ever. Too many five star (plus) movies in the history of cinema.

      November 28, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Pliny

      I miss John Candy.

      November 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  31. judgemofo

    Dutch was an awesome movie, very funny.

    November 25, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |

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