NBC gives top movies for the holidays
Saturday December 1
8:45-11 p.m. ET
“The Prince of Egypt??? (TVPG)
Sunday December 2
7-9 p.m. ET
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation??? (TVPG)
Saturday December 15
9-11 p.m. ET
Sunday December 16
7-9 p.m. ET
Part I: Sunday December 16, 9-11 p.m. ET
Part II: Monday December 17, 9-11 p.m. ET
Saturday December 22
8-11 p.m. ET
Sunday December 23
9-11 p.m. ET
“It’s a Wonderful Life??? (TVG)
Monday December 24 8-11 p.m. ET
“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil??? (TV14)
Saturday December 29
8-11 p.m. ET
About the films:
STRIPES (Saturday, December 1, 8:45-11 p.m. ET) -- When John Winger (Bill Murray, “Ghostbusters,??? “Groundhog Day???) loses his job, his girlfriend, and his apartment, he and his best friend (Harold Ramis, “High Fidelity???) decide to join the army as a sort of health spa for men. After struggling through boot camp, they eventually learn the ropes and manage to take a top-secret U.S. recreational vehicle behind the Iron Curtain on a mission to save captive troops. John Candy and John Larroquette round out the ensemble cast of wacky military personnel. Ivan Reitman (“Ghostbusters,???) directs.
THE PRINCE OF EGYPT (Sunday, December 2, 7-9 p.m. ET) -- Acclaimed for its spectacular animation, this engaging and timeless story dramatizes the Biblical journey of Moses as it has never been told before. Lending their voices to this contemporary animated classic are Val Kilmer (“Batman Forever???), Ralph Fiennes (“The End of the Affair???), Sandra Bullock (“Speed???), Danny Glover (“Lethal Weapon 4???), Jeff Goldblum (“Cats & Dogs???), Steve Martin (“Father of the Bride???), Helen Mirren (“Teaching Mrs Tingle???), Michelle Pfeiffer (“What Lies Beneath???), Martin Short (“Primetime Glick???) and Patrick Stewart (“X-Men???).
NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (Saturday, December 15, 8-10 p.m. ET) -- It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark (Chevy Chase, “Snow Day???), his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo, “Summer Catch???) and their two cynical kids. Instead of having an "old-fashioned family Christmas," the Griswolds get a hilarious holiday filled with uninvited cousin Eddie and his family, a new swimming pool, and an overdue bonus cheque. Written by John Hughes (“Home Alone???).
ANTZ (Sunday, December 16, 7-9 p.m. ET) -- Z-4195 (Woody Allen, “Curse of the Jade Scorpion???) is just a worker ant - one in a billion - and his odds of landing the beautiful Princess Bala (Sharon Stone, “Basic Instinct???) are about the same. But when “Z??? unwittingly puts a bug in the ambitious General Mandible’s (Gene Hackman, “Behind Enemy Lines???) plan to literally liquidate the colony, he goes from a common drone to an unlikely hero who finds himself leading a revolution that becomes a celebration of individuality. This animated comedy-adventure also features the voices of Sylvester Stallone (“Get Carter???), Dan Aykroyd (“Ghostbusters???), Anne Bancroft (“Keeping the Faith???), Jane Curtin (“3rd Rock from the Sun???), Danny Glover (“Beloved???), Jennifer Lopez (“The Wedding Singer???), John Mahoney (“Frasier???), and Christopher Walken (“America’s Sweethearts???).
TITANIC (Sunday & Monday, December 16 & 17, 9-11 p.m. ET) -- Leonardo DiCaprio (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape???) and Kate Winslet (“Sense and Sensibility???) light up the screen as Jack and Rose, young lovers from very different classes who find one another on the maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic - the ship considered to be “unsinkable.??? But when the ill-fated luxury liner collides with an iceberg in the frigid North Atlantic, their heated love affair becomes a thrilling race for survival - and a poignant memory for one of them. Also starring are Gloria Stuart (“The Love Letter???), Billy Zane (“Boston Public???), Kathy Bates (“Fried Green Tomatoes???), Frances Fisher (“Gone in Sixty Seconds???), Bill Paxton (“U-571,??? “Twister???), and Victor Garber (“Annie???).
FACE/OFF (Saturday, December 22, 8-11 p.m. ET) -- John Travolta (“Pulp Fiction,???) stars as FBI agent Sean Archer, whose only way to stop elusive terrorist Castor Troy (Nicholas Cage, “City of Angels???) is to switch faces - and places - in an effort to become him. Archer undergoes a futuristic surgery that maps Troy’s face onto his, allowing him to infiltrate the terrorist’s world to discover his deadly secrets. But Archer never suspects that his nemesis will match him by forcing doctors to likewise transform his face into Archer’s. Now the agent faces a shattering nightmare: his deadly prey has tricked his family and is now living with them. John Woo (“Broken Arrow???) directs a screenplay written by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary.
BELOVED (Sunday, December 23, 8-11 p.m. ET) -- Oprah Winfrey stars in and produces this sumptuous dark drama based on Toni Morrison's bestselling novel of the same name. The story exposes the strange events that begin when a stranger named Beloved (Thandie Newton, “Mission: Impossible II???) mysteriously appears on the Ohio land occupied by former slave Sethe (Winfrey), her daughter, Denver (Kimberly Elise, “The Loretta Claiborne Story???), and Sethe’s former slave friend, Paul D. Garner (Danny Glover, “The Royal Tenenbaums???). When her arrival begins to stir memories of the past and strange occurrences unfold, the shocking truth of her identity eventually surfaces, throwing their lives into chaos. Jonathan Demme (“Philadelphia,??? “Silence of the Lambs???) directs.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (December 24, 8-11 p.m. ET) -- NBC presents the exclusive broadcast of the original black-and-white director's cut of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," the 1946 holiday classic feature film starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. The tale follows the life of George Bailey (Stewart) from childhood to maturity in the town of Bedford Falls. On what might be his last Christmas Eve, a discouraged and suicidal Bailey wants to throw his life away. Fortunately, Clarence (Henry Travers), a second-class angel, is sent to show him the value of life. After Clarence gives Bailey a view of Bedford Falls without him, Bailey realises how precious his life is and gets a second chance.
MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL -- Clint Eastwood (“Space Cowboys,??? “Unforgiven???) directs this adaptation of John Berendt’s best-selling murder-mystery set amid the decaying moonlight-and-magnolias society of Savannah, Georgia. John Cusack (“High Fidelity???) stars as a New York reporter covering an “A-list??? Christmas party hosted by nouveau riche John Williams (Kevin Spacey, “American Beauty,??? “The Usual Suspects???). However, when the bon vivant is accused of murder, the journalist stays for the shocking trial and connects with Savannah’s colorful locals.