Top 10 Thanksgiving Movies


Not everyone wants to watch a football game on Thanksgiving and with that in mind I offer up these top 10 movies to watch on Thanksgiving or at least during the 4 days most of America will have off. Most will be shown on your local cable or network channels but some may require a NetFlix download. If you don’t feel like going out on Black Friday you may wish to settle in and watch one of these classic Thanksgiving movies.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

All that Neal Page wants to do is to get home for Thanksgiving. His flight has been cancelled due to bad weather, so he decides on other means of transport. As well as bad luck, Neal is blessed with the presence of Del Griffith, Shower Curtain Ring Salesman and all-around blabbermouth, who is never short of advice, conversation, bad jokes, or company. And when he decides that he is going the same direction as Neal…. Written by Murray Chapman {[email protected]}

Home for the Holidays (1995)

After losing her job, making out with her soon to be ex-boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson has to face spending the holiday with her family. She wonders if she can survive their crazy antics. Written by Cyndi Kessler {[email protected]}

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)

The world is astounded when Willy Wonka, for years a recluse in his factory, announces that five lucky people will be given a tour of the factory, shown all the secrets of his amazing candy, and one will win a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolate. Nobody wants the prize more than young Charlie, but as his family is so poor that buying even one bar of chocolate is a treat, buying enough bars to find one of the five golden tickets is unlikely in the extreme. Charlie, along with four somewhat odious other children, get the chance of a lifetime and a tour of the factory. Along the way, mild disasters befall each of the odious children, but can Charlie beat the odds and grab the brass ring? Written by Rick Munoz {[email protected]}

Pieces of April (2003)

In a very poor zone of New York, April Burns and her boyfriend, the Afro-American Bobby, are preparing to receive April’s family for a thanksgiving dinner. While Bobby tries to borrow a suit for him, April realizes that her stove is broken and she tries desperately to find a neighbor that can let her cook the turkey, since she does not want to fail (again) with her family. Meanwhile, in a suburb of Pennsylvania, her dysfunctional family is preparing to travel to New York. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tadpole (2002)

Beautiful, sophisticated women are all over Oscar Grubman. He is sensitive and compassionate, speaks French fluently, is passionate about Voltaire, and thinks the feature that tells the most about a woman is her hands. On the train home from Chauncey Academy for the Thanksgiving weekend, Oscar confides in his best friend that he has plans for this vacation–he will win the heart of his true love. But there is one major problem–Oscar’s true love is his stepmother Eve. Oscar is certain that he could be a better mate to Eve than his work-obsessed father. He fails to win Eve’s heart and is consequently dejected. Oscar’s path to his true love is further crossed by Diane, Eve’s best friend who, one night while wearing Eve’s borrowed perfumed scarf, offers him temporary comfort in an unconventional tryst. For Diane, Oscar fills a void in her life. For Oscar, Diane is somewhat of a distraction, as his continued pursuit of Eve leads to an unexpected resolution. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

During a Thanksgiving Day party we make aquaintance with a numerous and problematic family. The leading characters are three sisters: Lee, the woman of Frederick, an old misanthrope painter; Holly, who dreams of becoming a writer, or an actress, or who knows who…; Hannah, famous actress, beautiful, intelligent, good mother, good wife, good sister, in short perfect, the pivot of the family. The balance begins to break up when Hannah’s husband, Elliot, falls in love with Lee, who leaves Frederick. Holly goes through a deep crisis and meets Mickey, the former husband of Hannah, a hipocondriac TV producer. The affairs evolve and at the last Thanksgiving … Written by Maurizio Semolic {[email protected]}

Home Alone (1990)

I realize this is movie depicting events around Christmas but it shows every Thanksgiving and is a part of that holiday by association. – ed.

Kevin McAllister, 8 years old is accidentally left behind while his family rushes to the Airport to go to France for their Christmas vacation. Kevin learns that he made his family is gone. He spends his first day having fun in his house. Kevin learns that Mav and Harry (The Wet Bandits), two crooks are trying to rob his house. Kevin fends for himself and protects his house from the thieves, by setting traps everywhere. Meanwhile, Kevin’s mother discovers that they left Kevin in Chicago and tries to go back to Chicago while the other members of the family stay in Fance. Written by Inhotenjoys

Grumpy Old Men (1993)

John and Max are two former friends turned enemies and have been feuding for a long time, we don’t really know why at the beginning of the film. When they see a new neighbor moving in on the street, a very attractive older woman named Ariel. Now the boys have something new to fight over and are competing for her love. But it almost drives them crazy how much they keep playing tricks on each other and can they realize that it’s finally time to grow up and act their ages or will they stay as grumpy old men? Written by Kristine

What’s Cooking (2000)

In LA’s Fairfax district, where ethnic groups abound, four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children’s acculturation and immigrant parents’ fears collide. In the Avila family, Isabel’s son has invited her estranged husband to their family dinner. Audrey and Ron Williams want to keep their own family’s ruptures secret from Ron’s visiting mother. In the Seelig household, Herb and Ruth are unwilling to discuss openly their grown daughter’s living with her lover, Carla. Around each table, things come to a head. A gun, an affair, a boyfriend, and a pregnancy precipitate crises forcing each family to find its center. Written by {[email protected]}

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown’s for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.

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  1. I don’t know if I’d consider Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory a Thanksgiving movie, but your other options are pretty good. A few friends I work with at DISH really like Pieces of April and Home for the Holidays, so I was thinking of watching those this year. I can rent them from DISH’s Blockbuster @Home service, which ships fast enough that I’ll have them in plenty of time for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Where’s “DUTCH” ? How could you forget it? Ed Oneil(Al Bundy) and a hellashish young boy try to make it home for Thanksgiving through a barrage of unfortunate events!!! A definite must watch for Thanksgiving…

    • Anything with Ed o Neill in it gets my thumbs up. I do have some trivia concerning Ed. In the movie “Deliverance” He had a short role when the character played by Burt Reynolds is in the hospital with serious injuries. The security guard who is guarding his room is in fact a young Ed O’ Neill. Look it up and find the movie and watch it. Its hard to believe !!!

  3. Loved Pains Trains and Automobiles. John Candy was awesome in that… “Where’s your other hand? Between two pillows… Those aren’t pillows!!

  4. Why is Willy Wonka a Thanksgiving movie? The editor noted that Home Alone is always shown around Thanksgiving. Is the same true of Wonka? Or is there a Thanksgiving scene in there that i can’t remember. Isn’t it set mostly in England where they dont even celebrate Thanksgiving? I really do like this film. Just don’t see how it came to be a Thanksgiving movie.

  5. I’ve always considered Addams Family Values a Thanksgiving movie. (The play they put on in summer camp is about Thanksgiving.)

  6. "Not everyone wants to watch a football game on Thanksgiving"

    Oh, I don't know. I can't think of anything better than watching an 0-11 team getting killed by a 11-1 team. Talk about a compelling match-up.