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A Thanksgiving Movie List

Updated on November 1, 2014

A Thanksgiving Movie List

Are you interested in watching a Thanksgiving movie as part of your Thanksgiving holiday celebrations? If you are, this list of the movies dedicated to Thanksgiving in one way or another should prove helpful. It does NOT include animated Thanksgiving films or any of the television series that included a Thanksgiving episode. There are good choices in those categories but this page is devoted to drama movies.

Unfortunately, very few of these Thanksgiving movies are actually family films suitable for the children in your life. Wherever possible and in order to help parents find Thanksgiving movies that are appropriate for family viewing, I have included the movie rating.

Finally, I have arranged these movies in order from the newest to the oldest. Amongst the oldest, you will find a couple of rare movies that have not been released on DVD.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Viewing!

"No one diets on Thanksgiving. What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" ~ Erma Bombeck

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008) - Starring Jacqueline Bissett and Helena Joy. Not Rated.

The movie An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving is based on the Little Women story, which was written by Louisa May Alcott. It is a family drama that centers around the holiday and one teenager who tries to save her family from being financially ruined by contacting her unknown Grandmother.

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

Amazon customer S. McClellan called An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving one of Hallmark's better holiday movies saying that it is not quite as predictable as some Hallmark films, nor as sweet. She actually said that this movie has some bite to it, making it believable. She said the characters have depth from the good-as-always Jacqueline Bisset to the youngest boy and she GIVES IT 5 STARS.

 

Pieces of April (2003) - Starring Katie Holmes and Oliver Platt. Rated PG-13.

Pieces of April features a young girl who is separated from her family. She offers to host Thanksgiving dinner for her family at her rundown apartment but just cannot seem to pull it all together. It's a gritty drama, which is funny and moving, too.

Pieces of April
Pieces of April

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

"Pieces of April is an engaging, ultimately optimistic, family drama that is somehow both idiosyncratic and universally true. Great performances. Great script. This is the best Thanksgiving movie I've seen. I can't recommend it more highly." ~ mirasreviews

 

What's Cooking (2003) - Starring Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies, Mercedes Ruehl, Victor Rivers and Douglas Spain. Rated PG-13.

What's Cooking is a fun drama following the Thanksgiving preparations and lives of four American families of different ethnic backgrounds...each prepares a Thanksgiving feast incorporating some of their own traditions into the celebrations.

What's Cooking?
What's Cooking?

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

"In a world that has left Thanksgiving fairly un-commericalized, this movie hits the nail on the head. It is not schmaltzy, touchy-feely, or warm and fuzzy. It is a gritty look at the American family while looking at four different families. Each with their own problems, each with their own traditions, each with their own way of coping. It is a great reminder that there is no such thing as a "perfect holiday" but rather any holiday with the people you love is what's important. Don't miss seeing this tremendous movie." ~ revsparkyg

 
Dutch
Dutch | Source

Dutch (2005)

Starring Ed O'Neill, Ethan Embry and JoBeth Williams. Rated PG-13.


Dutch tells the story of an ordinary good guy who is dating the ex-wife of a wealthy man. When the son of the woman won't go home from his prep school at Thanksgiving, Dutch offers to pick him up and take him home to Chicago. Of course, the trip home all goes wrong.

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

"O'Neil is hilarious as he attempts to befriend the snotty little brat of his new girlfriend. This is a wonderful movie that will leave you in stiches." ~ D. House

Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah and Her Sisters | Source

Hannah and Her Sisters (2001)

Starring Mia Farrow, Michael Caine, Dianne Wiest, Carrie Fisher and Barbara Hershey. Rated PG-13.

Hannah and Her Sisters is a Woody Allen movie which follows an extended family who face a series of upheavals. The story is one of a family falling apart but is still joyful and human.

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

"All of the elements in this picture --- cinematography, classic jazz tunes, nearly-musical dialogue --- are on ample display in a film rich with human warmth and big laughs. Although Allen's films are not for all tastes, this is a film that should very easily be enjoyed by nonfans and especially film students who can get a chance to see a virtuoso talent at the top of his form, not conforming by traditional storytelling and filmic norms." ~ Paul M. West

Home For The Holidays (1995 )

Starring Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft and Robert Downey Jr. Directed by Jodie Foster. Rated PG-13.

Another Chicago movie, this one features a single mom who loses her job and has a family crisis the day before Thanksgiving. While trying to deal with these issues, she joins her family for a difficult Thanksgiving.

Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

"Headlined by the always great Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning as 'The Parents', this wickedly funny take on the dysfunctional family at the holiday dinner will have many of us shaking our heads in acknowledgement that 'yes, our relatives can be ill-behaved and crazy' but there by the grace of God each goes in world as best we can. This always on my Thanksgiving double-feature right after the movie 'Pieces of April'. Love both movies!" ~ Brian A. O'Dell

 

Two Rare Thanksgiving Movies

Both of Which Have Not Been

Released On DVD

The Holiday Treasure
The Holiday Treasure

The Holiday Treasure, A Rare Thanksgiving Movie (1973)

Starring Jason Robards, Mildred Natwick, Barnard Hughes, Lisa Lucas and Kathryn Walker. Not Rated.

Available only on VHS, this is a rare movie that may disappear forever if it is not released on DVD.

The Thanksgiving Treasure, which was also know as The Holiday Treasure, follows the story of The House Without a Christmas Tree. The story is of a girl who makes friends with a lonely old man at Thanksgiving.

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

"I watched this Thanksgiving themed movie in the 1970s with my then elementary aged daughter and we loved it! I looked for it for many years before finding it on Amazon. Although we have to be satisfied with a VHS version, we were both thrilled to sit together and watch it again after all of these years. It a charming, timeless story with a wonderful message of kindness and generosity. The Holiday Treasure should be a must see movie for all families. Thanks to Amazon, we were able to enjoy it again!" ~ B.J. Pullen

Plymouth Adventure
Plymouth Adventure

Plymouth Adventure (1952)

Starring Spencer Tracy, Gene Tierney and Clarence Brown. Not rated.

Another movie that is only available on VHS videotape, Plymouth Adventure shares the story of life aboard the Mayflower, it features a very "mean, disagreeable and tempestuous" Captain Jones. This movie shares the hardships that were faced on the Mayflower's most famous journey. It won an Oscar for special effects.

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEWS:

"This is a great movie! It has the drama of an important historical event, with shades of an illicite affair between the captain of the Mayflower and the wife of a Pilgrim leader. However, it is all done with subtle glances. The storm scene is also very exciting. The signing of the Mayflower Compact is utterly dramatic! There are a few historical liberties, but over all, it is a good movie! In fact, it won an oscar for Best Effects in 1952." ~ A Customer

"A good starting point for a history lesson with the children on Thanksgiving Day." ~ Linda McDonnell

"May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!"

~ Anonymous

Do you have a Thanksgiving movie to recommend to the rest of us?

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