Here are 30 very different Thanksgiving movies you can chow down with this holiday season after the big meal.
While there are dozens upon dozens of terrible to excellent films about holidays like Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day and New Year’s, Thanksgiving doesn’t get as much love. Sure, there are tons of classic TV shows that have produced some of their best material in service of doing a Thanksgiving episode, but there aren’t a lot of legitimately great or even just okay films set on turkey day.
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There are likely two big reasons for Thanksgiving’s comparatively small cinematic footprint. The first is that Thanksgiving doesn’t have clearly defined iconography. When most people hear the word “Thanksgiving,” they think of the tastes and smells of the traditional feast, pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a meal and that weird press conference the president holds every year to officially pardon the White House turkey. Thanksgiving simply doesn’t have the strong visual aesthetic we associate with holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween.
The other problem is that it sits too close to a holiday that shares many of its traditions. When you get down to it, there’s not a whole lot of difference between how we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. And by virtue of having presents and a wide selection of sweets, Christmas comes out ahead in any direct competition.
Despite all that, there have been a number of talented and brave filmmakers who decided to go against tradition and make a Thanksgiving movie. To celebrate their heroic efforts, here is a list of 30 films that take place on or around Thanksgiving, include a scene in which a Thanksgiving dinner takes place or have a definite but indirect connection to the holiday.