Monday, December 22, 2008

25 Days: Ernest Saves Christmas

This is another film that I am sure doesn't rank very highly when people are thinking of great Christmas movies, but it is one of my favorites.

The late Jim Varney created an amazing character in Ernest, and Ernest Saves Christmas was his second theatrical release with the character as a lead.

Santa Claus (Douglas Seale) has landed in Orlando to track down Joe Curruthers (Oliver Clark) to take over his duties as Santa. Apparently, Santa is like a torch that must be passed on to another individual after a long period of time - or else the flame will estinguish and Christmas will no longer be.

Santa has held onto the duty for far too long, and has slowly started to forget things. The transfer from the old to the new Santa has to take place by 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve or Christmas will be lost forever.

Lucky for Santa, Ernest is his cab driver and takes him to the Children's Museum to meet with Joe. Along the way picking up another passenger in Harmony Star (Noelle Parker), a young girl who is fending for herself after running away from home.

As he drops Santa off, Santa forgets his sack in Ernest's cab. And, after trying to talk to Joe about becoming Santa - gets sent off to the slammer by Joe's agent.

Thanks to Ernest's ability to play different characters, he and Harmony are able to bust Santa out and take him over to see Joe to explain things.

Harmony, however, takes off with Santa's sack - hoping to get something valuable out of it.

As the clock ticks, Santa hopes that Joe will change his mind, Harmony will return his sack - and Ernest and his elves can get the reindeer and sleigh to the museum on time.

I am a pretty big Ernest fan - probably even bigger than a Pee Wee Herman fan. Varney did some excellent work with the four theatrically released Ernest films.

This one is probably my favorite, and the number of different things that happen to Ernest along the way is pretty funny.


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