For, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE: Does it irk you to see Christmas decorations in stores way too early? Believe it or not, ’twas ever thus, as attested to by this ‘Hicks on Flicks’ column published in the Deseret News on Oct. 8, 1982 — yes, 1982! — about so-called ‘Christmas movies.’ The headline was ‘A season for film shuffling.’

Have you seen the previews popping up on local theater screens already for coming Christmas pictures?

Sure it’s early, but film marketing is just taking a lesson from local stores. When Halloween costumes go on display the first of September and Thanksgiving place settings the first of October, it’s only logical to begin Christmas hawking in August or so.

Anyway, you’d better look quickly for those previews, since there is so much major-studio film shuffling that they might disappear. For example, there was a trailer (that’s show-biz talk for coming attractions) promoting “Blue Thunder” as a Christmas film, but that Roy Scheider thriller has been pushed back to 1983.


Likewise, the highly touted “King of Comedy,” Martin Scorsese’s film with Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis; “The Sting II,” with Jackie Gleason and Mac Davis (in the Newman-Redford roles); and “The Pirates of Penzance” with Linda Ronstadt and the Broadway cast, have all been pushed back to February or later.

“Monsignor,” the picture with Christopher Reeve as a corrupt Catholic priest, took the reverse approach; originally scheduled as a Christmas release, it was moved forward and will come out this month.

The biographical picture about actress “Frances” Farmer will get a one-week run in December to qualify for Oscar consideration, but won’t really be released until late January. It was also originally a Christmas release.


On the Disney front, the adventure film “Never Cry Wolf” has been moved back from fall to Christmas and the Ray Bradbury chiller “Something Wicked This Way Comes” has gone from Christmas to early ’83.

Even the animated re-issue scheduled for Christmas, “The Sword in the Stone,” has been bumped. Disney’s animated “Peter Pan” will play instead.

Others as previously reported remain the same — so far. With the exception of “Creepshow,” that is. The Stephen King-George Romero horror picture will open Nov. 12 instead of Halloween weekend. But that’s only a two-week delay.