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Mostly different locations in '50s Korea, studio in '70s Los Angeles, studio '50s Los Angeles, Bar in '50s Los Angeles, writers room, living room, airport, '50s air plane, dining hall palace in '50s Japan, hospital in '50s Korea and two stages, woods.
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LARRY (21) is a writer on comedian BOB HOPE's (40s) show in 1950s Los Angeles. One evening after the show he goes with Bob to a bar, where MARILYN MAXWELL (29) later joins them. Bob announces he is going to Korea to perform for the troops, and Larry is excited about the news although his parents try and keep him from going. Together with a big cast and crew, Bob, Marilyn and Larry travels to Korea via USO army transport. On their way to Korea they stop in Japan where many fans have gathered to greet them at the airport, and they are invited to the have dinner at the Imperial Palace with GENERAL MACARTHUR (70s) and his wife. General MacArthur is hopeful the war is almost over and that the troops should be home by Christmas, although it is already October. He also shoots down the rumor that the Chinese are on the enemy side. When nearing and getting ready to land in Seoul the cast and crew find out that the area has been attacked, and they have to circle around for awhile before they can land. Clearly, the war is not almost over. On the ground they...
The premise and characters are fascinating. We get insight to Larry Gelbart, the writer for the hit television show "Mash". His journey to developing the skill to show the tragedy of war while blending comedy is intriguing. The writing shows respect for U.S. history and two icons. There is a steady pace with believable conflict. The need for truth is displayed through the conflict with General MacArthur lying about the war, yet the entertainment industry supporting and paying due respect with the truth....
“Home for Christmas” seems to be based on the true experiences of TV writer Larry Gelbart when he served as a writer for Bob Hope and went with him to Korea. Gelbart’s experiences seeing what is presented as a mild conflict that escalates into a full on horrific war are what the story is structured around. Bob Hope is a prominent character in the story, and it is his likability and chemistry with the young comedy writer that provides the majority of the material that makes up the tale. As Larry sees the truth about the situation in Korea and that General MacArthur is not being honest about involvement of the Russian’s and the Chinese he pushes Bob to do more edgy jokes. The idea that comedy should make fun of the news, and not make it, and that the mission of the comedian is to bring laughter and distraction to desperate soldiers instead of sardonic political commentary is one that is compelling, and still relevant today. What Larry sees and how he changes and what Bob sees and how he changes and also how he demonstrates moving professionalism as a performer bringing joy to men who are at death’s door creates a dramatic story that is still filled with moments of levity and humor and feels very authentic and not overly contrived which is a real accomplishment for a “based on a true story” genre....
The concept - a comedy show heads to '50s Korea to perform for the troops - is original. The dialogue is intriguing but it lacks a build up and tension. "Home by Christmas" is well written, researched and has a lot of potential all though the tone needs to be determined and one of the main characters needs to stand out more....