Baby, it's cold outside, as well as in these films where snow plays a supporting role.
Everybody clear your throats. It's time to sing a song. Ready? "Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful and since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."
Have you thrown a snowball at my headshot yet? You want to, don't you? Because if there's one thing we don't need right now it's more snow. Unless you're in the plowing or shoveling business. Or you're a deranged columnist who wants to pile on the misery by listing the 12 greatest movies ever made that prominently feature snow. In some films, the frozen flakes almost play a supporting role.
Now whether these frosty dozen are actually the greatest movies to portray the glacial particles is, of course, up for debate. It could be just a snow job. Anyway, the films are listed in alphabetical order. Note that we are limiting the number of Christmas movies here since they invariably contain snow.
"CITIZEN KANE" (1941): This Orson Welles masterpiece opens with the most famous snow-globe scene in cinematic history -- not that there's much competition -- as the glass orb drops from a dying man's hand and shatters as he whispers "Rosebud." As we all know, Rosebud was the horse that Kane should have bet on at the Porterhouse Stakes. OK, maybe not. Anyway, without giving away the ending, let's just say that a certain wintry childhood activity plays out as a significant metaphor in the film.
"THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW" (2004): Watch this film and you'll stop complaining about the snow. Mother Nature gets annoyed with global warming doubters and unleashes the entire package of weather-related calamities. All that's missing is Lena Horne singing "Stormy Weather."
"DOCTOR ZHIVAGO" (1965): Rumor has it that it snows in Russia, and just in case you're not sure, check out the amazing snow-covered vistas in this epic. Director David Lean portrays landscapes with a panache that would make John Constable envious. It's the ideal film to watch while sipping White Russians.
"FARGO" (1996): And is it true that it snows in North Dakota, too? You betcha. The Coen brothers add an avalanche of malfeasance to the scenery as several people behave very badly. The film takes "in cold blood" literally as one unlucky soul gets fed into a wood chipper in the frigid air.
"GROUNDHOG DAY" (1993): Without a snowstorm, Bill Murray's obnoxious weatherman never leaves Punxsutawney, Pa., and never gets to relive the same day over and over again. There would also be no snowball fight scene and no romance. Who says freezing precipitation can't warm the heart?
"HOLIDAY INN" (1942): Want to hear Bing Crosby croon "White Christmas"? Hear it sung here rather than in "Irving Berlin's A White Christmas" from 1954. "A Betty White Christmas" doesn't measure up either.
"IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" (1946): Director Frank Capra dumps a ton of fake snow on Bedford Falls as Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey discovers what the world would have been like if he hadn't been born. There would have have been no Bailey's Ice Cream, for starters. Or Bailey's Irish Cream. Or Bailey Howell.
"ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE" (1969): Remember George Lazenby? As we all know, he invented the La-Z-Boy recliner. Actually, he was the first actor not named Sean Connery to play James Bond. Other actors who followed as 007 -- Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, to be specific, all participated in ski chases -- but it's Lazenby's Bond who really gets down with going downhill. Kids, don't try these stunts on the slopes at Wachusett Mountain.
"THE SHINING" (1980): Snow should get an acting credit in this Stanley Kubrick classic. Snow cuts off the family from the outside world, and the patriarch gets a mild case of cabin fever. A snowdrift later helps a young boy escape from his father who then chases the child into a maze of snow-covered hedges where he has an unpleasant confrontation with Jack Frost.
"SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW" (1997): If you want to solve what you believe is a murder committed in snowy Copenhagen, it doesn't hurt to have, well, a sense of snow. Julia Ormond's title character has the gift and uses it in her investigation. The film was followed by a sequel, "Smilla's Sense of Slush." OK, maybe not.
"THE THING" (1982): Antarctica serves as a snow-encrusted diner for an alien with a hankering for hound. Or anything that breathes for that matter. The nasty critter is not to be confused with Thing from "The Addams Family." Nor is this wild thing remotely groovy.
"THE WIZARD OF OZ" (1939): Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion would be pushing up daisies in a poppy field if Glinda doesn't break the Wicked Witch's spell with a little snow squall. "Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?" quips Bert Lahr's Lion after waking up. Come to New England, cat, if you really want to see unusual weather.
Honorable mentions go to -- again in alphabetical order: "Affliction," "Alive," "Beautiful Girls," "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "Cliffhanger," "Edward Scissorhands," "The Empire Strikes Back," "The Fast Runner," "The Gold Rush," "The Ice Storm," "Iron Will," "Jeremiah Johnson," "Let the Right One In," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," "Nanook of the North," "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," "The Sweet Hereafter," "30 Days of Night," "Touching the Void," "Where Eagles Dare" and "Whiteout." Sorry, no cartoons, and no "Snow Dogs," "Snow Day" or "Frozen."
It's now time for TRIVIA.
Last month's tester: What actor received his first Golden Globe nomination in a late 1960s movie co-starring with an actress who received three Oscar nominations and an actor who received five Oscar nominations? Clue: A Canadian composed songs for the film.
Name the actor, the movie, the co-starring actress, the co-starring actor and the Canadian songwriter.
Answer: The actor was Michael Douglas, the movie was "Hail, Hero!" the co-starring actress was Teresa Wright, the co-starring actor was Arthur Kennedy and the Canadian songwriter was Gordon Lightfoot.
L.H. from Milford, Mass., was the first and only reader to answer the question correctly. Congratulations!
This month's tester: Who was nominated for an Oscar as best director only three times with every year pitting him against the same director who would be nominated four times? Clue: The thrice-nominated director won the first time, the four-time nominee won the second time and both lost the third time. Name both directors.
The first reader to answer the trivia question correctly will receive a package of Fruits & Passion products including shower gel, eau de toilette and after shave. Yes, it's a gift set for men. For more information, go to www.fruits-passion.com.
Trivia enthusiasts can call me at 508-626-4409 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure you leave your name, address and number on my message machine or e-mail so I can contact you if you answered the question correctly. The address is needed so winners can be mailed their prize. Callers should spell out their names slowly and clearly so their names will be spelled correctly in the column. Only one guess per household, please.
Answers will be accepted until 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Good luck!