What’s better than kicking back on a cold snowy evening watching a good Christmas Movie. Nothing really gives the feeling of Christmas like Frank Capra, Dr. Seuss and Charles Dickens. Here are some of my favorite movies for the season – just in case you forgot one, so fill up your NetFlix cue with some holiday cheer.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart at their absolute best. This is one of my all-time favorite movies regardless of the year. This may be an old black & white and if you aren’t that into old movies you should still watch and enjoy this movie. Interesting side note:
The Sesame Street characters Bert & Ernie are named after the Traffic Cop and Taxi Driver from this movie. (As per an article I read a while back this has been a rumor for a very long time, but with absolutely no truth to it according to those closest to Jim Henson.)
I Love You Truly|Nelson Eddy
a Christmas Story (1983) This one may not be as heartwarming, but it makes up for it in Christmas Americana from its irreverent humor to its rockwellian with a side of crazy take on the Parker Family Christmas.
“You’ll shoot your eye out!”
Jingle Bells|The Ray Conniff Singers
Elf (2003) Now I know not everyone loves this movie and I’m okay with that. The thing is – I really enjoy this movie. Between Will Ferrell and James Caan and the “angry elf” Peter Dinklage and the lovely and talented Zooey Deschanel and even the Leon (Redbone) the snowman who is incidently who is singing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ with Zooey as the credits roll.
Christmas Island|Leon Redbone
White Christmas (1954) Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye singing and goofing their way through this classic is something that as a kid kept me watching despite the elaborate dance numbers and over the top cheese. The music by Irving Berlin is so great in this music, The title track was actually first heard in the 1942 film Holiday Inn which is another wonderful Bing Crosby/Irving Berlin Holiday movie.
White Christmas|Bing Crosby
Christmas Vacation (1989) What can you say about the Griswold family. Still, it’s a must for every Christmas season. Who hasn’t thought this when speaking to at least one family member?
Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Eddie: Naw, I’m doing just fine, Clark.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Theme
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 TV) Of all the TV Christmas movies I have to say that How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is probably my favorite. It’s just enough Chuck Jones (He’s the director/best animator ever) and just enough Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) to make it one of the best cartoons ever. Rudolph and Frosty are nice little movies and so is the Charlie Brown Christmas special, but they don’t cross the barrier of time the way that the Grinch does.
Home Alone (1990) Macaulay Culkin slapping his face with aftershave, ok there are things that annoy me about this movie, but this is a great Christmas movie that has more heart than the last few years worth of Christmas movies combined. A lonely kid on Christmas – what is it that everyone needs through the holidays? Family and friends, people to share the joy of the occasion. Chris Columbus does a great job mixing fun music and a funny little kid getting away with hijinx that every kid always wanted to.
Somewhere In My Memory
A few other movies worth mentioning:
A Christmas Carol – this one it’s just difficult to pick which one – the old 1951 Scrooge, Mickey’s, Muppets, Patrick Stewart. Whichever you pick, they’re all good, it’s just a great story. I kinda like the Muppets, it’s true to the original in feel and has Muppets in it.
Trapped In Paradise (1994) – Nicolas Cage, Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz play brothers from the city in a small town. Two brothers are trying to rob the town while Cage is trying to keep them from doing so. only 5.5 stars on IMDb, but I still enjoy it.
Gremlins and Die Hard deserve mention if only because they take place at Christmas, these are fun movies that have a bit of the holiday cheer at least at the end when the horror is over.