Favorite Christmas Episodes

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Gary OS, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I had my own marathon of Christmas-themed TV episodes and movies this year, mainly in the week before Christmas. I started out by screening DIE HARD on Dec 7th, and Rankin-Bass RUDOLPH and SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN a day or two later, but then got sidetracked by other things until Dec 17th, when I began programming Christmas fare in earnest. Then, the line-up in my household looked like this:
    * CAVALCADE OF STARS (LOST HONEYMOONERS): "Christmas Party" (1951)
    * MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947)
    * HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL: "The Hanging Cross"
    * HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949)
    * BEWITCHED: "A Vision of Sugarplums" (1965, the slightly-altered 2nd Season rerun)
    * THE ICE HARVEST (2005, a pretty raw, but good, Christmas-set modern film noir)
    * WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE: "8 Cent Reward" (1958)
    * THE WILD, WILD WEST: "The Night of the Whirring Death" (1965)
    * THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947)
    * TV Special: THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS (1974)
    * STINGRAY: "A Christmas to Remember" (1964)
    * LOST IN SPACE: "Return from Outer Space" (1965)
    * MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (1964/1991)
    * THE TWILIGHT ZONE: "Night of the Meek" (1960)
    * IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
    * BABES IN TOYLAND (1934)
    * CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944, believe it or not, it sort of becomes a Christmas movie halfway through)
    * THE TWILIGHT ZONE: "The Changing of the Guard" (1962)
    * THE SILENT PARTNER (1978, excellent Christmas-set crime film with Ellliot Gould & Christopher Plummer)
    * RIFFTRAX: THE SHANTY WHERE SANTY CLAUS LIVES (1933/2012, cartoon short) and MAGIC CHRISTMAS TREE (1964/2012)
    Christmas Eve:
    * JOHNNY STACCATO: "The Unwise Men"
    * Cartoon Short: SEASIN'S GREETINKS (1933, Popeye)
    * A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)
    * THE AVENGERS: "Too Many Christmas Trees" (1965)
    * ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (1969, "Merry Christmas, 007!")
    * THE ADDAMS FAMILY: "Christmas with the Addams Family" (1965)
    * THE BOB NEWHART SHOW: "Bob Has to Have His Tonsils Out, So He Spends Christmas Eve in the Hospital" (1975)
    * TAXI: "A Full House for Christmas" (1978)
    * TAXI: "Get Me Through the Holidays" (1982)
    * TV Special: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (1965)
    * TV Special: DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (1966)
    * TV Special: ONE HOUR IN WONDERLAND (1950, Christmas-set precusor to the DISNEYLAND series, on Disc 2 of the 2004 DVD release, ALICE IN WONDERLAND: MASTERPIECE EDITION)
    Christmas Day:
    * THUNDERBIRDS: "Give or Take a Million" (1966)
    * VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: "Long Live the King" (1964)
    * DRAGNET: ".22 Rifle for Christmas" (1952)
    * NIGHT COURT: "Let It Snow" (1987)
    Some traditional favorites and other stuff that didn't make the cut this year, due to lack of time, much to my regret (but they'll be at the top of my list next year):
    A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
    HOME ALONE (1990)
    REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940)
    WKRP IN CINCINNATI: "Jennifer's Christmas" and "Bah, Humbug"
    DRAGNET: "The Christmas Story"
    ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS: "Santa and the 10th Avenue Kid"
    MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: SANTA CLAUS
    THE HONEYMOONERS: "T'was the Night Before Christmas"
    THE SIMPSONS: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
    SCTV: "SCTV Staff Christmas Party" and "Christmas"
    BEWARE MY LOVELY (1952)
    LADY IN THE LAKE (1946)
    GREMLINS (1984)
    BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)
    THE CHEATERS (1945)
    THE WOOL CAP (2004)
    I also skipped these, as I'd just watched them in Sept/Oct:
    NIGHT GALLERY: "The Messiah on Mott Street"
    RAWHIDE: "Twenty-Five Santa Clauses"
    THE UNTOUCHABLES: "The Night They Shot Santa Claus"
     
  2. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    Or you could do what I do, and watch them on the week after Independence Day. I do a "Christmas In July" week after the July 4th Activities are over, breaking out my Christmas DVDs and Cds and playing them. I also break out a Christmas Tree and place it in the Window, and next year I'm going to put the decorations on my house (That will cause some "Double Takes") :laugh: It's a great way to get your mind off the Mid-Summer Heat! :D
     
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  3. Polka Dot Ron Albanese

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    Hey, Everyone!
    I just wanted to thanks everyone who contributed to this thread - it's been pretty educational for me!
    As for my viewing this year, I'm still going - on Christmas Eve, while playing Santa me and the wife took in "A Bionic Christmas" - it's surprisingly enjoyable ... the wife liked it, too, and on the spot perfectly emulated Lee Major's somewhat repetitive acting chops.
    Last night I took in one of Too Close for Comfort's holiday eps - "Mr. Christmas." It was okay - not enough of the daughters! I have another from the same show I'm going to watch tonight.
    I DVD-R'd (from Antenna) a couple of Benson episodes - that one where they sing (AWESOME OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS SPIRIT) and another one I have never seen.
    On the musical front, via YouTube I have been immensely enjoying various Osmonds Christmas specials ... I have the one that came out a few years back, and the others are great, too. I imagine they have not come out due to all the stars on the other years.
    Finally, I have to get to my Dean Martin specials - the 1968 and the 1977 Christmas in California ones!
     
  4. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I had to bump this thread to tell everyone what a joy it was to watch "Season to be Jolly", the first Dr Kildare Christmas episode, in pristine quality the other night. This is easily my #1 Christmas-themed TV episode, and I highly recommend this set!!


    Gary "there's some fantastic dialog in this episode, and Dan O'Herlihy plays his role perfectly" O.
     
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  5. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    [​IMG]

    Nothing like an early [​IMG]
     
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  6. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Agreed, Jeff! I've added the following Christmas episodes to my collection since the start of the New Year (either as first time entries, or upgrades from older copies):

    Dr. Kildare - "Season to be Jolly"
    West Point - "Christmas Present"
    Life & Times of Grizzly Adams - "Once Upon a Starry Night"
    Stanley - "Christmas Show"
    Father Dowling Mysteries - "The Christmas Mystery"
    Scarecrow and Mrs King - "Santa's Got a Brand New Bag"

    So I guess Christmas has come early in many ways. And I'm fine with that. :D


    Gary "hopefully more will be coming as the year progresses" O.
     
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  7. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Thanks for the updated list. I just updated a certain Excel tab ;)
     
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  8. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    As we get closer to Christmas and sharing what we view for the season, I thought I'd start off with this.

    [​IMG]


    Gary "25 Days of Christmas TV Viewing coming soon" O. :)
     
  9. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    What new Christmas episodes have been released on DVD since last year? I believe all four seasons of "Dobie Gillis" have Christmas episodes. And "My Mother the Car" has one. What else?
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Good question, Rob. Off the top of my head we've got a Jack Benny episode, Naked City S1, Scarecrow & Mrs King S4, Father Dowling S3, Grizzly Adams S2, Westpoint, Stanley, Family Ties S6, Restless Gun, Have Gun Will Travel S6, Lone Ranger S5, My Mother the Car, Dr Kildare S1 (the best of them all).


    Gary "probably others I'm not thinking of" O.
     
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  11. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    There are also specials like Perry Como and special Christmas themed releases like The Carol Burnett Show dvd that just came out (and that I don't recommend - not good at all, imho).


    Gary "the Dobie Gillis Christmas episodes are all decent, albeit not fantastic" O.
     
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  12. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    I wasn't aware of the Naked City and Dr. Kildare episodes. Both shows are close to the top of my "to watch" queue and they've just moved up another notch.

    Rob "Thanks, Gary!" Ray
     
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  13. Lee Smith

    Lee Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been cataloging my Christmas episodes and realized my current favorite is only a couple of years old.

    It is the Eureka episode "Do You See What I See".

    I haven't read the entire thread but it appears that only episodes for older shows are listed.

    Just wondering if I am the only one who collects newer stuff as well as the old.
     
  14. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Lee, I'm an vintage TV fan myself so those are the one's that I've been listing. But please feel free to chime in with newer shows' Christmas episodes. Everything in the Christmas genre is welcome here, regardless of the decade. :)


    Gary "don't know anything about the show you mentioned, but please tell us why that Christmas episode rates so high for you" O.
     
  15. Carabimero

    Carabimero Cinematographer
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    I just saw SEASON TO BE JOLLY on the Kildare set and agree it is a good one. I hope Kildare gets a season two release soon.
     
  16. Lee Smith

    Lee Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Gary,

    Let's just say that the town of Eureka and everyone in it are turned into various types of cartoons and the town is attacked by a snow ninja. Just another day in Eureka.
     
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  17. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    Wagon Train has a pair, "The Mary Ellen Thomas Story (S2) and "The St. Nicholas Story" (S3) worth checking out.
     
  18. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Yep. The first one is kind of depressing and doesn't fully revolve around Christmas throughout. The second is much better and well worth an annual or semi-annual watch, imho.

    My plan is to start watching in earnest the Saturday after Thanksgiving and take the 25 days from then till Christmas Eve and watch my top 25 (among others). If anyone else is up to this feel free to chime in as you watch. Whether or not your doing a "countdown" or anything else, just share with us as you enjoy your Christmas TV episodes.


    Gary "this gives me a week to tweak my list and see where everything ranks this year" O.
     
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  19. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    The two I watch every year are "No Room at the Inn" from Season 1 of Newhart, and "Santa '85" from Season 1 of Amazing Stories.
     
  20. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    How about the episode of TJ Hooker where Shatner (in full Santa costume) takes a page from Gene Hackman & Clint Eastwood...runs a thug down...puts the gun barrel in the thug's face and exclaims, "Merry Christmas Punk"????. I feel like I've posted this somewhere before. [​IMG]
     

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