Greatest Christmas Movies (2006 Edition)

Josh.C

Second Unit
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Dec 20, 2005
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469
The older I get, the longer it takes me to get into the Holiday Spirit. Maybe a nice top 5 list will help get me (and maybe some of you) in the Christmas mood. Here are mine:

Honorable Mention: Home Alone-
Hard to believe Macaulay Culkin used to be cute and innocent

5. It's a Wonderful Life-
Timeless Classic

4. A National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation-
Hillarious

3. A Christmas Story-
Everyone wanted a Red Rider BB Gun after this.

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated)-
The Jim Carrey version was o.k., but the original is soooo much better.

1. White Christmas-
Bing Crosby could sing about fried Poop and make it sound good. This is the one my family watches before Christmas every year. Danny Kaye and Bing are great together. The "sisters" song and dance act is priceless.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
 

David Williams

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Gone with the Wind and It's a Wonderful Life are constantly vying for Worst Movie of All Time in my movie pantheon. IAWL's constant cloying sickly sweetness ("Every time a bell rings... ) is so over the top as to be vomit-inducing.


My top 5:

5. The Santa Clause trifecta: A fun holiday blowout
4. The Ref: The anti-family Christmas movie that still has a warm, happy ending
3. Home for the Holidays: Technically a Thanksgiving movie, but gets the sentiment right.
2. A Christmas Story: Nostalgia done without the sweetness
1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Perfection. Nails the fun/horror of having the family together at Christmas.
 

Adam_S

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wow, someone hasn't seen the movie and yet they thread crap. Um. Most of the film is pretty dark and depressing (like the Christmas Carol) it's only at the very end that George Bailey finds redemption.

And fwiw, Home for the HOlidays is near the top of my all time worst lists (funny because I love Little Man Tate). Talk about getting everything about the holidays and family utterly, utterly wrong.


my top three are:

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
It's a Wonderful Life
A Christmas Story
 

David Williams

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David Williams

Wow. Harsh. I have seen the movie and it's not a thread crap to be discussing a holiday movie in a holiday movie thread. I genuinely dislike the movie and there are many cliches and sweet moments interspersed between the dark moments you speak of. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
 

george kaplan

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Mar 14, 2001
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OK, here's 10:

10. Christmas in Connecticut
9. Miracle on 34th Street
8. The Bishop's Wife
7. Scrooge
6. It's a Wonderful LIfe
5. Elf
4. Home Alone
3. Scrooged
2. A Christmas Story
1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
 

Chris

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1. A Christmas Story - I can't think of a single movie that so sums up the feeling of nostalgia as well as how children feel and interact with each other. There is a kind of wide-eyed joy about this film that is written and acted in such a way that you want to believe that's how things are.

2. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - I laugh every single time. That's enough for me.

3. A Bishop's Wife (Original version). The original version of this film is so beautifully crafted that while it's a Christmas Story, it's mostly a story about the needs and desires of people. I really enjoy this one.

4. The Ref - I think this film goes really under the radar. It's funny, the characters are so zany that there are moments I really laugh.

5. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" I'm sorry, but this is the one film on this list that is so rip-roaring funny that I have to stop every so often to catch my breath. When they sing "Let's have a Patriick Swayze Christmas" .. good lord! If you haven't seen this, make a strong effort to track it down.

6. Trading Places - I know, not a traditional Christmas film, but it is set at Christmas time. And it still makes me laugh
 

John Kilduff

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Dammit, you beat me to it. That's my all-time favorite Christmas movie. I also like "Lethal Weapon" and "Scrooged" as well. Nothing says Christmas like German terrorists ("Die Hard"), suicidal cops ("Lethal Weapon") and people getting hit with toasters ("Scrooged").

Sincerely,

John Kilduff...

I really need to get some eggnog before December 25th.
 

PattyFraser

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
312
#5 Miracle on 34th Street
#4 Going My Way
#3 LotR (since they came out at Christmas time I enjoy watching them then)
#2 Baryshnikov "The Nutcracker"
#1 A Christmas Carol (Alistar Sim Version)

I hope to get to see The Nativity Story, and perhaps then it will make my list. It's getting rather poor reviews, so I'd better get to the movies before it disappears from the theaters and I have to wait for the DVD.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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5. Scrooged
An underrated film from Bill Murray and Richard Donner that bolsters its biting Christmas Carol satire with strong characters and real growth. Murray's on-screen relationship with Karen Allen emotionally anticipates his more nuanced turn with Andie MacDowell in Groundhog Day4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
It might just be my favorite of the whole Vacation series. An inspired reversal of the usual formula (staying home instead of going on a road trip) matched with great gags that lesser holiday movies continue to steal to this day. The relationship with his wife and kids is probably the sweetest here. And of course, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus subplot is hilarious.3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Chuck Jones)
The sterling animated original is a stark reminder that this is the absolutely perfect running time for this story. So good that it drives away the stench of that Ron Howard cinematic travesty, surely one of the worst "films" I've ever seen. Boris Karloff's voice work is perfect, and the resolution is one of the most perfectly realized.2. It's a Wonderful Life
A touching reminder that of the ideals that Christmas's namesake championed. A times incredibly dark and depressing journey, it's an incredibly moving tribute to the idea that doing the right thing matters.1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
The only annually televised Christmas special that's unafraid to put the Christ in Christmas. Charlie Brown's search for meaning beyond the blatant commercialism remains as relevant as it was in 1965 (I'm sure Charlie Brown would be repulsed by the number of packages that will be under our tree!). Linus's recitation of what Christmas is all about gets me every time, as does the children's rendition of "Hark the Herald Angels" around his newly-redeemed pathetic little tree. The only Christmas special I go out of my way to catch every single year.
 

george kaplan

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I left out animated fare, but if we're supposed to include those, here's my list of animated ones:

10. Beauty & the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (pales next to the film, but by far the best of the Disney direct to video sequels)
9. Recess: Miracle on 3rd Street
8. Frosty the Snowman
7. Mickey's Christmas Carol
6. The Year Without a Santa Claus
5. The Polar Express
4. A Charlie Brown Christmas
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
1. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
 

PattyFraser

Second Unit
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Oct 29, 2005
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Oh, if we are including animated fare, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" will have to go on this list, and I'll need to be able to note more than just 5.
 

Bob_S.

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Mar 4, 2004
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5. White Christmas- It took me a while to really get into this movie. For some
reason I just couldn't get past the WWII scene in the
beginning (boring). Now, it's an annual favorite. I also
love Rosemary Clooney's commentary on the dvd.

4. It's A Wonderful Life- Never saw this film until it went public domain and tv
stations would show it 5 or 6 times a week from
Thanksgiving to Christmas. I love Donna Reed in it.
I have the Lux Radio Theater audio version with
Reed and Stewart but Christmas isn't mentioned at
all during it.

3. A Christmas Carol (w/George C. Scott)- My all-time favorite version. I
I thought he was great in it. It's a Christmas
Tradition in our house.

2. Holiday Inn- Bing and Fred, two of my favorite entertainers in one film! I love the
songs and Fred's firecracker number. And yea, working only
a handful of holidays a year works for me too.

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas- Have to agree with Adam on this. This is what
Christmas is all about. Love the simple
animation and of course the music. For some
reason as a kid, I remember watching this either
before or after The Mary Tyler Moore Show or
maybe the special took it's time slot. Anyways,
remember that CBS "Special Presentation" logo?
brings back a ton of childhood memories.
 

Gabriel>P

Stunt Coordinator
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Sep 10, 2005
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A Charlie Brown Christmas will be exclude from my list, but it would be number 2 if it wasn't.

5. Love Actually- There is a lot here that probably isn't all that necessary or fun. But I love Keira Knightley, most of the music, and the story between Nesson and his step son.

4. The Nightmare Befor Christmas- Oh were did this Tim Burton go?

3. Christmas in Connecticut- Barbara Stanwyck lying her way through a entire Christmas? What is there not to love?

2. A Christmas Story- You can't go through life without seeing this. So many moments ring true.

1. It's a Wonderful Life- Still perfect. James Stewart running into the house and estatic about the prospect of going to jail makes me smile far more then any film has the right to.
 

Greg_M

Screenwriter
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Mar 23, 2000
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Christmas in Connecticut (1945) One of the best and an excellent transfer on DVD - Barbara Standwick plays a magazine writer pretending to be Martha Stewart and put together a Christmas feast - only she doesn't know the first thing about cooking

The Christmas Story - usually plays continually on TBS or some other cable station on Christmas day

While you Were Sleeping - more recent, Sandra Bullock -
A woman pretends to be the fiancee of a man who lost his memory over the Christmas Holiday

Scrooge 1970 - the musical version wit Albert Finney. If you liked "Oliver!" 1968 - you should like this one

Home Alone - it's funny and it was a big hit- see it
 

RobertR

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1. Scrooge. I love this musical version of A Christmas Carol. The songs are great, and the whole movie perfectly evokes an English Christmas.

2. It's a Wonderful Life. Perfect slice of Americana.

3. A Christmas Story, same comment.

4. Miracle on 34th St. Great blend of sweetness and satire. I love the scene where the judge's campaign manager explains why he'd better not rule there is no Santa Clause.


5.. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, and the Grinch. These evoke childhood memories.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Albany, NY
I was about to reply "Ah, but that's cheating!
" until I just found out they're airing some secularized crap starring Rerun and Snoopy's brother instead of the original on Wednesday.

Apparently if I wanted to watch the original, I would have had to be around last night at 7/6 c, before primetime proper even started...

Looks like it's a DVD rental for me after all, this year...
 

Mark Klaus

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Jan 30, 1999
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1. It's a Wonderful Life
2. The Polar Express
3. Miracle on 34th Street
4. Elf
5. The Santa Claus

I watch each of these every year and especially look forward to rooting for George Bailey.
 

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