Here's my Top 10 list:
- It's a Wonderful Life. This is not only my favorite Christmas movie; it's my favorite movie. Period. I love the lessons it teaches, the characters it has, and the ending always makes me tear up. Always.
- A Christmas Story. Ralphie and his Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle! Triple Dog Dare! Ovaltine! The Lamp! If you don't watch this movie around Christmas, you might as well shoot your eye out, kid.
- A Christmas Carol. Any of the versions will do, whether it's the recent Jim Carrey version or the Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol. Disney made a nice version, of course, and there are the black & white versions, the color versions, etc. You really can't go wrong with this one.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas. The music is great, and the Peanuts characters don't pull any punches in explaining the true meaning of Christmas and attacking the commercialism that will always obscure that meaning. Speaking of which...
- Rankin/Bass Christmas specials. From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to The Year Without a Santa Claus, these out of this world Christmas Specials really seem to both get the true meaning of Christmas and confuse it at the same time. But they're still great fun. (By the way, check out my Create Your Own Crazy Holiday Special to have a shot at winning a prize from me.)
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I'm more inclined toward the cartoon version of this story, but I applaud the Jim Carrey version for trying to update the story and fill in some cracks. The Grinch despises Christmas because of the noise and commercialism, but when he realizes the true meaning, even his heart melts (and expands).
- Miracle on 34th Street. Does Santa Claus exist? This movie attempts to explain that question, and the only good version of this movie is the original black & white.
- Elf. It's hard for a newer movie to crack my Top 10 Christmas List, because there's sentimental value attached to each one on the list, but Elf made it through an amazing combination of humor and Christmas spirit.
- Home Alone. I was torn on whether to include this one or Santa Claus the Movie, but I included this one because it really is a family movie. A spoiled brat realizes the importance of family around Christmas even as his mother does everything in her power to get reunited with her son.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is half-Halloween movie and half-Christmas movie. The music is amazing, and the story is great. It might be scary for the little-little ones though.
Here's my Adult Top 5 list of Christmas Movies:
- Love Actually. I actually love this movie--it's tied with It's a Wonderful Life as my favorite movie, and there are multiple scenes that make me wet-eyed in this movie.
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Totally funny. Maybe the funniest Christmas movie ever.
- Scrooged. A crazy 80s spin on A Christmas Carol and the Scrooge story.
- Gremlins. Just thinking of gremlins gets that catchy theme music in my head (if you've seen Gremlins, you know what I'm talking about). Part funny, part sweet, and part mayhem--this movie is totally Christmas.
- Die Hard. You knew it was coming. For those who want guns and violence for Christmas, this is the movie for you.
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My Acting Coach (at HB Studio in NYC) was the old geezer with the cigar.
My hubby totally agrees, probably me also, with your assessment of It's a Wonderful Life as Best Movie Ever and Best Christmas Movie. Great list all around. As I ticked off your choices, hubby was about to diss you, thinking you'd left off his favorite funny pick, Christmas Vacation. Sounds like you two would get along great, lol.
Agreed, mostly. Although Tim Burton and Christmas fail to float my boat. Vacation and Scrooged, great picks. Wonderful Life is indeed the ultimate. White Christmas would make my list just for nostalgia alone. I'm sure Jack Skellington would understand.
Definitely with you on the family list. Haven't seen most of the others (although I am a die-hard "Die Hard" fan, so I'd agree with you on that one). Was pleased to see you included "Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol" - most people I talk to have never heard of that one, but it's one I grew up on. Also don't forget the "Muppet's Christmas Carol"!
Now you've done it.
I've got the music from The Nightmare Before Christmas in my head for the rest of the day.
excellent list, btw.
Polar Express does crack my list. I love this surreal, almost frightening, Odessy of a Christmas story. But, It's A Wonderful Life is definately my favorite as well.
Karen, it's impossible to leave out Christmas Vacation.
Elizabeth, I consider Muppet's Christmas Carol part of the whole Christmas Carol buffet. I can't think of too many bad versions of that classic. My boys all love Mr. Magoo's version the best.
Walt, White Christmas was on my finalist list--as was Christmas in Connecticut--but I only had 10 slots. The thing I love about The Nightmare Before Christmas, besides the amazing music (btw, sorry Huntress for getting the music stuck in your head, or maybe I should say, "You're welcome") and stop-motion animation, is Jack's wonder at the joy and happiness surrounding Christmas and his inability to express it to his Halloween minions.
Monica, The Polar Express impresses me more each time I watch it.
Not everyone's brand of comedy, but 'Bad Santa' would rate very high on my list. For the most part it presents itself as an anti-Christmas film, but by the end, even Billy Bob's 'bad Santa' succumbs to the Christmas spirit. It is sentiment, yes, but done so in such a different way - especially for a Christmas film - that is refreshing. Laugh-a-minute.
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