Favorite Christmas movies.

What movies do you watch to get into the holiday spirit?

Christmas Vacation
White Christmas
A Very Murray Christmas (not technically a movie)
It’s a Wonderful Life

Die Hard.

The George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol. (I know, Ed Woodward is obviously on stilts, but he’s still the best Ghost of Christmas Present ever.)

The Lion in Winter.

Various versions of A Christmas Carol. For live-action–Sim, Scott, and Stewart are the Scrooge Triumvirate. Animated–Mr. Magoo’s (the first version I ever saw as a child), with a score by Broadway legend Jule Styne, and the 2009 Jim Carrey version, despite its flaws, is quite book-faithful and doesn’t gloss over the story’s darker aspects. (But doesn’t drown in them either and pile on even more grimdarkness that wasn’t in the book, unlike a certain very recent version I could mention.) For musicals–the Muppets, the aforementioned Magoo version, and Scrooge with Albert Finney. Then there are the underrated gems like An American Christmas Carol with Henry Winkler.

Of course, there’s It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and Miracle on 34th Street (the original). Some of the newer stuff like Arthur Christmas (very amusing, and VERY British). The old classic specials like Charlie Brown, The Grinch, and the Rankin-Bass bunch. (A side note–forty years this year, and STILL no John Denver And The Muppets on DVD or streaming. I wonder why? But you can find it on YouTube.)

The MST3K and Rifftrax versions of Santa Claus Conquers The Martians and the Mexican Santa Claus are a riot!

Then there are various productions of The Nutcracker. More’s the pity–Ovation doesn’t seem to be doing its Battle Of The Nutcrackers anymore. But they showed some pretty interesting interpretations. I prefer the ones where young adults play Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, since it seems a little more like a romance. But I’m kind of in the middle between liking the more traditional productions, and liking something a little different so it’s not just same-old-same-old (but not so avant-garde that it loses any charm or cheer). Matthew Bourne’s rather interesting versionstarted out in a Tim-Burton-ish orphanage run by “Dr. Dross”, and fixed the whole “no-real-plot-in-the-second-act” problem by having Clara’s “prince” stolen away by another and her having to find him and win him back.

Arthur Christmas
Miracle on 34th Street
(Alaister Sim)
*A Christmas Story
Muppet Christmas Carol

I just watch action movies at Chirstmas.

Agreed! I love the way he combines warmth and jollity with sternness and reproach towards Scrooge. And shows some snark of his own:

Spirit: You mustn’t argue with those in the right. It’s pointless, and even tactless.
Scrooge: Tact is a quality I despise.
Spirit: That I can plainly see.


#2 The Ref