It seems every year a new Christmas movie comes out, and a trip to the cinema with family or friends is always a nice way to get into the spirit of the holidays. In this age of DVD vending machines, delivery, and on-demand, we needn’t limit ourselves to the one or two festive films out at the movies, or wait to see what the networks are showing over the holidays. Here at Personal Creations, we love getting completely psyched for the holidays, and nothing is more effective than watching a bunch of Christmassy movies. Did someone say Christmas movie marathon?!? We’ve compiled a list of Top 10 Christmas movies to watch this year. We hope you enjoy them!
Rank #10: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
It’s been nearly 50 years but director Bill Melendez’s classic Charlie Brown tale never seems to age. As usual, CB seeks Lucy’s counsel about how to get out of his depression and into the spirit of Christmas. Her advice is to direct the school Nativity play, a strange choice for a boy like Charlie, but all’s well that ends well as they say…
Rank #9: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Chevy Chase is classic in his role as Clark W. Griswold, as he tries to hold it together for a stellar family Christmas against all odds, including a thoroughly unappealing Christmas bonus, nasty neighbors, redneck relatives (Randy Quaid is fabulous as Cousin Eddie) and mischievous squirrels. The laughs come thick and fast in our number nine contender.
Rank #8: Home Alone (1990)
Those who remember Macaulay Culkin as the cute, resourceful tyke from Home Alone, may also remember that the film was one of the biggest grossing films of 1990 (trumped only by Jerry Zucker’s ‘Ghost’), making Culkin an instant child star. We loved watching him outwit bumbling burglars Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern – mostly because we love booby traps, but also because we love to hate Pesci and Stern in this film.
Rank #7: A Christmas Carol (1951)
Time for an oldie. Many films based on the famed novella by Charles Dickens have been made over the years, but this version is often seen as Hollywood’s finest attempt, largely due to Alastair Sim’s superb performance as Ebenezer Scrooge. The lessons of the Ghosts of Christmas Past never wear thin, and like many Christmas classics, the fact that it’s in black and white, only adds to the nostalgic charm of this mid century film gem.
Rank #6: A Christmas Story (1983)
9 year-old Ralphie Parker needs a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, and there’s nothing that will convince him otherwise. The film that led to the sale of more “leg lamps” across America than anyone could think possible, is a slice of Christmas Americana that remains a compulsory contender for any top ten list.
Rank #5: Scrooged (1988)
While many attempts have been made to reproduce Dickens classic ‘A Christmas Carol,’ none have been more riotous than the 80’s send-up ‘Scrooged.’ Bill Murray is the cold-hearted Ebeneezer Scrooge who is visited by Ghosts of Christmases Past of a different kind, and the results are hilarious.
Rank #4: Joyeux Noel (2005)
Perhaps the Christmas story that tells the truest meaning of Christmas, in it’s historical accuracy and it’s sentiment, ‘Joyeux Noel’ is a film to watch on Christmas Eve with a loved one. Based on the true story of a Christmas Eve truce between German, French and Scottish soldiers during World War I, Joyeux Noel garnered an Oscar nomination for best foreign film in 2005. It would be improper to rank a foreign film in the Top 3 on a Top 10 list created in America, but the moral of the story in this film is close to perfection.
Rank #3: Elf (2003)
Buddy the Elf is one of our favorite Will Ferrell personas. He’s adorable, hilarious and has given us some stellar quotes, like, “I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite.” ‘Elf’ is one of those movies that every age group takes something different from. Kids appreciate the slapstick and adults enjoy the Will Ferrellness of it.
Rank #2: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) & Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Made only a year apart, and sharing equal reverence from die-hard Christmas film buffs, we’re giving equal ranking to the classic ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, which answers the age-old question about Santa Clause’s authenticity, and Frank Capra’s ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ in which a man learns that, despite his feelings of failure as a man, he has led a truly wonderful life. Perennial favorites, one of these two films usually enjoys first place in Christmas movie top ten lists. We thought we’d give someone else a turn… Both films get about as much annual TV airtime as Ben Hur, so there’s no need to rent these ones.
Rank #1: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
You mightn’t have seen this one coming – and yet here it is in position #1. The fact is, with an original soundtrack by Danny Elfman, stunning production techniques, brilliantly funny and creepy characters, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is the film that just keeps on giving. It might be a little oddball, and it’s probably too scary for the young’uns, but we think a Tim Burton film deserves top ranking, because we can legitimately watch the adventures of Pumpkin King Jack Skellington, any time of the year and still be inspired. Also, Mr Burton’s penchant for sneaking Christmas theme into so many of his films (think Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands) shows his commitment to Christmas.