By Cam Giangrande
Television is bombarded with festive classics seemingly on every channel. And this isn’t your grandmother’s 35-inch zenith tube television with rabbit ears and three channels from days gone by: I’m talking 100-plus stations of holiday programming and streaming video wherever you want it.
So what better time to put together my Top-10 Christmas movies, as well as rate and debate some “non-Christmas”, Christmas movies…and ridicule some “romantic” Christmas flicks.
The Best Christmas Movies Ever
10. Muppet Christmas Carol-I’m a big Christmas Carol fan. This is a fun version with all your favorites; Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo…etc. And, anytime you can have Michael Caine singing, you know you have gold.
9 Polar Express-Fantastic green screen technology with Tom Hanks playing multiple characters. After watching it, you will believe.
8. Home Alone-Overall great cast, with Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, and an under the radar gem from John Candy. The movie almost makes it seem plausible you could leave your kid at home.
7. Scrooged-Simply, Bill Murray. This is a role he was made to play. From the ghost of his boss, played by John Forsythe, to David Johansen and Carol Kane playing Christmas past and present, the casting was perfect. Add in the under-appreciated and always terrific Karen Allen, and you have a wildly entertaining version of Dickens’ classic.
6. Christmas Vacation-Just missed my Top-10, but holds up nicely with the “Vacation” franchise. Anytime you can get a little of “Cousin Eddie” is a good time.
5. Nightmare Before Christmas-Maybe a little controversial pick, but truly a classic. Some argue that it’s more of a Halloween movie, but to me it is a quintessential Christmas movie. It has fantastic music, to go with characters that you find yourself really caring about. One of Tim Burton’s best.
4. Elf- Will Ferrell in green tights for two hours is all you need to know. Urban legend says that he turned down nearly 30 million dollars to make a sequel because he didn’t want to sully the original. This is one of a kind and will stand the test of time.
3. A Christmas Carol (1951)- The final of my three “Scrooge” movies; and to me, the best traditional version. God bless us everyone.
2. A Christmas Story-“You’re gonna shoot your eye out”. Twenty-four hours of this movie from 8pm Christmas Eve to 8pm Christmas night has made this movie a must–watch annual ritual. Was there ever a kid cuter than Ralphie? And what about his poor brother, who couldn’t put his arms down, and refused to eat his dinner. And let’s not forget, “oh f u d g e”. If this movie doesn’t make you nostalgic, you have no soul.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life- Simply put, the greatest Christmas movie of all time. It is perfection in every way. From Clarence the guardian angel, to Zu Zu’s petals; from Bert and Ernie, Uncle Billy and Mr Potter, this movie boasts amazing performances. Jimmy Stewart is the perfect leading man, and Donna Reed is his perfect wife and companion. And remember, “every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings”.
The classic Christmas feel good film It's A Wonderful Life was released on 20 December 1946. At the time of its release, it was a box office flop. It was TV showings from 1950s that transformed it into a Christmas favourite. pic.twitter.com/9Q97ta8oOv
— Prof.Frank McDonough ⚡️ (@FXMC1957) December 20, 2017
Do yourselves a favor this Christmas Season and watch those 10 movies to get yourself into the holiday spirit.
The Best Movies, period
Here are five non-Christmas, movies that you need to watch too:
1. Edward Scissorhands
2. Lethal Weapon
3. Trading Places
5. Die Hard
Make no mistake about it, all five of these movies are great in their own way, but none of them are Christmas movies, regardless of whether they are set during the Christmas season.
Pain-Inducing Supposed Holiday Movies
And finally, two movies I have to endure each season that my wife insists are Christmas movies.
1. While You Were Sleeping
2. Love Actually
She insists these are Christmas movies, and I say they are not. Somehow they have morphed into that realm, but that doesn’t make it so. If you’re in a relationship, you’ll no doubt be forced into watching these movies at some point. Grit your teeth and smile. Before you know it, the two hours will go by and you’ll be done with it for the next 365 days. Treat it like your annual prostate exam, because that’s what watching them will feel like.
Like any list, it’s up for debate. You may have your favorites; maybe you like “White Christmas” or “Miracle on 34th Street”, (I do too by the way, they just didn’t crack my Top-10). But, whichever ones you like, make sure you carve some time out with your families this Holiday Season and enjoy as many as you can.