‘Tis the Season

5 12 2007

(for those of you who have smart things to say about my lack of posting…I am sorry…moving on)The holidays are upon us and one of the great things about this time of year is the movies. I have compiled (in an utterly pointless fashion) my list of “Top 10 Christmas Movies” and a brief description or comment of some sort. Enjoy!

10. A Christmas Carol- A Dickens classic that no Christmas season would be complete without (typically it will be played end to end on TBS sometime around Christmas Eve). My favorite version is the 1951 version that sometimes goes under the title “Scrooge”. Alastair Sim as the older Mr. Scrooge was brilliant.

9. Gremlins– While not technically a ‘Christmas Movie’ it does take place at Christmas time. Now if I could only get a hold of a Pelzer Bathroom Buddy for Christmas I would be able to give the gift that keeps on giving.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas- A childhood favorite that never ceases to please. The songs are forever ingrained in my childhood and the voice of the Grinch (Boris Karloff) and his singing counterpart (Thurl Ravenscroft) are so unique that they can take me back to a certain time in life.

7. A Christmas Story- How can you not feel for young Ralphie as he tries so desperately to get his hands on his prized “Red Ryder”? Admit it after watching this one you have always wanted to spend Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Very funny in one of those great immature ways.

6. Elf– Now this might come as sacrilege to some of you but it really is a great movie. Regardless of how you might feel about Will Ferrell he plays a great character (raised by Santa, believing he is an elf, and then going to NYC to find his real dad-played magnificently by James Caan) . This movie is unique in that is truly is a family movie, there are no curse words (unless you count “cotton headed ninny-muggins”) and it is good clean family fun.

5. Miracle on 34th Street- The 1947 incarnation of this movie is the only one that will pass as quality Christmas cinema. A wonderful movie that helps us all to remember that we once believed and have lost some of that as we have gotten older and hardened by life. The childlike faith that is personified in the mythology of Santa Claus is a perfect parallel for how our faith sometimes goes through the same lessening as we get into ‘life’.

4. Christmas Vacation- I do not even know where to begin. This movie is one of the MOST HILARIOUS (capitalization rights provided by Maughry) of ALL TIME! The Griswolds show us all that our families are not ‘that bad’ and at the same time show us little bits of our own in theirs. As Ellen Griswold tells her daughter “It’s the Holidays honey, we’re all miserable”.

3. Love Actually- another newcomer to the scene, but it is utterly and completely FANTASTIC. One of those great multi-scenario movies that follows numerous plotlines through out only to show you their connections. The music is great, the story is great, the humor is great. An absolute must-see!!

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas- Seriously one of the most powerful Christmas movies of all time (laugh if you want but I am serious). In such a simple way Charles Schultz reminds us all (in the words of Linus) ‘what Christmas is really all about’. The reading of Luke 2 during that show (run in primetime in 1965) was a gamble on the behalf of Schultz but one that paid off many times over. The soundtrack, provided by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, is musically some my favorite jazz ever (not that I am a jazz expert at all). Well worth you 24 mintues to watch.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life- Some may ‘poo-poo’ this number one choice as ‘cheesy’ or ‘sentimental’ but it is and I don’t care. Jimmy Stewart’s “Merry Christmas Bedford Falls” will always ring in my head as he runs down the street (at the end of the movie) proclaiming his newly found Christmas joy. It truly is a great movie and can only be fully appreciated in its original black and white format. If you watch but one Christmas movie all year THIS. IS. THE. ONE!

So as “Mr. Tony” says ‘That’s it, that’s the list’. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and possible additions.

PS–Honorable mention goes to “Santa Claus: The Movie” starring Dudley Moore. I remember loving this movie as a child, but I have probably not seen it in 15 to 20 years so I need to find a copy and give it a viewing again.




9 responses

5 12 2007

Good choices. I saw “Wonderful Life” for the first time last year and was surprised how dark it actually is for most of the movie.

Sentimentally, I’ve got to add “Home Alone” (the first one – all the sequels were utter crap). There was something kind of original and exciting about that movie when it first came out, and who didn’t want to turn their house into a death trap!

5 12 2007

Oh my Gosh, I can’t believe you left out “A Muppet Christmas Carol.” THAT is the best Christmas movie ever.

5 12 2007

I am going to have to add “Prancer” and “A Hobo’s Christmas” to this list. I don’t know if anyone but our family has ever seen “A Hobo’s Christmas” but it is one of the best out there.

6 12 2007

I really want to see Love Actually. It’s been in the bottom of our Netflix queue for a long time. I don’t think lane was a fan of moving it up, but maybe with the writer’s strick + your endorsement, maybe it’ll happen.

If all else fails, I think I can buy it for $3 on demand.

6 12 2007

strike obviously. why can i consistently not spell correctly only on YOUR blog?

6 12 2007

Love Actually is a very good movie. I second Brother Bean’s recommendation.

8 12 2007

I think this year, in honor of A Christmas Story, and why not, in honor of you Nick, I will eat Christmas dinner in a Chinese restaraunt!! 🙂

8 12 2007

Great List ….my favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the one with George C Scott who also played the lead in PATTON. Great stuff!
I also would like to say BRAVO for throwing Santa Claus :The Movie in the mix ….I can see those glowing suckers in the color of puce now !!
we have talked about it before but Emma Thompson is AMAZING in Love Actually ….
Happy Christmas everyone ….Nick has inspired me to write a Christmas Themed blog !!

9 12 2007

Okay, I agree on most of your choices. I have to admit that I have not actually sat down and watched It’s a Wonderful Life all the way through.

Christmas for me can’t go by without a viewing of Christmas Vacation…and I have to agree with Lane, Home Alone is another that would be at the top of my list!

Great Blog though!

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