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November 21, 2006 6:46 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

I'm building up my Netflix queue for some x-mas love and want movie recommendations. Feel free to include movies, holiday specials, cartoons, what have you.
posted by 10ch to Media & Arts (56 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I enjoyed the first The Santa Clause. I'm not vouching for the next two. Of course, there's The Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life, if you're looking for classics.
posted by muddgirl at 6:50 AM on November 21, 2006

Ooh Ooh, Home for the Holidays over my last 3 suggestions. Great movie. It's a heartwarming and disfunctional family christmas.
posted by muddgirl at 6:51 AM on November 21, 2006

Two that come immediately to mind (complete opposites): Joyeux Noel and Elf.
posted by nnk at 6:55 AM on November 21, 2006

Love Actually and Die Hard 2
posted by meerkatty at 6:57 AM on November 21, 2006

I don't remember it all that well, but it has Bill Murray in it so it's got to be pretty good, and I think i liked it, so I'll add Scrooged to my list.
posted by nnk at 6:57 AM on November 21, 2006

Best Christmas movie ever: A Christmas Story.

I miss the days when precious film gems like this were allowed to stand on their own instead of sullied by grody marketing and repetitious sequels.
posted by loiseau at 6:58 AM on November 21, 2006

An underground but stellar classic is Jim Hensons special: Emmitt Otter's Jug Band Chirstmas. I know it sounds a bit odd but TRUST me, the scene where Ma Otter and Emmitt go ice skating has been a staple in my life since the early 80s. Till this day watching it is something I look forward to like ...well a kid a Christmas.
posted by Meemer at 7:00 AM on November 21, 2006

Home Alone and Little Women
posted by Sassyfras at 7:01 AM on November 21, 2006

A Christmas Story, of course
The Cheaters
The Ref
A Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen
A Charlie Brown Christmas which also is a must-have soundtrack.
posted by nightwood at 7:01 AM on November 21, 2006

I discovered A Christmas Story many moons ago on a list of overlooked "small gems", and was very glad I did. Now, it's played a bit (okay, a LOT) too much. I alternate with It's A Wonderful Life one year, and Ralphie the next. I can't take too much Christmas stuff. We will probably add Love, Actually in there, as my husband really liked that one, too.

Other than that, I got nothin', so I'll be looking at the suggestions to come.
posted by Savannah at 7:02 AM on November 21, 2006

Die Hard ("Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.") and Lethal Weapon

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon, not the movie)
posted by kirkaracha at 7:04 AM on November 21, 2006

Santa Claus: The Movie, starring Dudley Moore and that guy who played Dick in Third Rock from the Sun. Christmas really wouldn't be complete without it.
posted by afx237vi at 7:04 AM on November 21, 2006

The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite christmas movie.
posted by effigy at 7:14 AM on November 21, 2006

I cannot believe no one has mentionedChristmas Vacation ! SUCH A CLASSIC!
And anything by Max Fleischer, specifically Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
posted by banannafish at 7:15 AM on November 21, 2006

Christmas in Connecticut and White Christmas.
posted by donajo at 7:16 AM on November 21, 2006

Not strictly a Christmas movie, but I love the Christmas pageant in the first scene of Toys.
posted by amro at 7:17 AM on November 21, 2006

"I'm gonna git you, sucka!". Reminds me of a Christmas Eve when we were drunk and trying to put together a tricycle and a Barbie Dreamhouse. Why that was running on Christmas Eve? I have no idea.
posted by Gungho at 7:20 AM on November 21, 2006

The standards around my house are A Child's Christmas in Wales, a BBC dramatization of the Dylan Thomas story, and The Snowman, the animated version of the Raymond Briggs book. Christmas wouldn't be the same without them; I can't recommend them enough. Unfortunately, they might also be a bit hard to track down, though the first was released on DVD last year.
posted by ZaphodB at 7:21 AM on November 21, 2006

Elf and Christmas Vacation
posted by caflores22 at 7:26 AM on November 21, 2006

Miracle on 34th Street! It has Natalie Wood, not to mention Maureen O'Hara learning a lesson about "silly common sense." Beware the remakes, though.
posted by paleography at 7:27 AM on November 21, 2006

On the "action movies that take place at Christmas" list I would like to heartily endorse The Long Kiss Goodnight.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:37 AM on November 21, 2006

I can recommend both the Patrick Stewart and George C. Scott versions of "A Christmas Carol," but the hands-down best version is the 1951 Alastair Sim classic "Scrooge."
posted by pardonyou? at 7:38 AM on November 21, 2006

I see your Christmas Vacation, and raise you It's a Wonderful Life.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 7:40 AM on November 21, 2006

Absolutely The Nightmare Before Christmas. Doubles as a Halloween movie! Tim Burton doesn't need computers to make beautiful animation.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:49 AM on November 21, 2006

John Lithgow is who you're thinking of, afx237vi.

Scrooged is dark as all hell but really quite nice ... definitely right up my alley.
posted by WCityMike at 8:09 AM on November 21, 2006

Meet me in St. Louis. Absolutely. Of course it starts in the swealtering summer, but the Christmas scenes are the best. And you can't beat Judy Garland singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas on the snowy front lawn.
posted by sulaine at 8:11 AM on November 21, 2006

Bad Santa and my all time favorite Christmas movie, Scrooged.
posted by chrisroberts at 8:16 AM on November 21, 2006

Although I enjoyed Disney's Babes in Toyland (1961) when I was a wee lad, the 1934 Babes in Toyland with Laurel and Hardy is my favorite version.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
is fun if you're into cheesy, Plan 9 From Outer Space type bad movies.
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:29 AM on November 21, 2006

I nth Love Actually and A Christmas Story.
posted by anjamu at 8:30 AM on November 21, 2006

Chrisroberts: "Bad Santa"

Note: do not watch this movie with your parents, unless everyone's cool with running anal-sex jokes.

Just trust me on this.
posted by loiseau at 8:31 AM on November 21, 2006

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special is the favorite at our house.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:14 AM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

I second Bad Santa and also recommend Gremlins.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:14 AM on November 21, 2006

The first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan.
posted by FYKshun at 9:15 AM on November 21, 2006

Love Actually, as a couple other shave mentioned.
posted by jdroth at 9:21 AM on November 21, 2006

Home for the Holidays is actually about Thanksgiving, but it still works for the season, I think.

Little Women is my #1, even though it's not strictly an xmas movie.

Can't seem to get them from Netflix, but A Muppet Family Christmas and The Christmas Toy (which I've always called "A Muppet Toy Christmas" for some reason until today when I looked it up on imdb) are tops when it comes to kids' TV specials. I love the Muppet Christmas Carol too but it was made after Jim Henson's death, while these two are authentic Henson productions. The Christmas Toy doesn't have the normal Muppets (save for Kermit introducing it), but it's really special. And A Muppet Family Christmas is an extravaganza, incorporating the traditional Muppets, the Sesame Street Muppets and the Fraggle Rock Muppets together (hence the title).
posted by lampoil at 9:23 AM on November 21, 2006

A Wish For Wings that Work

Not really a movie, nor available on DVD apparently. I used to have it on VHS, but I wore out the tape, then the VHS player ate was left. Was the last tape the player ever saw before it got tossed.

Albatross!!?? ALBATROSS!!?? (Sorry, had a flashback there.)
posted by JigSawMan at 9:46 AM on November 21, 2006

It's a total chick flick, but Serendipity. And Love Actually. And definitely Elf.
posted by geeky at 10:08 AM on November 21, 2006

I have a soft spot for All I Want For Christmas. A young Ethan Embry and Thora Birch? Lauren Bacall?

I also really like The Trouble With Angels, although it's not entirely set at Christmas as I recall.
posted by nekton at 10:17 AM on November 21, 2006

I've always loved the musical version of A Christmas Carol, also titled Scrooge, starring Albert Finney. Some people find it unforgivably cheesy though.
posted by nanojath at 10:31 AM on November 21, 2006

It's a Christmas tradition in our house to watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
posted by Otis at 10:32 AM on November 21, 2006

Seconding the 1951 Scrooge (aka A Christmas Carol) with Alistair Simm. Be careful to avoid the colourized version, though.
posted by timeistight at 10:43 AM on November 21, 2006

Wakko's Wish
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:44 AM on November 21, 2006

"Bad Santa"
Note: do not watch this movie with your parents, unless everyone's cool with running anal-sex jokes.

For what it's worth, my grandma loves this movie. I'm not sure what that says about my family.

Everyone's already mentioned my favorites: Christmas Vacation has got to be top of the list. If you want something Hallmark-Channel hokey, though, check out Prancer, the only movie my mother owns on DVD.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:25 AM on November 21, 2006

If you have any interest in Japanese anime, I'd recommend Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers.
posted by jal0021 at 12:35 PM on November 21, 2006

"It's a Wonderful Life" would have to be my top favorite. I've watched it every year on NBC when they show it on Christmas Eve since I was eight. I still cry at the end.

"A Christmas Story" would have to come in second.

But I definately have to agree with the person who mentioned "Emmit Otter's Jugband Christmas." It's sad but I watch it with my mom and we can relate to so much of it.
posted by champthom at 12:38 PM on November 21, 2006

Several of the above-- I'll nth The Santa Clause (second one was just ok, but I liked the new one), Elf, Santa Claus: The Movie, the Sim and Stewart versions of A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life (which isn't really a Christmas movie any more than some of those action films) and Scrooged.

I'd add The Night they Saved Christmas, an early-80s TV Christmas special which my family loved and spent years trying to find on VHS when they stopped airing it every year (I've found it again the last few years on TV).

My ex's grandma always said her favorite Christmas movie was Gremlins. I don't really get that, but she was an awesome lady.
posted by Cricket at 12:41 PM on November 21, 2006

Oh, also: A Very Brady Christmas. It's cheese-tastic.
posted by donajo at 1:15 PM on November 21, 2006

I recommend Bernard & the Genie, if you can find it. It's a bit UK-centric so you may not get all the in-jokes, but it is rather cute.
posted by ninazer0 at 1:59 PM on November 21, 2006

Miracle on 34th Street

And for those who are sick of It's a Wonderful Life, but who still want a profound consideration of one person's life, I highly recommend Kurosawa's Ikiru.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:59 PM on November 21, 2006

I'm a serious sucker for Christmas films, and most of my favorites have been mentioned above, but there are a couple that haven't:
Love Actually
Miracle on 34th Street
A Muppet Christmas Carol
A Chipmunk Christmas
Home Alone
Jingle all the Way
posted by cholly at 2:54 PM on November 21, 2006

Also, Stepmom, but I suppose it only partially counts as a Christmas movie.
posted by cholly at 2:55 PM on November 21, 2006

I know this is my third post in this thread, but films keep coming to me!
The Grinch (for all that Dr Seuss goodness) and The Polar Express!
posted by cholly at 3:21 PM on November 21, 2006

For me, it's all about A Christmas Story (Fuuuuuuuuuuuuudddddge), White Christmas (I love the Clooney), The Grinch, Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, and a movie that hasn't been mentioned before now. It's not strictly a Christmas movie, but it's set in that time between Christmas and New Years -- While You Were Sleeping, which is an under-rated romantic comedy.
posted by julen at 4:30 PM on November 21, 2006

A very underappreciated An American Christmas Carol is my favorite version of the classic tale set in the USA in the depression era with Henry Winkler as the Scrooge character, Benedict Slade. I hadn't seen it for years but it bacame available on DVD a year or so ago and we got a copy from Amazon.
posted by AstroGuy at 6:21 PM on November 21, 2006

Scrooged! It is the only movie I consistently want to watch at christmas anymore.
posted by piratebowling at 8:52 PM on November 21, 2006

I'm not sure if anyone else would class Trading Places as a Christmas film, but there are some Christmas scenes in there. It's one of the films I make a point of watching during that time.
posted by TheDonF at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2006

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