What are some good Christmas movies?
December 1, 2007 4:38 PM   Subscribe

What are some good Christmas movies?

I am trying to think of GOOD Christmas movies because i am planning a Christmas party with my friends. However, I can not think of many movies for a day full of fun and exciting Christmas related movies.

The only movies I can think of are Elf, Die Hard, and the Home Alone movies.

Any suggestions?
posted by Nick Fisher to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Miracle on 34th Street
A Christmas Story
It's a Wonderful Life

Love Actually isn't a classic, per se, but it's a very nice romantic comedy if you're into those.

I'm sure other people will have some suggestions for you, as I've just given the standards.
posted by MadamM at 4:41 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: I've never celebrated Christmas, but National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is always a good one to watch around that time.
posted by reenum at 4:42 PM on December 1, 2007

A Christmas Story for Jean Shepherd goodness.
posted by Seamus at 4:47 PM on December 1, 2007

Thirding A Christmas Story. It's not just a great Christmas movie - it's a great movie.
posted by Flunkie at 4:49 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: I really liked Bad Santa.
posted by kitty teeth at 4:52 PM on December 1, 2007

A Christmas Story...why not play it non-stop like TBS does on Christmas Day?
posted by tdabbott at 5:11 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: Nthing A Christmas Story, though it does get kind of played out this time of year. I am fully on board with the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation suggestion.

What about A Nightmare Before Christmas?

Also, I've found lots of grownups appreciate the kitsch factor of the classic kids' Christmas movies/specials (Rudolph, Charlie Brown, Grinch, Year Without a Santa Claus, etc).
posted by justonegirl at 5:14 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: The Muppet Christmas Carol
, which is actually one of the better Christmas Carol adaptations.
posted by null terminated at 5:16 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: On the topic of Christmas Carol adaptations, Scrooged is good too.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:18 PM on December 1, 2007

I love the classic Christmas cartoons: The Grinch is always a must see for me (but not the movie with Jim Carey), and the Peanuts Christmas movie is good too, I love the sad tree and the dancing. I never got much into the more serious movies, but it just doesn't feel like Christmas without the Grinch.
posted by JonahBlack at 5:20 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: If you're flexible enough to throw in a TV show now and then, I'd also highly recommend the episode of Twilight Zone with Art Carney. Classic.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:21 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: Objectively speaking, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is the best Christmas movie.
posted by ncc1701d at 5:22 PM on December 1, 2007

Response by poster: "What about A Nightmare Before Christmas?" -justonegirl

See I never know when to play that movie for my parties. Should I play it on Halloween? Christmas? sometime in between?

That is a good suggestion i kind of inadvertently put that out of mind.
posted by Nick Fisher at 5:22 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: I'd say "Nightmare Before Christmas" is more of a Christmas movie than a Halloween one. I think it would be great at a Christmas party!
posted by arcticwoman at 5:29 PM on December 1, 2007

The best Christmas movie, and one of my favourite movies of any kind, is Scrooge, with Alastair Sim in the title role.

Be sure not to get the colorized version.
posted by timeistight at 5:41 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

A Claymation Christmas Celebration. I think it was only on TV like twice, when the California Raisins were in there. Hooray for the '80s!

The full video is here if you prefer.
posted by landedjentry at 5:46 PM on December 1, 2007

oops, here.
posted by landedjentry at 5:47 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: A second vote for tossing Bad Santa into the mix to keep things from getting too serious/retro.
posted by a_green_man at 5:52 PM on December 1, 2007

Seconding the Alastair Sim Scrooge. I watch it every year. I also love Charlie Brown Christmas, but it's devastatingly sincere compared to the movies you listed. I mean, it ALWAYS makes me cry when they surprise Charlie Brown by prettying up his tree. I try desperately to control myself but at this point it's Pavlovian. Same thing happens in It's a Wonderful Life when everyone shows up with the money. I only recommend Alastair Sim because it's such a freaking quality adaptation. It's extremely faithful to the book.

I think you might actually be better served by moving toward really kitschy, dorky TV specials. I'm thinking specifically of the Star Wars and Pee-Wee's Playhouse specials, but I'm sure there are a million more. The Pee-Wee one is actually pretty dope, lots of random weirdos on it, but I guess you have to actually dig Pee-Wee to tolerate it. I think also the Simpsons episode where they get Santa's Little Helper is pretty much a Christmas classic.
posted by crinklebat at 6:00 PM on December 1, 2007

Die Hard.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:06 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: Trading Places - Dan Akroyd's Drunk Santa Scene
Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch
posted by plokent at 7:03 PM on December 1, 2007

"Meet Me In St. Louis" (Origin of the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas")

The first part of "Fanny and Alexander." The movie takes a very different turn after that part, but man! what a Christmas party!

"The Apartment" is a wonderful Billy Wilder comedy that takes place during the Christmas season.

"The Box of Delights" is a made for television (BBC). It's a great Christmas fantasy.

"Lady in the Lake" is a Raymond Chandler mystery which takes place at Christmas. The movie is hokey and fun and shot totally from the point-of-view of the detective. You only see the main character when he's looking at himself in the mirror.
posted by grumblebee at 7:08 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'd show 'White Christmas' followed by the television movie, 'A Very Brady Christmas.' Maybe that's why no one ever wants to come to my home!
posted by Mael Oui at 7:35 PM on December 1, 2007

Bernard and the Genie. Might be a little hard to find. But cute.
posted by ninazer0 at 7:55 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
posted by theora55 at 8:05 PM on December 1, 2007

Die Hard 2.
posted by clockwork at 8:07 PM on December 1, 2007

Christmas in Connecticut hasn't been mentioned yet. My all time favorite is It's a Wonderful Life. I'm old enough to remember when it was still in the public domain and played like 5 times a day on random channels. Now we are lucky if it's on once a year...
posted by any major dude at 9:29 PM on December 1, 2007

I love "Miracle on 34th Street." See if you can rent it in b&w rather than colorized - I think it's much more authentic that way. Don't watch the 90's remake, it wasn't very good.
posted by radioamy at 10:12 PM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: There's always the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Christmas episode, where they show "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." (Actually there's two Christmas eps, but I only count the Joel years.)

It'd help if one of your friends was already a fan of the show, because the premise can be hard to explain. But basically, a guy and two robot puppets "watch" the movie in a theater, and make sarcastic jokes back at it. This episode also includes the musical skit, "A Patrick Swayze Christmas," inspired by "Roadhouse."

And you can't go wrong with a Charlie Brown Christmas, even if you've never seen it since you were a kid. You'd be surprised how funny it is seeing it as a grown-up (or however old you are...).
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:23 PM on December 1, 2007

BBC Radio Five Live's resident film critic, Mark Kermode, has chosen his favourite ten Christmas films, and the public can now vote for their top one from the list.

The list is:

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Gremlins (1984)
Brazil (1985)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Black Christmas (1974)
Die Hard (1988)
Scrooged (1988)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

I voted the Muppet Christmas Carol
posted by Ulleskelf at 12:18 AM on December 2, 2007

The Bishop’s Wife, either version
Joyeux Noel
... Hey, wait. They’re all here!

Except Great Rupert. All the more reason to check that one out.
posted by dpcoffin at 12:49 AM on December 2, 2007

Ulleskelf - Brazil!?!

I know some people hate christmas, but that's a real open-your-wrist depressing movie, IMHO...

As for the original question - Die Hard and Lethal Weapon have already been mentioned, how about Ronin?
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 2:21 AM on December 2, 2007

We're No Angels has Bogart and Ustinov. It is "Christmasy" funny but when you have three escaped prisoners not above using murder to make a family happy, you've got black humor, too. The House without a Christmas Tree was a TV movie I haven't seen in about 30 years but it was very, very good.
posted by loosemouth at 2:46 AM on December 2, 2007

I love non-holiday holiday movies, and one all time fav not mentioned here is The Ref. Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey, the mom from Mary Poppins...

I also find the South Park Christmas specials to be a cut above the rest, but YMMV.
posted by sarahkeebs at 4:49 AM on December 2, 2007

The Family Man with Nicholas Cage. Took me by surprize and shook my Christmas tree 4 sure!!
posted by sgobbare at 8:49 AM on December 2, 2007

About A Boy. Ordinarily my overwhelming hatred of Hugh Grant leads me to avoid anything he's in, but he does a solid job as an immature, self-involved asshole and it's good for a Christmas movie.
posted by Sara Anne at 9:36 AM on December 2, 2007

Set up: In the early 80s (when we were young and free) our close friends based their annual Christmas party on a viewing of White Christmas. Believe it or not, this was in the days before VCRs were standard equipment, so they rented a projector and basically turned their apartment into a theater.

The pay-off. During the final scene, where the whole cast sings the title song, everyone at the party joined in and sang the whole thing. It remains one of my sweetest memories. I don't think it would have happened if the film was showing on a cathode ray tube (or, now, a HD monitor). Something about the clack-clack-clack of the projector.

So in addition to finding some great movie to show, I would recommend going really retro and see if you can set up something like this. It was absolutely magical.
posted by nax at 9:38 AM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: Santa Claus as done by MST3K
posted by McLir at 9:40 AM on December 2, 2007

Hope this isn't too late. My favorite is One Magic Christmas.
posted by GlowWyrm at 11:20 PM on December 4, 2007

Best answer: Alright, This is what I have choosen for my party. (seeing as all of my guests and myself are in the 15-16 age range, I didn't choose many older movies, despite the fact that I like and have watched many of them with my brother, John Kenneth Fisher, because i feel that my guests probably wouldn't show much interest in them)

-Star Wars Holiday Special
-Die Hard
-Gremlins 2: The New Batch
-Bad Santa
-National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
-Twilight Zone Christmas episode with Art Carney
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
-Charlie Brown Christmas

Mystery Science Theater 3000
-Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
-Santa Claus

Of course do time constraints we wont be able to watch all of the movies, but we will have the option

Thank you for all the suggestions!
posted by Nick Fisher at 11:40 AM on December 22, 2007

Best answer: oh and Nightmare Before Christmas! Forgot that.
posted by Nick Fisher at 11:46 AM on December 22, 2007

Millions was a hit at my house during Christmastime
posted by concourse at 10:40 PM on December 24, 2007

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