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‘Tis the Season – for Holiday Films!

By On Dec 7 2011, 9:00 am

I love, love, love the holiday season. I love the anticipation, the decorations, the food. (Especially the food. Unfortunately for my waistline.)

And, right there at the top of the list, is watching Christmas movies.

There are so many of them out there to choose from – classic to obscure, musical to black and white to blockbuster hit, there’s a holiday film for almost every taste and preference.

I, of course, love the well-known Christmas classics. But I also have a soft spot for some lesser-known films that fit the holiday genre. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites:

1. In The Good Old Summertime. Kind of counterintuitive, isn’t it, that a film with “Summertime” in the title is actually a Christmas movie? But the climactic ending to this musical precursor to You’ve Got Mail is set at Christmas, and Van Johnson and Judy Garland are simply brimming over with sexual tension as they realize they’re penpals in love with each other.

2. The Man Who Came To Dinner. Hysterically funny script, talented cast, and crackling dialogue make this one a keeper. It was adapted from the stage, but manages to translate to the screen quite well.

3. The Lemon Drop Kid. One of my husband’s favorites, we like to watch it over the Christmas break. Bob Hope in one of his funniest roles as a small time con artist who has to raise money quick – at Christmas time – to pay back a mobster.

4. While You Were Sleeping. I know it’s not particularly obscure, but it does tend to get overlooked when people are thinking of Christmas movies. Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman are adorable in it.

5. Meet Me In St Louis. Yes, another Judy Garland film to round out the list. But how could I leave off the film that brought us “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”? (And my favorite audition piece from my theater days, “The Trolley Song”.)

So how about you? What’s your favorite Christmas/holiday movie? What should I add to my “to watch” list this year?


6 Responses to “‘Tis the Season – for Holiday Films!”

  1. Lainey says:

    I LOVE this topic! Christmas is my favorite!! There are movies that we HAVE to watch every year as well. It’s so nice because we end every day of bussel and shopping and work watching a beloved classic while we wrap or just snuggle in front of the t.v. Here are a few of our not so obvious must sees at Christmas.

    Like you Meet me in St Louis is a MUST

    Little Women, the one with Elizabeth Taylor is our pick and in my opinion the best.

    A Pocket Full of Miracles… This is Bette Davis at her absolute BEST as Apple Annie and Glenn Ford shines as Dave the’s a Christmas miracle of a movie that is my Dad’s favorite and I never go a year without watching it.

    Die Hard… when the sugary sweetness gets too much a nice dose of Alan Rickman and Bruce Willis blowing up a Christmas party gives us a break.

    Leathal Weapon… same as Die Hard… most people don’t stop to think about it, but it’s a Christmas movie and I love it.

    And although it’s not obscure it is not very well known I’ve discovered…Scrooged with Bill Murray… Absolutely LOVE this one. Watching Carol Kan beat the snot outta Bill as the Ghost of Christmas present is the funniest thing EVER.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I’m addicted to made-for-TV holiday movies. I can’t help it. I will sit around in my pajamas every weekend during November and December and watch them. My personal favorite is Like Father, Like Santa, with Harry Hamlin playing the resentful son of Santa who must learn to embrace his ho ho heritage. And I second the Die Hard! I watch it every year!

  3. Laurie Ryan says:

    I, too, love talking about holiday movies. Some of your list I haven’t heard of, so will add them to my TBWatched list. :) I love old favorites, like White Christmas, and newer ones. My favorite is called Christmas Comes To Willow Creek and stars the Dukes of Hazzard boys (Tom Wopat and John Schneider). Great feel-good movie for the holiday. I also count Sound of Music as something I watch this time of year, but I don’t know why.

  4. PG Forte says:

    I love While You Were Sleeping. And Die Hard–yes! Great Christmas flick. My favorite, though, is The Bishop’s Wife–the 1947, B&W version starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. The “special effects” are nothing like we’re used to, but somehow that just adds to the appeal. :)

  5. Kate Davies says:

    Yay! More movies to add to my watch list! Lainey, I love that Bette Davis is on your list with A Pocket Full of Miracles, because she’s on mine, too! She’s the ingenue in The Man Who Came To Dinner. Never would have tagged her as a Christmas movie actress, but there you go!

    Suleikha, I love that movie! Thanks for the reminder! (And Die Hard was actually on my list originally. I should have left it there!)

    Laurie, I’ve never seen the Willow Creek movie, but as a faithful watcher of Dukes of Hazzard in my youth, it sounds like one to check out.

    And PG! I’ve always meant to watch The Bishop’s Wife, but never have. Maybe this should be the year to see it!

  6. Maia Strong says:

    I’m so glad you mentioned “While You Were Sleeping”! That’s one of my favourites for wintertime viewing. Another one is “Love, Actually”. It’s a wonderful film that’s incredibly under-rated, IMO. Plus, after you watch it, watch it with the commentary. Hilarious!

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