Christmas is all about the movies; obviously Christmas cheer comes into it, but you can’t beat snuggling up with your family or friends and watching a classic Christmas movie. Here we take you through the hits and remind you of some forgotten Christmas movie gems.
Even though Home Alone didn’t turn out to be the greatest thing to happen to Macaulay Culkin, we feel rather fond of this classic Christmas hit. For those who haven’t yet watched it (where have you been though?) here’s a quick summary: eight-year-old Kevin McCallister gets forgotten by his family who jet off to Paris without him. Whilst his family try desperately to get back to America, burglars try to break into poor Kevin’s home. However, through much hilarity, Kevin skilfully defends his home with the aid of a tarantula and some artfully crafted cardboard cut-outs.
Film fact: The picture Kevin finds of Buzz’s girlfriend whilst he raids his big brother’s room was actually a boy wearing a wig. The director felt it would be too harsh to use a real girl for this scene.
It’s A Wonderful Life
For those who don’t like black and white movies It’s A Wonderful Life might not seem like the most appealing choice when you’re picking a Christmas movie to watch, but trust us, this is definitely one of the top five Christmas movies of all time. Even though It’s A Wonderful Life didn’t cause much of a stir when it was first released, the movie has proved timeless. The story is focused upon George Bailey; a local businessman who is shown what life would be like if he didn’t exist by a guardian angel. After seeing what life would be like without him, George realizes the positive impact he has had on his small town. The movie’s main message is one we all like to be reminded of at Christmas; that love makes you richer than money.
Film fact: Prior to this film, snow was made for movies using corn flakes and white paint. Yet the flakes made too much noise so, as an alternative, the creators of It’s A Wonderful Life made snow using soap, water and foamite. This creation won an Academy Technical Achievement Award in 1948.
The Snowman is a magical and simplistic movie that is a firm favourite on this best Christmas movies list. The animated movie is a great family hit, not only because of the stunning pictures and the magical world in which the story takes place, but also because its mesmerizing music can calm even the most hyperactive of overexcited children down and send them soundly to sleep until Father Christmas arrives. This one is great to watch on Christmas Eve.
Film fact: The key song in the movie, Walking In The Air, was not actually sung by Aled Jones. It was sung instead by Peter Auty and was released by Aled Jones three years later in 1985.
Okay, so it’s not a traditional Christmas movie per se and you couldn’t watch it with the kids, but most men agree that Die Hard is a definite contender for the best Christmas movie ever. Of course, some people won’t agree that this is a Christmas movie, in part because of the guns and the violence and the lack of Christmas cheer; yet despite all of this, there are some strong Christmas themes in Die Hard. Not only is the terrorist dressed in a Santa suit, but there are plenty of Christmas trees on view amidst the shooting. Plus, in the movie’s finale, good does conquer evil, which has to be the ultimate Christmas theme.
Film fact: If you’re still not sure this movie should be on the top-Christmas-movies-of-all-time list then consider this; in Die Hard 2 the body count reached the staggering heights of 164. Yet for Die Hard the body count was just 18.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Surely this movie makes the top-Christmas-movies-of-all-time list for the simple reason that Chevy Chase is the star of the show? No? Well, what about the fact that this Griswold Christmas movie delivers on the goofball, slapstick front like no other? In every scene someone falls through a ceiling, off a roof or sets fire to something in a disastrous fashion. Typically, the Griswolds try desperately hard to make a perfect Christmas for their family and inevitably, as every other National Lampoon movie proves, the harder you try the worse the day turns out.
Film fact: Remember the Griswolds’ neighbor’s house? Did it seem familiar? Well, if it did that’s probably because it was used as Murtagh’s home in Lethal Weapon.
Can you name other memorable Christmas movies?
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