Christmas has inspired some of the most wonderful movies ever. So like Santa, I’ve compiled a list of what I feel to be the Top 10 Christmas movies of all time.
10. The Woman In Black (1989)
OK, this film isn’t exactly Christmassy; actually it isn’t Christmassy at all. But! Everyone loves a good ghost story at Christmas and this TV adaptation of Susan Hill‘s 1983 novel fits the bill perfectly, plus it was actually first shown on December 24th.
Unfortunately, a certain 7 year old boy actually watched it back in 1989 and the film scared the living daylights out of that poor boy and scarred him for life. So much so he still feels the need to write about it 14 years later in his Top 10 Christmas Movie List!
9. Die Hard (1988)
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, action films ever made, with one of the greatest action characters, John McClane, played by one of the greatest action stars, Bruce Willis, Die Hard is a masterpiece of action cinema.
So much so, The Raid Director Gareth Evans used Die Hard as a template for his own movie. In terms of plot, pacing, action, acting and most importantly classic quotes, Die Hard is second to none.
Plus, it also stars Alan Rickman!
8. Gremlins (1984)
From the cuteness of Gizmo , to the scariness of the Gremlins, Director Joe Dante perfectly blends horror and comedy in this dark Christmas tale. Like most 80s films it’s surprisingly violent but hilariously witty with it.
The cast of Zach Galligan, Hoyt Axton, Frances Lee McCain and Phoebe Cates are terrific but the real stars of the film are Gizmo and the Gremlins.
7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
As Producer and Writer, Tim Burton‘s fingerprints are all over this gothic Christmas tale. With its beautiful stop motion animation and memorable score by Danny Elfman, it tells the story of Halloween Town‘s Jack Skellington desperate bid to celebrate Christmas.
What started out as an ‘Alternative Christmas Movie’ has now been embraced by mainstream audiences.
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Festive films tend to focus on the ‘Peace on the earth, good will to all men’ stuff, but, this National Lampoon‘s film focuses on what Christmas is really about… relatives arguing!
Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo once again turn in excellent performances, creating empathy and laughter in equal measure.
Most franchises run out of ideas by the third film, but Christmas is the perfect setting for Griswolds.
5. Elf (2003)
This heartwarming tale of Buddy, who travels to New York to meet his father after learning he’s not a 6ft Elf, but in fact a human, has already become festive favorite.
Along with a certain newscaster, Will Ferrell was born to play this role. His sincere performance of this naive Elf is faultless, funny and engaging.
4. Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
They have remade this film four times, but none have come close to the original adaptation of Valentine Davies‘ novel. What is so wonderful about this film is its perfect blend of heartfelt sentimentalism balanced with its gentle cynicism.
All delivered with sharp and witty script along with pitch perfect performances.
3. Scrooged (1988)
A wonderful modern adaptation of Charles Dickens‘ A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray is completely believable as Frank Cross, who is as funny as he is despicable.
Like all great Christmas films ‘Scrooged‘ gets the balance between the cynicism and sentimentality spot on. The flashbacks are at times genuinely moving and all the ghosts are hilarious.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Surprisingly dark, it’s certainly not the kitsch film it appears to be. It’s also one of the heaviest Christmas films ever made, dealing with subject matter like suicide, human worth, redemption and greed to name but a few.
Director Frank Capra literally brings George Bailey to the brink of despair, and the audience with him, before Bailey realizes his life has not been a waste, which makes the sentimental ending all the more real and touching.
1. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Directed by Brian Henson, this charming retelling of Charles Dickens‘ classic tale sees The Muppets at their most irreverent and funny, with genuine poignant moments too, along with memorable music by Miles Goodman and Paul Williams.
But, it’s Michael Caine‘s heartfelt performance that anchors this film, and without it, this film probably would not be remembered with such affection today.
The perfect Christmas movie.
The best traditional adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale.
So monumentally stupid how anyone thinks this film has anything to say about the origins of human life is beyond me.
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