Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Christmas movies recommendations

A CHRISTMAS STORY is my all-time favorite holiday movie. I’ve seen it probably fifty times, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually watched it from the beginning to end in one sitting. Like most people, I catch the annual 24-hour marathon on TNT or TBS or one of those networks with a “T” and see various segments at a time. Usually, by the end of 24-hours I’ve pretty much seen the whole film, albeit disjointed.

But there are other Christmas movies I recommend as well.

DIE HARD certainly. A company Christmas party goes bad but like Santa saving the day, Bruce Willis sweeps in and kills a lot of people.

LOVE ACTUALLY – Eight different stories interweave in this delightful romantic comedy. You’re bound to be charmed by at least three.  And you get Keira Knightley before her eating disorder.

BACHELOR MOTHER – Okay, this is an obscure one. 1939 starring Ginger Rogers and David Nivens. A screwball comedy set in a department store filled with misdirection and confusion. Warning: Ginger doesn’t dance.

BAD SANTA – Very dark comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton as a Santa who robs stores. People either really like it or they loathe it.  Sort of like with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS – All you need to know about this 1964 sugar plum is that 8-year-old Pia Zadora plays a Martian child.

ELF – worth it for Bob Newhart alone.

HOME ALONE – A John Hughes classic. The Macaulay Culkin “AAAAAAA!” movie that is still funny year after year.

STALAG 17 – Most people don’t think of this Billy Wilder classic set in a World War II German Prisoner of War camp as a holiday yarn, but it was set during a Christmas season. And it is a phenomenal movie.

SUSAN SLEPT HERE – This 1954 comedy starring Dick Powell and a very young Debbie Reynolds is one of my favorites because it takes place in my neighborhood and I think you can see my house from Dick Powell’s balcony. I don’t know if the movie’s any good. I’m always just looking out the windows.

There you go. I know it’s a short list, but if I see one more Scrooge reboot or fantasy with Jim Carrey in make-up I think I’ll vomit. Oh, and one final warning: There are a lot of bad Christmas movies and a lot of bad comedy movies but MIXED NUTS might be the very worst of both. It’s the “Aunt Edna’s Fruitcake” of holiday films.


What are your favorites... and least favorites?  

75 comments:

Mark said...

C'mon... No "Scrooged"???
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjhx9WfpofE

Michael said...

One of my favorites is a Hallmark TV movie "A Season for Miracles". Mostly because it stars one of my favorite actresses, Carla Gugino. It also has an excellent supporting cast including a very young Mae Whitman, Laura Dern, Kathy Baker, Lynn Redgrave, Faith Prince, and Patty Duke.

Judith said...

29th Street, starring Danny Aiello and a young Anthony LaPaglia - described as "Wise Guys meets It's a Wonderful Life." The ending does borrow a bit from It's a Wonderful Life, but IMO, it's earned it more than the Jimmy Stewart flick did.

Millions - directed by Danny Boyle, not normally thought of as full of the Christmas spirit, but this is a funny, heartwarming fantasy.

Neil D said...

"Scrooged", "The Ref" and "Blackadder's Christmas Carol" are my annual traditions.

The Curmudgeon said...

"Bachelor Mother" was a good pick. Try explaining the cultural issues involved to the 'young people,' though.

Let's stay with David Niven for a moment and go with "The Bishop's Wife" -- one of my wife's favorites.

I'm looking forward to seeing "Christmas in Connecticut" in the next few days, too. S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall steals the show. (Again, though, there are a few cultural issues that may have to be explained to the kiddies....)

Sakall also played Otto Oberkugen in the Van Johnson-Judy Garland musical "In the Good Old Summertime." Like the later "Sleepless in Seattle," "Summertime" was a sort-of, semi-remake of a movie set at Christmas in Hungary, "The Shop Around the Corner." I'll be looking for that Jimmy Stewart movie in the next week or so, too.

I'd boycotted that other Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie for several years, finally breaking down a week or so, and weeping all the way through it just like I used to. But if you're looking for a Frank Capra Holiday-themed movie that doesn't have Henry Travers as an "angel, second class," consider "Meet John Doe," starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. Of course, it's a tad dark.

Yup.

And if your imagination is still running with Jimmy Stewart down the main street of Bedford Falls but you can't bring yourself to watch that movie again, try the movie that was advertised on the marquee of the theater in the little town that Lionel Barrymore couldn't control after all: "The Bells of St. Mary's."

"The Bells of St. Mary's" isn't exactly a Christmas movie, although the Christmas pageant rehearsal is a highlight. And it gives me a chance to tie Henry Travers back in. (A lot to explain to the young people here, though, too: These days young people, even young Catholics, don't have a lot of experience of nuns. And, of course, no nun ever looked like Ingrid Bergman.)

And you can't mention this Leo McCarey classic without mentioning its semi-predecessor, "Going My Way." (IMDb says "The Bells of St. Mary's" was actually written first: In order to borrow Bing Crosby from Paramount for "Bells," RKO had to allow Leo McCarey to write and direct "Going My Way", based on the same character.) "Going My Way" is often shown at Christmas and provides a Bing Crosby alternative for those tired of "White Christmas" or even "Holiday Inn."

Bing Crosby won an Oscar for "Going My Way" and Bob Hope never got over it.

And speaking of der Bingle, Mele Kalikimaka, Ken (I looked it up on the Bing Crosby album so I'm sure this is an authoritative spelling.)

Max Clarke said...

Watched "Life Of Brian" last night, still good.

All-time favorite, though? It has to be "A Christmas Story." I know all the scenes coming up, but so what, they're like listening to favorite songs. Near the end, I know Melinda Dillon is going to laugh/scream when the duck's head is chopped off, for example, and it's still hilarious.

Hard to imagine anybody writing a script as good as "A Christmas Story," it sort of cornered the market on the premise. Anybody who writes about a boy's biggest wish for a Christmas present will be compared to this.

Vermonter17032 said...

A terrific, but overlooked, Christmas movie is Nobody's Fool, with Paul Newman. It's basically a retelling of It's a Wonderful Life, but, you know, with some reality.

I remain a sucker for Miracle on 34th Street. And for Laurel and Hardy fans there is March of the Wooden Soldiers, which I loved as a kid, and still enjoy.

Grant said...

Favorite - "MIRACLE ON 34th STREET": With a story by Valentine Davies (of the titular WGA annual award) and screenplay by George Seaton (who also directed), it's always struck me as one of the most perfectly plotted movies ever made.

And with apologies to Mark and Neil above:

Least Favorite - "SCROOGED": Looks good on paper, doesn't pay off - figuratively or literally - on screen.

[I also hated "LOVE, ACTUALLY" as being stupifyingly unrealistic (before you howl, note my "Favorite" choice above), but that's the subject of another comment.]

Gnasche said...

Other than ones already mentioned...
The Apartment
Diner

Nathan said...

Sorry...I can't take A Christmas Story one more time. I've gotten to the point where just hearing Jean Shepard's voice makes me want to shoot the TV. (I'd have to buy a gun first, but the movie seems long enough for the waiting period to elapse.)

Jeff said...

Jeff H
Love A Christmas Story... Stalag 17 also awesome except the uncomforatble Dont ask Dont Tell Betty Grable dance,
I would put Scrooged on the list just for the lines."Towel,um Towel"

Jim said...

Ginger does dance a bit in Bachelor Mother; she enters a contest pretty early on to try and win some cash, leaving the baby with David Niven. Even so, it's great that you're a fan of Ginger as a comic actress, rather than just as Fred's other half.

Joel said...

A few years ago, during a particularly lonely and self-loathing Christmas Eve, I decided to watch 'It's a Wonderful Life' in its entirety on NBC, the first time I had ever done so.

While watching it, I was appalled to see how truly depressing most of the movie was. George Bailey might be one of the more put-upon characters in movie history, and his growing desperation and anger as his bank sank further and further into trouble just made me despondent.

Sure, it made the redemption part, the "I wish I was never born" part that's been parodied and paid homage to for sixty years, that much more joyful to watch. But people don't realize that the part with Clarence the angel only takes up the movie's last twenty or so minutes. No one remembers the first hour-and-a-half of despair leading up to it. Maybe everyone just blocks it out of their memories.

Give me "A Christmas Movie" or even "Christmas Vacation" over "It's a Wonderful Life" anytime. I'd rather laugh during the holiday season than become even more depressed. Christmas is depressing enough as it is.

Debby G said...

I love Bad Santa and Love, Actually too.

Call me old-fashioned, but I also adore the original Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life.

Whitney said...

Let's see- White Christmas, Muppet's Christmas Carol, Meet Me in St. Louis, Love Actually... there are a bunch more animated specials that I love, but those are the movies.

I'm bored to death with A Christmas Story. While I love the charm of it, the marathons have used up my love for the movie.

(Sidenote: I admit, Keira Knightley's gotten skinny, but she was only 19 when she filmed this. She lost what baby fat she had. Speaking on behalf of skinny girls everywhere, it gets old really fast when everyone assumes that the only way you can be that thin is an eating disorder. Admittedly, it's a touchy issue for me- but 15 years of people making that assumption will do it to you.)

Jeffrey said...

Some of my faves:

The Homecoming-The movie that introduced The Waltons to the world with the great Patricia Neal as Mama Walton..

Scrooge-The 1970's musical version with Albert Finney who's simply brilliant in the title role.

White Christmas-Just isn't Christmas until I hear der-Bingle warble this...and the scene where he sings it to those homesick G.I.'s gets me every time...

Miracle On 34th Street-Perhaps the perfect Christmas movie..there's not one wasted moment...

Anonymous said...

How About The Godfather? Especially the scene where Luca Brasi puts on his bullet-proof vest as Christmas music plays. Never fails to warm the heart!

Somersby Creek said...

An overlooked Christmas gem is "A Midwinter's Tale" (also titled "In the Bleak Midwinter" for some reason.) Sweet, stylish, fun and appropriately poignant. Written and directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Mike in SLO said...

I always loved "The Lion in Winter". Just your average, normal family during the holidays! And you can't beat the dialog, some of the greatest lines and actors ever assembled IMO.

RCP said...

I still have a soft spot for Alastair Sim in Scrooge ('51 version).

Feeling warped this morning, I'll also mention "Black Christmas" which is anything but festive, and genuinely creepy - with Andrea Martin in a small role. Rent it for another time of year!

Mel said...

My personal favorite is Christmas in Connecticut. I think it's absolutely hilarious. It's a tradition in our house and never really feels like Christmas until we've watched it.

Anonymous said...

Back in college, we once sent our meathead friend to get a movie to watch after our holiday dinner. He came back with Showgirls and a Christmas tradition was born.

Ben said...

One of our family's Christmas traditions is going out to see a movie on Christmas Eve; Mom and Dad started it when we were kids to keep us from driving them nuts the night before, and it's persisted for 25 years now.

"Bad Santa" is, I think, the best one we've seen. There have been some stinkers on the 24th (lookin' at you, "Spanglish"), but not so many as before, thanks to Dad losing his voting rights in his choice for 1994, "Dumb and Dumber".

Emily Blake said...

A few years ago around Christmas I saw a double feature at the Cinemateque in Santa Monica of Die Hard and Bad Santa. It was a magical night.

chuckcd said...

I agree with A Christmas Story.
It is now tradition to watch it every year on Christmas Day.

carol said...

Oh, I have to agree with the person who mentioned A Midwinter's Tale. fantatically underrated movie.

I never actually liked A Christmas Story. Sorry.

One of my favourite made for TV movies was starring Stephen Webber called Twelve Days of Christmas Eve. It was a Groundhod Day theme, and very nicely done. Funny and never too overly sentimental. Typical theme and all, but that's what I like in my Christmas movies.

And any Doctor Who Christmas Special is fun. Just sayin...

John D. said...

Second "The Ref" mentioned above.
Dennis Leary,Kevin Spacey, and Judy Davis bicker their way through Christmas. A must see for anyone with a somewhat jaundi ced view of Xmas. Plus a happy ending. An hysterical movie.

Ed said...

Try "Remember the Night" with Fred MacMurry and Barbara Stanwyck.

Paul said...

"The Muppet Christmas Carol" is by far my favorite. It's very underrated.

Shay said...

I third "The Ref", which is just twisted enough. And I enjoy "Love, Actually" increasingly more every time I watch it. I also have a soft spot for "White Christmas" and "Scrooged." I think I was too old when I watched "A Christmas Story" for the first time - without the childhood nostalgia all my friends and relatives seem to have for it, I found it flat. (But apparently my taste is off altogether - I actually really like "Mixed Nuts"!)

Phillip B said...

I have a soft spot for Scrooged, mainly as the high water mark of Michael O'Donoghue's post National Lampoon career...

And not a Christmas goes by without my wife reminding me of Rich Little's 1978 one man TV version of The Christmas Carol, portraying "W.C. Fields as Scrooge / Paul Lynde as Bob Cratchit / Humphrey Bogart as the Ghost of Christmas Past / Peter Falk as the Ghost of Christmas Present / Peter Sellers as the Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come / Richard Nixon as Jacob Marley / Truman Capote as Tiny Tim / Groucho Marx as Fezziwig / Edith Bunker as Mrs. Cratchit / Johnny Carson as Nephew Fred / Jimmy Stewart as Dick Wilkins / John Wayne as businessman / George Burns as businessman / Jack Benny as boy outside window / James Mason as businessman / Stan Laurel as Charity Solicitor / Oliver Hardy as Charity Solicitor...."

And in the early 1980s NBC gave us the "Mr. T Christmas Special" - and not even they could avoid mocking themselves for doing so....

John said...

No matter what Mr. T did can't hold a candle to "The Star Wars Holiday Special" in terms of schlock (O'Reilly drones on and on about "The War on Christmas" and this never gets a mention. The Detroit airplane bomber last year wasn't as bad for the holiday as this thing was).

As far as the small screen and stuff that's actually good goes, the 1960 Jack Benny Christmas Show deserves a look. Long before the Seinfeld gang made comedy out of being an uncaring bastard with Susan's toxic postage stamp glue death, you had Jack getting his $38.50 back and leaving the store singing "Jingle Bells" after making Mel Blanc blow his brains out. Now that's the true meaning of Christmas...

Courtney Suzanne said...

"Meet Me in St. Louis" isn't technically a Christmas film, but when Judy sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," it just breaks my heart. I've never heard a better rendition since.

Many years ago, I caught "Holiday Affair" with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh on broadcast TV, and was pleasantly surprised. I'd never really seen any film with Mitchum as a romantic lead before! I usually look out for it on TCM every year.

Ken Misch said...

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Randy Quaid is cousin Eddie.

Randy, come back to us!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol!

Brian said...

Bad Santa, Die Hard, and Christmas Vacation. "Its feeling a little nipply in here..."

Steve said...

Trading places and not just for jamie Lee Curtis' assets.

In the UK The Great Escape and Bridge over the river Kwai are Chritmas films

DodgerGirl said...

I like "Miracle on 34th Street" from 1947. No remakes please and in black & white!.

Also "While You Were Sleeping" is a nice one that takes place during the Christmas season.

(WV: gyrobi. Street food from Kenya's capital.)

Jeff said...

My top four are "Miracle on 34th Street" B/W from 1947, "Bad Santa," "The Ref" and "Scrooged." No need to mention the ones I don't like. They might be someone's favorite.

Anonymous said...

Gotta have "It's a Wonderful Life."

When Harry Bailey shows up at the end, quiets the celebrating crowd and says, "Hey, everybody--a toast!
To my big brother George--the richest man in town," it gets through to my cynical heart every time

Kirk Jusko said...

Just last night on TCM they showed the classic Lubitsch comedy Shop Around the Corner, which takes place around Christmas time.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Nobody mentioned The Brasher Dubloon, Robert Montgomery's objective camera experiment based on the Raymond Chandler novel. The opening credits are played over a Christmas Carol.

-bee said...

The final section of the great Ernst Lubitsch film "Shop Around the Corner" (with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan), takes place during Christmas, so in my mind that makes it qualify as the best Christmas movie ever.

It's a deceptively 'simple' romantic comedy which upon closer inspection contains many hidden depths. Most Christmas movies are too cloyingly sentimental to me, but "Shop" has such a bracing melancholy underneath that the sentiment is 'earned'.

Not that the film is at all depressing, it plays the melancholy with an amazingly light touch, and is also really hilarious at all the times it wants to be.

Charles H. Bryan said...

I like "It's a Wonderful Life" every couple of years. I not only get a little misty at the end, but I fall deeply in love with Donna Reed every time.

I also like "Scrooged" -- I'm a sucker for Bill Murray when he plays a callous smartass. And David Johansson as the cabbie!

YEKIMI said...

Christmas Story is one of my all time favorite movies. I remember going to see it in a theater when it first came out and I was the only one in the place! I laughed so damn hard because it reminded me of when I was a kid, except I didn't want a BB gun, I wanted a bike WITHOUT training wheels....didn't get it that year so I cried my eyes out and said Santa must hate me, but I did get it the next year.

Mel Ryane said...

The original, Ernst Lubitsch "Heaven Can Wait" with Don Ameche.

Kate said...

I love 'Tokyo Godfathers'. It's an animated retelling of 'Three Godfathers', but it's about three homeless people in Tokyo instead of cowboys. It's hilarious, a great Christmas movie, and one of the late, great Satoshi Kon's films.

te said...

"Gremlins"!

Tom Quigley said...

Can't go through a Christmas season without at least one viewing of the Alistair Sim version of "A Christmas Carol"... The George C. Scott version from 1984 also merits mention... Actually had the chance to meet Charles Dickens' great-great grandson a couple of weeks ago, who is an actor and gives dramatic one-man performances of the Dickens holiday classic...

Lots of debate over "It's a Wonderful Life"... while James Stewart was, and remains, one of my all-time favorite actors (and I'm still mad at whoever it was that bought his house on Roxbury, then tore it down), it's understandable that the cliched, treacly message the movie seems to convey doesn't go over well in this day and age... But remember, when it was made, the US was just coming out of both a depression and a war, and the idea of sacraficing or giving something up for the good of others wasn't that far-fetched... And yes, even though the movie wasn't a hit when it was released, I think the message had less to do with it than the fact that it had to go up against the monumental "The Best Years Of Our Lives" in trying to attract an audience...

With regard to made for TV holiday movies, I find most of them formulaic, with oversimplified story lines and frontloaded with any current TV stars who have a three-week hiatus when they can squeeze in filming these things. Taking all that into consideration, I posted a column on my own blog a few weeks back where I came up with a bunch of made for TV holiday movie ideas that were so bad they will hopefully never see the light of day. You can check them out at

http://tomquigley.blogspot.com/2010/11/holiday-tv-movies-youll-be-glad-you.html

xjill said...

If Lethal Weapon counts (which it should) I've gotta add that in.

Natalie Hatch said...

Crackers (1998) is an Aussie movie that totally makes me think my own relatives are marginally sane. Watch it every year along with A Christmas Story (and it's follow up A Summer Story).

Rory L. Aronsky said...

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Lingerie saleswoman showing some good thigh, Chevy Chase going nuts (moreso than he is now), and the police breaking into the house at the end. Merry Christmas one and all! :)

Buttermilk Sky said...

Synchronicity...as I type, William Powell is shooting the the balloons off the tree with his Red Ryder BB gun, watched by the incomparable Myrna Loy. So THE THIN MAN is my nominee. (Nick and Nora throw a memorable Christmas Eve party, too.)

DwWashburn said...

"Star in the Night" is an Academy Award winning short and one viewing shows why. This 18 minute movie packs more holiday feelings in it than a 24 hour marathon of It's a Wonderful Life.

Phil Guest said...

Last year's version of "A Christmas Carol" with Jim Carrey.

Even when shorn of it's 3D pizazz when seen at home, it works really well. Surprisingly faithful (for the most part) to the original story, as well.

sephim said...

Definitely 'Gremlins' and 'Gremlins 2' because it is one of those rare "better than the first one" movies...

blogward said...

"Shop Around The Corner" is one I always confused with "It's A Wonderful Life" as a kid because of Jimmy Stewart - but it's a far more satisfying movie. As for "Love, Actually", the deepest pit of hell isnt't deep enough to consign that pile of sickly doo-doo to. Utterly cynical.

Eddie D. said...

We're No Angels. Bogart, Aldo Ray, Peter Ustinov as convicts escaped from Devil's Island prison. Come into town and set things right in a local dry goods store. Leo G. Carroll as the hapless store owner, Basil Rathbone as the evil uncle who actually owns it. Some beautiful young girl as the romantic interest.

Anonymous said...

" The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing" with Burt Reynolds and Sarah Miles(?), The Indian Nativity scene.Touching.

LouOCNY said...

I have found the commentary on the DVD of A CHRISTMAS STORY to be ne of the best of its kind: MGM was smart and got both director Bob Clark and Ralphie....er..Peter Billingsley to do it, and so not only do they reminisce about the production, but since Billingsley is now a professional Hollywood producer (IRON MAN, for instance), he knows exactly what questions to ask Clark about the production, etc, with getting to technical.

It is also rather poignant, as it was not too long after the commentary was done that Clark was killed in a pretty awful car accident in the Pacific Palisades.

Robert Skill said...

Re: Laurel & Hardy's MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS.

This has come to be widely regarded as a Christmas movie--it is even included on a "Holiday Classics" DVD boxed set--because it includes an appearance by Santa Claus, but actually it takes place during the summer.

Word verification: "Shein." What Jewish stars do.

Somersby Creek said...

John Ford's "The Three Godfathers" with John Wayne isn't your typical Christmas fare, but it is an effective and beautifully shot (natch) Yuletide allegory.

Anonymous said...

You know who has even MORE of an eating disorder than Knightley? Gabourey Sidibie, that's who!

VP81955 said...

"The Shop Around The Corner," directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, is indeed a great Christmas movie -- and let's not forget Frank Morgan's turn in this as the store owner. If you only know Morgan as the Wizard, you're in for a treat; he was one of the greatest of character actors, and he's splendid here.

"Remember The Night," the first of several Fred MacMurray-Barbara Stanwyck collaborations (and a far cry from their second!), is another Christmas-related gem from 1940, proof that the sanctimoniousness that marred much of the rest of the decade hadn't yet infiltrated (but, alas, Louis B. Mayer eventually succeeded).

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Synchronicity...as I type, William Powell is shooting the the balloons off the tree with his Red Ryder BB gun, watched by the incomparable Myrna Loy. So THE THIN MAN is my nominee. (Nick and Nora throw a memorable Christmas Eve party, too.)

Exactly the kind of relationship I want one day, right down to the partners-in-crime rapport.

Matt Patton said...

I actually saw A CHRISTMAS STORY from beginning to end when it was first released in 1983. It was running at the local multiplex. I originally went there to see CROSS CREEK, one of the big Oscar-bait movies for that year. I finally saw CC a few years later--the photography was very nice. As for ACS, I laughed so hard that several people looked at me funny.

Christmas '83 was actually pretty good for movies. Another favorite of mine, GORKY PARK, opened a couple of weeks later. Heck, even YENTL wasn't TOO bad.

Matt Patton said...

"Psychologically, I'm very confused. Personally, I feel just fine . . ."

"If someone is a really good friend, he comes to visit AFTER dinner."

"Keep the change. Send your boy through college."

-- THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER

Matt Patton said...

"How about 100 good French condoms? That should be just enough for a weekend."

"It's a big church chest. That's not a nun with big %!@#"

"Why did you come in through the window, Boris? The front door was open."

"Just be sure you know what to say if they stop you in the street . . ." (to a man carrying two severed heads in boxes)

"Promise me I can have your face when the breath has left your body."

-- GORKY PARK

Troy Z said...

The Finnish film "Rare Exports" (2010) is my new Christmas favorite. This Christmas movie features the true Old School European Santa being depicted, not, as one of the kids in movie points out, "the Coca-Cola Santa." These Santæ are the ones who would bring toys, yes, but also birching rods for the misbehaving children. Funny how the post-Macy's Parade Era leaves details like that out.

You can see trailers at the film's website here: http://www.rareexportsmovie.com/en and the short films that gave rise to the feature film are here: Part one is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei69bYwwCvc andPart 2 "Safety Instructions" is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkyqODDF-LU .

Craig M said...

I just watched "Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny," which is the latest offering from RiffTrax (the Mystery Science Theater folks). No more disturbing Christmas movie could there be.

Ref said...

Nothing with Jim Carrey in it. EVER.

Matt Patton said...

Strange as it may seem, PSYCHO is a Christmas film. Sort of. When Hitchcock sent a second until to Phoenix to shoot the film's opening sequence and some background plates, the town was already decorated for Christmas (you can see that in the scene where Janet Leigh is stuck at an intersection when she's leaving town with the stolen money and her boss spots her). Not wanting to have to explain the Christmas decorations, Hitchcock threw a crawl onto the opening of the film explaining that the film began a couple of weeks before Christmas. Mind you, no other mention of Christmas is found in the script (in the opening scene, there are even complaints about the hot weather), and Norman doesn't even have a little tree on the front desk of the Bates Motel . . . (In honor of the season, Mother could have carved people up with an electric turkey knife.)

David K. M. Klaus said...

I love all the different variants of A Christmas Carol, even the episode of WKRP in Cincinnati with the extraordinarily unlikely depiction of Arthur Carlson as the Scrooge-substitute.

Two of the best, of course, are the ones with George C. Scott and Sir Patrick Stewart as Scrooge. I got to see Blackadder's Christmas Carol for the very first time today on BBC America, and I'm looking forward with great expectations, pardon the pun, to the Doctor Who Christmas special variant on Christmas Day.

I also love both the Peter O'Toole and Patrick Stewart versions of The Lion in Winter: those people all still exist, torturing each other in Hell to this day.



VW: conedo, a Conehead hairstyle.

Anonymous said...

Saw the Patrick Stewart version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL a few days back. Quite good. Even better, many years ago, when I lived in St. Pete, FL, I saw Stewart do a reading of the book at the Fine Arts museum. That is something I shall never forget.

Shabby Baker said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I will totally see them all these Christmas. I and my kids' All-time favorite is Home Alone :)

Shabby xxx
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