It’s that festive time of year again and FilmReviewUK has 10 Christmas films that will make your holiday season a little merrier – view the list and let us know what you think.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
I’m making a bold statement here but National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) has got to be one of the funniest comedies of all time, let alone one of the funniest Christmas films. Starring Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis, and The Big Bang Theory‘s Johnny Galecki, Christmas Vacation is the third installment of the Griswold Family saga and an absolute must see for anyone mad enough to have not seen it already.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
No list would be complete without an anti-hero who saves the day, and for me that means giving a shout out to Jim Carrey‘s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). Perhaps not a film that appears on everyone’s Top 10 Christmas Films, but considering Mr Carrey spent 8 hours a day in the make-up chair becoming The Grinch – no surprise then when this festive gem won the Best Makeup award at the 2001 Oscars.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Based on the 1947 original, Miracle on 34th Street (1994) stars Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle, who after an unfortunate confrontation at a department store, finds himself at the center of a high profile court-case when he claims to be the real Santa Claus. Considering most remakes are known to fail in comparison to their original counterparts, the success of Miracle on 34th Street(1994) can be attributed to it’s talented writer John Hughes, who is renowned for Christmas classics such as Home Alone (1990) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).
Considering many other entries on this list, Elf (2003) is a relatively young to be called a Christmas classic, but a classic is exactly what this laugh-out-loud festive comedy has become. Starring Will Farrell as a larger-then-life elf who leaves the tranquility of the North Pole for the hustle and bustle of New York City in search of his real father, Elf grossed over $200 million at the worldwide box-office in 2003.
The Great Escape (1963)
Based on the famous true story of a group of Allied P.O.W’s that successfully escaped one of Nazi Germany’s death camps, The Great Escape (1963) is technically not a Christmas film, but considering it’s been a regular favorite for British broadcasters on Christmas Day, it certainly qualifies for this category. Staring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough, The Great Escape is best known for the final scene depicting McQueen on a motorbike as he jumps the barbed-wire fence, that stands between him and freedom.
White Christmas (1954)
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know” – White Christmas (1954) is a musical classic that has remained a popular favorite on Christmas Day. Known for the warm fuzzy feeling it leaves you with, White Christmas follows a successful song-and-dance team (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) who become romantically involved with a sister act while trying to save the failing Vermont inn owned by their former World War Two commanding general.
Die Hard (1988)
Perhaps not regarded as a traditional Christmas film, especially in the sense that usually they’re of a lighthearted nature, but Die Hard (1988) is a regular favorite for action junkies over the festive season. As well as receiving 4 Oscar nominations, Die Hard made Bruce Willis a household name and the highest paid actor in a debut leading role ($5 million), that is until 2002, when Dwayne Johnson received a $5.5 million paycheck for The Scorpion King (2002).
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Rated number 26 on IMDb’s Top 100 films of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) was nominated for an incredible 5 Academy Awards including Best Actor (James Stewart), Best Director (Frank Capra), and the coveted Best Picture.
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone (1990) is the definition of Christmas film watching and spawned a generation of mischievous kids who decided to booby-trap their own homes. Starring Macaulay Culkin (pre-drugs) as the 12-year old accidentally left home alone over Christmas, Home Alone remains one of the most successful Christmas releases of all time having grossed over $500 million worldwide.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Starring Michael Caine and the Muppets as the classic characters from Scrooge, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a true Christmas classic and a fan favorite for almost every child growing up in the 1990’s.