Monday, December 12, 2005

Films to warm your cockles...if you have them.

Kira posted her favorite holiday/Christmas films, and I responded, not realizing I had a long list myself. So, I decided to cross post my comment here with appropriate hyperlinks to Amazon...

Yes, yes, we all love the obvious Christmas traditions (Grinch (animated), Ralphie, Rudolph, Alistair Sim's Scrooge, Ernest Saves Christmas...okay, maybe not the last one), but how about some of the more obscure or less celebrated Christmas movies? Here's my list of required viewings in the lead up to December 25.

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas (1977)-- this Henson production is still one I love. Just try to listen to Ma Otter sing 'When Mountain Touches the Valley' and not tear up.

One Magic Christmas (1985) -- another one for the heartstring tugging. Mary Steenburgen plays a grinchy mom who with the help of her kids and Harry Dean Stanton as a guardian angel learns to love Christmas again. Love it, love it.

The Christmas that Almost Wasn't (1966) -- this one is hard to find. We discovered this one as kids when they would play it on that new cable outfit HBO. Dubbed from Italian with a couple of Americans involved, it is trippy and tunefully wonderful.

Mystery Science Theater presentation of "Santa Claus" (not the Dudley Moore atrocity by the same name) (Santa Claus, 1959, MST, circa 1995) -- this Mexican film is horrible, but who can possibly resist the showdown between the devil and Santa Claus? Santa's use of child workers in his workshop is a little unsettling, as are the maniacally laughing wind up reindeer which pull his sleigh. The MST episode is best known for it's "Politically Correct Christmas Song" which is now a holiday favorite in my household.

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) -- this can be enjoyed starting at Halloween right on until Christmas.

White Christmas (1954) -- Holiday classic starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. My sister and I love it for the Rosemary Clooney/Vera-Ellen duet of 'Sisters'

A Christmas Carol (1984) -- made for TV with George C. Scott...I know Alistair Sim is the best Scrooge, but I can't help but love George C. Scott who doesn't really try for a British accent, but still is wonderfully Scroogy.

Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) -- Because who doesn't love Mickey Mouse as Bob Crachitt?

Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) -- If you don't know Blackadder, then you don't know that this is the Christmas Carol tale turned on its head. And it is wonderful.

Honorable mentions to John Denver's Christmas with the Muppets and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street which I have fond memories of, but I can't say I watch them really any more...though I did buy the Sesame Street one on DVD last year...

Add your own favorites below (I could have mentioned Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but I just don't enjoy it much).


Anonymous said...

The Bishops Wife-With Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young, We're No Angels with Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov and Basil Rathbone and a snake, How the Grinch Stole Christmas-Boris Karlof,The Homecoming-Original John Boy Walton and forerunner of The Waltons...ah...Christmas...sigh!

Shawna said...

Not a bad one in that bunch. Great picks.

Chris said...

Hey, I thought I was the only one who knew about The Christmas That Almost Wasn't!

~ And that was the Christmas that almost wasn't, almost wasn't, almost waaasan't ~

It must have been the only flick our local (smaller than small town) cable operator could afford the rights to because they would run it on their channel every freaking year. But then they got bought up by TCI and that was the end of that. Sigh.

Phineas T. Prune was pretty creepy to a nine-year old.

Bill Cunningham said...

The Bells of St. Mary's
Little Lord Fauntleroy

Patrick J. Rodio said...

C'mon, give Christmas Vacation some love. You know you love it. Chevy Chase!

Dave Olden said...

Personal favorite Xmas movie: It's a Wonderful Life

Another one I don't see on many lists...
Christmas in Connecticut (1945) with a young Barbara Stanwyck.