Christmas movie mea culpa

About a week ago I put together a Christmas movies poll, partially because I was curious, and partially because my husband and I are hosting Christmas movies at a café here. Wow, did I forget a TON of them! Slightly later, I put up a revised poll, and I still forgot a ton. Friends in real life and online suggested their favorites, which I’m listing here. Some I’ve seen…

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – I think you all know this one.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas – How could I forget this?

Going My Way – Bing Crosby’s Fr. Chuck O’Malley could give Spencer Tracy’s Fr. Flanagan a run for his money as the coolest priest ever.

The Bells of St. Mary’s – Fr. O’Malley is back, in the top-grossing film of 1945, clashing with Sr. Benedict (Ingrid Bergman). Will he convince her to lighten up? Is the Pope Catholic?

…and some I haven’t:

Young At Heart (1955) – “A cynical songwriter upsets the lives of three musical sisters.” With Frank Sinatra and Doris Day.

A Town Without Christmas – A “little boy…writes that he wishes to leave this world so he will no longer be a burden to his divorcing parents, a race begins to find him before he harms himself.” [IMDB]

The Holly and The Ivy – Ralph Richardson and Celia Johnson star in this “heartwarming tale of an English minister and his family reunited at Christmas time. Their story includes a remembrance of their WWII trials.”

We’re No Angels (1955) – “After escaping Devil’s Island, three offbeat prisoners [Bogie, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov] help a goodhearted family outwit a scheming relative.”

Holiday Inn (1942) – “The A[staire], B[erlin], C[rosby] of American musical comedy.”

I also have to mention Christmas Under Fire, a 10-minute film from 1940, which I’d never seen before, brought to my attention by @Filmatelist. I say with not one iota of irony: this is why the Allies won the war.

And I am sure there are others. I realize that this poll is deeply flawed. At the same time, I doubt any other Christmas film can top It’s A Wonderful Life, with a healthy 19 votes.

The Top 10 was as follows:

It’s A Wonderful Life 19
The Apartment 11
The Thin Man 10
Scrooged 10
Christmas In Connecticut 9
Love Actually 8
Elf 7
Miracle On 34th Street 7
A Christmas Carol (any version) 7
White Christmas 6

I was happy to see my two favorites, Scrooged and Christmas in Connecticut make the Top 10, I wasn’t really surprised to see Wonderful Life on the top of the heap. There’s many good reasons why. But that it’s a whole other post.

New-to-me photo of Gloria Grahame as Violet in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

EDIT: I forgot to say, someone suggested that I should have specified which Miracle on 34th Street I was talking about in the original poll. I completely forgot there was a remake. I love the late John Hughes, but for me, the 1947 version is really the only one.

11 thoughts on “Christmas movie mea culpa

  1. Hi, Paula and company:

    Very cool list of Christmas films!

    One of my favorites is from 1967. ‘Fitzwilly’. With Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Feldon and an A-List of veteran actors. And a young Sam Waterson running large scale and old school cons to keep the old monied Manhattan family they work, themselves and others financially above water.

    A neat, compact, very family friendly comedy that’s on TCM Sunday, December 23 at 6:00pm, est.

    1. I have actually seen Fitzwilly, I completely forgot that it takes place at Christmas. How could anyone get upset with such charming burglars…after all, it’s for a good cause. Thanks for reminding me, Jack 🙂

  2. What no The Man Who Came To Dinner or The Bishop’s Wife?

    I would add a sleeper in here, Glenn Ford in Mr. Soft Touch.

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