There exists a certain kind of movie we watch every year, because of the Christmas spirit they bring. They are a part of the whole holiday tradition with their stories, characters and, occasionally, songs.
Here’s a list of Christmas films, which you know you will end up watching this year yet again.
White Christmas (1954)
A Christmas film list can’t go without this 1954 film directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) and featuring the songs of Irving Berlin. It tells the story of two friends who have just left the army after the end of World War II and have set out to become a entertainment duet. In the story Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) meet Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen), a song-and-dance act known as the “Sisters”. Combining a funny story and great songs, among which Crosby’s “White Christmas”, “It’s Cold Outside”, “Sisters” and many others, this film usually announces the start of the holiday season. Well, after all it is in the title – White Christmas.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Vincente Minnelli’s classic musical starring Judy Garland has given us one of the most memorable movie musical experiences. It also includes some of the most popular songs, which are emblematic of a whole era of filmmaking until this day. Among these are “The Trolley Song”, “Meet me in St Louis”, “The Boy Next Door” and, of course, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. The story about a family facing the difficult decision of moving out of the town they have lived in for their whole lives is not only touching but also somehow sad. It gives a different tone altogether to the idea of the Christmas holidays and once again consolidates the meaning of the words “home for Christmas”.
Now here is something for those, who can’t immediately immerse themselves in the holiday spirit and are slightly sceptical to the whole Christmas extravaganza. The green outcast Grinch (Jim Carey) has been banished from the idyllic town of Whoville, where all the little Whos adore Christmas. With a story based on the book by Dr. Seuss this film has somehow become the symbol for the modern Scrooges. With a supporting cast including Christine Baranski, Jeffrey Tambor, Molly Shannon and the late Josh Ryan Evans as the younger version of Grinch himself, this is a story, which combines the Christmas spirit with a lovely story and set of characters. And, of course, the incredibly expressive physicality of Jim Carey but that’s a given.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947, 1994)
This film has been released in 1947 (the original version, starring Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle and the young Natalie Wood as Susan) and then remade in 1994 (with Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle and also starring Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott, and Mara Wilson as Susan). Both of these films have George Seaton in their credits – as a director for the 1947 version and as screenwriter for the 1994 remake. Although released in different periods of filmmaking both films have retained the most important elements – a wonderful old man, convinced he is Santa and the ability to convince in the magic of Christmas.
The Santa Clause (1995; followed by The Santa Clause 2, 2002, and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, 2006)
Starring Tim Allen, this story about divorced father Scott Calvin, who accidentally becomes Santa Claus, suddenly turned into an essential viewing for the holidays with its first film in the mid-90s. This Disney film not only tried to provide an insight of the world of Santa Claus but also emphasized the importance of the festive tradition he represents and its hereditary nature. Populated by armies of Christmas elves, the later films include some of the iconic holiday creatures like Mother Nature (Aisha Tyler), Easter Bunny (Jay Thomas) and a jealous Jack Frost (Martin Short), who wants to rule Santa world.