TME Hollywood : Top Ten Christmas movies

Posted: November 29, 2011 by tmepost in Movies, Randomz
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By David Burrola

With the holiday season in and Christmas approaching everyone’s gonna have something to say about movies dealing with Christmas and ones that have it as a part of their them, or just within the spirit of the holiday. So, i’m going to give you a list of my 10 favorite Christmas movies.

This is gonna be pretty strange in some parts, mostly because i’m a strange man. And again its in no particular order, because i’m terrible at rating things in countdowns like this…. so far…

10: A Christmas Carol (1984) Starring George C. Scott.

Okay, as will be prevalent in this countdown, i’ve seen a lot of older movies as a kid. I was probably too young to see this one without really knowing what was what till I was a little older, but I still thought this was fun. I liked George C. Scott as Ebeneezer Scrooge because he always seemed like the perfect grumpy old guy to me. Then I saw Patton, and then loved this one. So its kinda more nostalgic than anything and more coincidental, but hey, movies ultimately want to be remembered and leave an impact on you, and this one certainly did.

9: A White Christmas (1954) Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney.

Yeah, this is much older than what most people would have put on their list who are in my age group. But like I said, in my house we watched a lot of classic films, mostly because at the time in the 80’s many of these films where shown on TV during the holidays. This one sticks with me because 1) I love Danny Kaye, he’s my favorite actor of that era and starred in my favorite movie as a kid(The Court Jester); and 2) I actually did really like musicals growing up. If you where a kid in the 80’s or early 90’s you still got to see a lot of those movie being made, but this was back in the era when most movies where musicals because film was still sturdily held in the throes of old theater and many who studied theater got into film. A White Christmas has everything that those old movies had, big production, lots of heart and great performances from its stars. This left a lasting impression on me of what stars where like and what the holidays where about. And what it was like being a kid in the 80’s. Speaking of which…

8: Gremlins (1984) Starring Zach Galligan and Pheobe Cates

This is a great change of pace and what I was saying when I said strange. This being a horror/monster film but set during Christmas. Yes it counts, and you’ll see what else counts later.

This movie had many of the things that a Christmas movie has, morals about giving and caring, family and bringing people together, and something of mystery and awe. With horrible little monsters that want to kill you. And die horrific deaths. And Gizmo. Sure its a really weird and off beat pick, but it still brings people together for survival, and to kill little creatures that want to ruin your holiday because some teenage dork can’t follow simple instructions from a mystic asian old man(yeah, Hollywood does that to other cultures) in a nondescript and surprisingly easy to come by variety store. This also caused people to want to buy plushies of the cute little guy that really started it all, Gizmo. The creature that when gotten wet multiplies, and when those are fed after midnight turn into monsters that want to kill you. Then take over a skyscrapper and parody everything in pop culture and cinema. I love how bizarre Hollywood is.

7: A Christmas Story (1983) Starring Peter Billingsly, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin and Scott Shwartz

To be honest, I really hated this movie growing up. Lots of folks liked it and its endured for a long time but it always bugged the living hell out of me, that this kids life just sucked for the sake of it. All so he could shoot himself in the face with a BB gun and then beat up a bully. If I had wanted to see someone getting picked on that much and then mess himself up with his own gift( a really dangerous one at that. I guess in those days you weren’t a man unless you drew blood during playtime at least once in your childhood) i’d have just turned away from the TV and watched my brother. He cut himself with a toy tool set once. It had a real saw in there. Kid sized! Good job toymakers. Looking back this was more for adults to me that kinds, as a kind of retrospective on your own childhood and what made you who you are today. But for a kid who just wants to have fun and with little attention span, its horribly boring and uninteresting. It also makes the idea of a kid getting a BB gun for Christmas suck for a kid watching.

6: Home Alone (1990) Starring Macualy Culkin, Joe Peschi, Daniel Stern and John Heard

What kid didn’t like this growing up. It was a wise cracking kinda dorky kid who was too smart for everybody around him, who then upon getting left home when his folks go on a big trip(kids a heavy sleeper) wakes up to see he’s got the house to himself lives it up and does what a kid would do. Go crazy for a few days and do all the things parents and older siblings told him not to do. But he also does some things that are a little too smart for a kid that age, so either the writers didn’t understand that this would be a bad idea for a child, or he’s really a genius and nobody gave him the time of day. Either way, when he ends up defending himself from Joe Peschi and his goon friend Daniel Stern(he was in so many movies I saw growing up) he makes the movie fun to watch because of all the things we kids wished we could have done. Its a power fantasy in a way realized for a child but its still fun. And he learns that he really does care about his family and wants them around, while they learn to never forget him again. Except for the next 3 sequels. Man that family hates that kid.

5: Hook (1991) Starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts and Bob Hoskins

Every kid growing up has heard the story of Peter Pan. Hell, its still a big play that’s done to this day. But this one was different in that Peter Pan decided to grow up and have some kids of his own. But his past comes back to haunt him as Captain Hook takes his children from him Christmas eve and he then gets taken back to Neverland to fight Hook one more time and regain that innocence he lost when coming to the real world. Its still a good movie and one of the better film Robin Williams has been in. And Dustin Hoffman is fantastic as Hook. You can still watch this around the holidays and not feel like you’re cheating because it has all those wonderful messages that a family should hear for a movie during the times. And its got what kids like, which is lots of action and fun hijinks. Plus that dinner scene is still awesome every time I watch it.

4: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)

This was an animated movie had for TV that showed again and again when I was a kid and my family and I all loved it. Its cute, it was done with the old stop motion animation style and it was an old Christmas tale that we heard in school and from parents that was now on screen. Its one of those older films that still holds up well and doesn’t fade with age, but only becoming more quaint and endearing as time passes. Well, if you’re not a prude and can’t have fun with it. This is something special considering it was made for TV and most stop motion animation is either done as shorts or big production films. You don’t see TV studios doing this anymore. All the more reason this one’s so good.

3: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon and Cathrine O’Hara

This is totally cheating, its so cheating I have to slap myself for putting it on here. *slap* Hah hah! Just kidding, i’m not really gonna do that since both Disney and everyone else on the planet shows this at both holidays, Tim Burton designed this movie to make him money twice a year till he’s made himself into a robot to continue watching people love this movie. And boy do we love it. I really can’t say much else about why its on here, but you’ll just have to see why its not my last mention.

2: Scrooged (1988) Starring Billy Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover

This is why being a kid in the 80’s rocked. Movies like this happened. Whoever decided that Bill Murray needed to be in a weird, funny and still wonderfully spirited Christmas movie deserves some things I can’t mention here. But damn is this movie good. I’d watch this over most other Christmas movies because not only is it just so good at retelling that old Christmas Carol story in modern day(okay in the 80’s) it still manages to have a better message overall than the original had being retold in the same time setting over and over again. Also, it had f******* Bill Murray in it. That makes it millions of times better than other films and if I have to say it any more i’ll punch someone. Watch it your house during the Christmas season and love it.

1: Die Hard (1988) Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia and Reginauld VelJohnson

What could have beaten everything else to the top? John McClane that’s who. Yeah, this takes place during Christmas and it displays all the elements of bringing family together, the Christmas cheer and thanks for life that a movie should. With bullets, explosions and lots of profanity. Yeah, I saw this as a kid when I shouldn’t have but who cares now. I know that either my kids will see crazy movies like this when i’m a parent(a frightening thought) and either i’ll have to chastise them(for not seeing it with me) or help make sure their mother doesn’t catch us all watching it. But hell, i’d still show this durning Christmas because damnit men need good movie to watch during Christmas that doesn’t make us feel like we’re just there to eat food we don’t get the rest of the year, host parties/attend parties and pretend we’re not drinking too much. I love my family and don’t accuse for anything at all, but come on, if this isn’t a Christmas movie then you really do think it was John Wayne riding off into the sunset with Grace Kelly.

Happy Holidays!

  1. Matt Stewart says:

    Awwwww man! No It’s a Wonderful life?!?! Hahahaha well, still great list!
    I like most of these, and I will be sure to check back on your blog soon!

  2. poppiesandnonsense says:

    A good list, but I would add National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and It’s a Wonderful Life. 🙂

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