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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:57 am

This may not be a popular thing around these parts--I'm bracing myself for many a 'bah humbug'--but each year I try to expand my ever-growing list of perennial Xmas film favorites (or semi-favorites). So I decided to go public this year with what I have so far. If you couldn't tell, I'm a Xmas fanboy (or sentimental fool, take your pick) and tradition dictates total inclusion of every movie on this list for home viewing. Not that I get through them all--the total so far is 91 titles--even when starting in early November, but hell if I don't give it my best shot. A lot of these really liven the spirit around the house, and of course the nostalgia factor is thick.

I've decided to break them down by genre--yes, horror is in here. The letter grades are obviously subjective, but my method of inclusion is no titles lower than a D- i.e. The Santa Clause 3 (F). I encourage anyone to submit a modified version of my list with their own letter grades. And, of course, what I need here are suggestions, especially vintage and obscure titles. So holler if you have some.

The only other rule for inclusion is that the movie has to at least have Christmas as a significant portion or backdrop of the story. For instance, White Christmas and Holiday Inn aren't Christmas movies at all, but thanks to the end sequences, we somehow have made them staples every holiday. For whatever weird reason, it works. Here goes:

Shorts:

Mickey's Christmas Carol - A+

A Charlie Brown Christmas - A+

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - A

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - A+

Frosty the Snowman - A-

The Year Without Santa Claus

Jack Frost

Santa Claus is Coming to Town - B+

Little Drummer Boy - B

Cricket on the Hearth - B

A Garfield Christmas - A-

Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol - A-

A Chipmunk Christmas - B-

Care Bears Nutcracker Suite - C

Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas - C+

Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas - C+

Olive, the Other Reindeer - B+

'Twas the Night Before Christmas - A

Winnie the Pooh and Christmas, Too - A-

Yes, Virginia, there is A Santa Claus - B+ (been a while since I saw it)

Family Circus Christmas

Freddie the Freeloader


80's:

A Christmas Story - A+

Prancer - A

Santa Claus: The Movie - C+

Ernest Saves Christmas - B+

One Magic Christmas - A-

Gremlins - A

A Christmas Carol (1984, George C. Scott) - A-


90's:

Home Alone - D+

Muppet's Christmas Carol - A-

A Mom for Christmas (?)


Camp Classics:

Santa Claus v the Martians...MST3K STYLE - D-/A


Action:

Lethal Weapon - A

Die Hard - A


Vintage:

It's A Wonderful Life - A+

Holiday Inn - B+

White Christmas - B+

Miracle on 34th Street - A+

Babes in Toyland  - C

Holiday Affair - A

Beyond Tomorrow (aka Beyond Christmas) - A+

It Happened on 5th Avenue - A

Susan Slept Here - A

The Man Who Came to Dinner - A-

The Lemon Drop Kid - A

Bell, Book, and Candle - A

Christmas in Connecticut - A-

A Christmas Carol (1951, Alastair Sim) - A+

A Christmas Carol (1938, Reginald Owen) - A

Scrooge (1970/Albert Finney) - A

We're No Angels - B+

Meet Me in St. Louis - A+

The Holly and the Ivy - A+

The Bishop's Wife - A+

The Shop Around the Corner - A+

The Apartment - A+

Meet John Doe - A

Remember the Night - A

The Bells of St. Mary's - A+


Modern:

The Nightmare Before Christmas - B+

The Santa Clause - B+

The Santa Clause 2 - B-

The Polar Express - C+

Arthur Christmas - B+

Elf - D-


Adult Comedy:

Christmas Vacation - B+

Trapped in Paradise - B+

Bad Santa - A

About A Boy - A-

The Ref - B+

While You Were Sleeping - A-

Scrooged - D-

Trading Places - A

Love Actually - B+


Western:

3 Godfathers - B


Horror:

Rare Exports - B-

Black Christmas - B+

Santa's Slay - Haven't seen this one yet but included it for Toho

Silent Night, Deadly Night - D+

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 - D

Jack Frost - C+

Maniac Cop 2 - B+


War:

Joyeux Noel - B+


Obscure/TV:

The Little Match Girl (1987, Keshia Knight Pulliam) - A-

The Night They Saved Christmas (1984, Art Carney) - C-

The Christmas Toy (1986, Jim Henson) - A

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977, Jim Henson) - A

John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together (1979) - B+

A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) - A

The Christmas Gift (1986, John Denver) - C+

The Christmas Star (1986, Ed Asner) - B+

A Christmas to Remember (1978, Jason Robards) - A

The Homecoming (1971, Waltons) - A+

I'll be Home for Christmas (1988, Hal Holbrook) - A-

Babes in Toyland (1986) - C-


Last edited by corplhicks on Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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mikeinfla
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:26 am

Pretty complete list, I love Christmas movies! In fact my wife and I even enjoy the cheesy Hallmark Channel movies and watch those every year too.

In fact, we love A Christmas Story so much that last Jan we drove to the house!







Go here to see the Vimeo video I made of the house

I also remember when I was a kid we first got HBO (must've been aroun 1981 or so because Flash Gordon played like crazy on HBO at the time) I watched Freddy The Freeloader's Christmas Dinner about 100 times that month along with Babes In Toyland. Love your list, there are several I have not seen so I will have to go find those. I disagree with Elf rating of "D" but maybe since I watched it with my kids that is one that we love.


Last edited by mikeinfla on Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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mikeinfla
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:36 am

Oh, and I forgot about this one! Which I only saw one time (it's original airing). I don't remember it now but I enjoyed it when I was young. Will have to watch this again.

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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:39 am

Complete with HBO Christmas logo!
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Addy
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:49 am

Quote :
A Christmas Carol (1951, Alastair Sim) - A+

Heh I would have taken issue if you gave this anything but, one of my 2 all time favorite versions of this classic.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:04 am

I haven't seen Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas since I was a kid. I'd love to see that one again.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:34 am

What? No A Mom For Christmas?
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Boris2008
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:57 pm

I love It's a Wonderful Life but find it difficult to watch since my dad died as it was his favorite movie and he started getting very ill at Xmas time.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:20 pm

Quote :
Santa's Slay - Haven't seen this one yet but included it for Toho

Laughing very hardLaughing very hardLaughing very hard

"Saint" (or "Sint" originally) is another good one.  But not in the same campy way as Santa's Slay is.

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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:04 pm

Mike, that is cool; I wish I lived closer to the house to see it myself. CS is a great movie that always makes me hate being an adult haha. Did you ever see the sequel? I've always been curious about it.

Adding Family Circle Christmas and Freddie the Freeloader. I DO remember that Family Circus!

I figure Elf is a favorite for a lot of people but it just isn't my cup of tea.

Chewie, that sounds like a Hallmark Channel staple. Those aren't allowed. Joking. It seems good 'ol George Miller (not Mad Max) helmed that one. Hmmm...

Boris, dude, sorry to hear that. My late condolences--I can see how Wonderful Life could be a bittersweet experience.

Toho, I forgot about Sint! I have got to see that this year.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:46 pm

Honestly, "Pleasantville" really feels more like a true holiday experience than most films actually about the holidays. The Frank Capra vibe comes through loud and clear, it's thought-provoking, has great characters, tackles that illusion of "small-town" vs the reality of small town and overall has a very uplifting message and theme. While no, it's not technically a holiday film...it actually achieves what so many holiday films fail to do. It inspires and it entertains.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:19 pm

S.D. wrote:
Honestly, "Pleasantville" really feels more like a true holiday experience than most films actually about the holidays.  The Frank Capra vibe comes through loud and clear, it's thought-provoking, has great characters, tackles that illusion of "small-town" vs the reality of small town and overall has a very uplifting message and theme.  While no, it's not technically a holiday film...it actually achieves what so many holiday films fail to do.  It inspires and it entertains.  

Huh. I never even thought about that. This might make for a unique experience.

It's also the most open-minded movie I've ever seen. I love the message and how it deconstructs the fantasy idealism of that era while challenging conservative values. American Beauty did the same thing effectively--but Pleasantville was far more upbeat.

It sure would be nice if we got more Xmas movies of a more intelligent and challenging nature. Especially for us disillusioned adults who struggle each year to achieve that magic that seems so out of reach anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:28 pm

There are several other Frank Capra films that capture a "holiday spirit" without actually being about the holidays.  Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, You Can't Take It With You, Lady For A Day and hell...even Meet John Doe.  These are films which primarily illustrate the things that make people the same...not the things that separate us.  They effectively demonstrate the divides we live with, then they break those barriers down to reveal the connections underneath.  To me, that should be what the holidays are all about (from my admittedly secular viewpoint), a chance for us to put aside our bullshit for 5 minutes and just be together as human beings.  

Pleasantville is just one of the best "Capra-esque" films, there aren't many, another one is "Dave". "Mumford" is another but not really of a holiday vibe.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:39 pm

Quote :
Toho, I forgot about Sint! I have got to see that this year.

Definitely check out Santa's Slay first.  From the music to the cameos to the overall campiness of the story (not to mention the "Claymation part"), it's a "horror movie" only if you've never seen a real horror movie; to me it's just plain ol' fun.  Even the end credits are a hoot; everyone is either on the "naughty" or "nice" list.  And make sure you go through all the end credits; there's a nice Goldberg shout out at the end.

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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:53 pm

I know I am in the minority, but I can't stand It's A Wonderful Life.  It's treacly pablum and George Bailey is an idiot.  Barf.  Frankly, I don't like much of anything Frank Capra did other than Why We Fight.  

A Christmas Story is my go to for Christmas movies. Those characters speak to me because they are wonderfully fallible and realistic.  It's one of the very few movies that actually nails what it is to be a kid and all that entails. Jean Shepherd was a much better writer than most.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:57 pm

Quote :
Silent Night, Deadly Night - D+

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 - D

I see no point in grading these two separately, since three-quarters of "2" is merely recycled footage from the first movie Laughing very hard

Although now that I think about it, I'd almost have to grade "2" slightly higher than the original, because "2" has this scene:

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Last edited by Fat Freddy on Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:00 pm

Witchfinder wrote:
I know I am in the minority, but I can't stand It's A Wonderful Life.  It's treacly pablum and George Bailey is an idiot.  Barf.  Frankly, I don't like much of anything Frank Capra did other than Why We Fight.  

A Christmas Story is my go to for Christmas movies. Those characters speak to me because they are wonderfully fallible and realistic.  It's one of the very few movies that actually nails what it is to be a kid and all that entails. Jean Shepherd was a much better writer than most.

I'm with you there.  I assiduously avoid most "normal" Christmas movies mainly because I don't like the holiday but A Christmas Story does force me to harken back to the Christmases of my childhood.

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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:06 pm

Fat Freddy wrote:
Quote :
Silent Night, Deadly Night - D+

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 - D

I see no point in grading these two separately, since three-quarters of "2" is merely recycled footage from the first movie Laughing very hard

Although now that I think about it, I'd almost have to grade "2" slightly higher than the original, because "2" has this scene:

GARBAGE DAY! Apparently that's the only thing that guy has ever done. He was so burned by the studio and filmmakers that he flipped the bird and walked off. His main goal was to be an aspiring actor and he's remembered for this lol. There's an interview floating around with him somewhere.

I hated the second one because of all the recycled footage, thus the D. But no D- because GARBAGE DAY!!! Laughing very hard
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:51 pm

Just fished out our VHS tapes (preferred format for full nostalgia mode) and realized I forgot about this gem--god this used to scare the shit out of me as a kid:

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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:31 pm

Here's a couple more we watch every year. Mixed Nuts starring Steve Martin. It is based on a play. It takes place on Dec 24th at a suicide prevention center. My wife and I love it and think it is funny.



And The Family Man starring Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. We saw it in the theaters. Really isn't a Christmas movie but takes place during Christmas... We watch it once a year. We fondly remember the night we saw it in theaters -- it was the night she came home to "pee on a stick" that showed us a "+".

I also was scanning thru the guide channel and noticed "The Christmas Gift" already playing on UP. Will try and catch that one sometime over the weekend.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:10 am

Unloaded even MORE VHS tapes from our Xmas boxes today and I can't believe I had forgotten this one. For fans of Bloom County:

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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:15 am

A D- for Scrooged? Must not be a big Bill Murray fan, personally, i think that film is great. Watched it last year and it still holds up IMO.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:23 am

corplhicks wrote:
Unloaded even MORE VHS tapes from our Xmas boxes today and I can't believe I had forgotten this one. For fans of Bloom County:


I do believe I have that on an old VHS tape that I had taped off tv years ago. I haven't seen that in years.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:52 am

Every year we watch Pee Wee's Christmas Special (and since my son loves it, we watch it a whoooooole lot).

Some horror Christmas stuff I dig upon most, that are not mentioned already:

-Santa Claws (the '96 Debbie Rochon slasher, not the 2014 kitten movie, heh)
-Black Christmas remake
-Tales from the Crypt: "All Through the House" episode (and it's counterpart in the TftC 70s anthology movie
-Tales from the Darkside: "Seasons of Belief" and "The Yattering and Jack"


And yeah, a D- for Scrooged? Probably one of the best Christmas movies ever and one of Bill Murray's best performances, man.
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PostSubject: Re: Corplhicks' Guide to Holiday Cinema   Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:40 am

Hadley wrote:
A D- for Scrooged? Must not be a big Bill Murray fan, personally, i think that film is great. Watched it last year and it still holds up IMO.

Yea, he kinda lost me on that one too. 'Scrooged' gets a D- but 'Bad Santa' gets an A? Not in my world they don't.

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