Few things make us feel more festive than curling up on the sofa to watch a classic Christmas movie.
From timeless favourites like A Christmas Carol to romantic classics like It’s A Wonderful Life, here’s our pick of 5 of the best classic Christmas films of all time.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s A Wonderful Life is one of the most enduring and iconic Christmas films ever made. James Stewart will forever be remembered as George Bailey, a family man who sees life in a whole new way after wishing he was never born. Part comedy, part drama, it’s as entertaining as it is heart-warming. Though we’ve all seen this film before, there are few better movies to help us get into the festive spirit.
Holiday Inn captures all the magic of old Hollywood and all the glamour of Broadway in one film. Starring greats Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, the film follows the story of a musical troupe caught in a love triangle; after leaving the troupe behind and moving to the country, Jim (Bing Crosby) opens the Holiday Inn, a small hotel that features holiday themed dinner shows. While the film covers a whole range of holidays, it’s best remembered for its music, and particularly, the now iconic song that helped it win an Oscar – White Christmas.
Inspired by the success of Holiday Inn, White Christmas builds on the same themes but tells the story in a new way – this time in technicolour. White Christmas has all the elements of a festive classic; snow, romance and plenty of song and dance. The film was a huge hit at the box office, and is still regularly shown on TV more than 60 years later.
Miracle on 34th Street
Miracle on 34th Street is a festive favourite with adults and children alike. The original 1947 version stars Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, who must prove he is Santa Clause and help a young girl (Natalie Wood) rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. The film was so popular it inspired a remake nearly 50 years later; the 1994-version stars Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson.
Brian Desmond Hurst’s 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a true festive classic; the story follows Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, who urges Scrooge to see the error of his ways, lest he be doomed to walk the earth in chains. Thereafter he’s visited by the spirits of Christmases past, present and future, who help him finally see the truth. Though A Christmas Carol has been made for the big screen several times – the most recent in 2009 starring Jim Carrey – no one has played the mean-spirited Scrooge better than Alastair Sim, whose performance inspires both laughter and tears.
What are your favourite classic Christmas movies? Let us know in the comments below!