All time favourite X-mas movies

Last Updated: Dec 24, 2010, 20:31 PM IST

Liji Varghese

All time favourite Christmas movies

Popcorns topped with butter, a big hot cup of coffee and a blanket that keeps you warm is all what you need when you watch Christmas themed movies on your television with your family and friends. Christmas movies, with their secular and contemporary approach tend to add to the yuletide spirit. These movies, with a prefect Christmas settings are more or less Dickensian in nature and make to a perfect holiday watch with their sentimental approach, complete with a pinch of comedy and fantasies.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (1946)

Based on the short story by Philip Van Doren Stern `The Greatest Gift`, `It’s a Wonderful Life` is about how George Bailey (James Stewart), a down-on-luck guy discovers the true value of life when his guardian angel , Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) intervenes his suicide attempt on Christmas eve and shows how the world would look like without him.

An inspiring, heart-warming film, `It’s a Wonderful Life`, which failed to garner audience attention initially has since grow inexorably in popularity and become an all time holiday favourite.

‘A Christmas Story’ (1983)

Directed by Bob Clark, ` A Christmas Story ` revolves around a nine-year-old boy Ralphie Parker, who wishes to have a Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle as his Christmas gift. The quest of a little boy to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa on how important was it for him to possess a `Red Ryder air rifle` takes you to your own childhood where getting a present on Christmas, that too your favourite one made it the best moment of your life.
This holiday classic is shown numerous times on television during the Christmas season.

‘Scrooged’ (1988), ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ (1992)

Both these movies are an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ immortal Christmas classic `A Christmas Carol`.

`Scrooged` is the story of cold-hearted and cruel television programming executive Francis "Frank" Xavier Cross (Bill Murray), whose obsession with his work leaves him alienated from his family and friends. Just like the Dickens` original novel, Frank too has the vision of the ghost of Christmas past, present and future, after which he awakens to be a reformed man in the true sense.

`The Muppet Christmas Carol` is a musical comedy with a similar story line, starring Michael Caine as avaricious Ebenezer Scrooge. The story told with panache is a warm-hearted and spirited take on the true essence of celebration.

‘Home Alone’ (1990)

‘Home Alone’ is one goofy slapstick movie that we all grew up with. The original movie (followed by three sequels) deals with the adventurous journey of an 8-year-old boy Kevin McCallister, who, irked by constant nagging from his siblings and punishment from his mother, wishes to be left all alone.

And aghast, his wish comes true when he is accidentally left behind during a family vacation to Paris. Home alone, Kevin is initially happy to be away from his obnoxious family, but soon finds himself in more trouble when a pair of bumbling robbers attempts to rob his home. Though Kevin successfully holds back the thieves with his collection of homemade booby traps, he realises the importance of having his family around.

The original 1990 blockbuster is one of the finest holiday classic and a must watch for all those who love light-hearted, humours movies.

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)

Jack Skellington - the king of the `Halloween Town`, one day accidentally ventures into the `Christmas Town`. Skellington, bored out of the same routine Halloween celebration year after year gets quiet impressed by the concept of Christmas and decides to kidnap the real Santa Claus and step into his shoes. However the new Santa’s merry mission creates a nightmare for the kids of the happy-go-lucky town.

Directed by Henry Selick, this fantasy film by Disney is one of the most loved holiday films. Since 2006, Disney has reissued the film annually under their Disney Digital 3-D format.

‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1994)

Remake of the original 1947 black-and-white classic movie `Miracle on 34th Street` stars Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle. Like the original, the remake too emphasis on believing in ones dreams.

Attenborough, who plays Santa to New York kids, finds it difficult to persuade Susan (Mara Wilson), the young protagonist of his identity, for which he goes great-lengths. Meanwhile, trying to prove his existence, Kringle ends up in a loony-bin, after people tag him insane. He even endures a court trial and is finally declared the real Santa. Towards the end of the movie Susan, who never believed in the existence of the Father Christmas, begins to believe in him as all what she wished for comes true.

`Miracle on 34th Street` steadfastly holds true to the tradition of Santa Claus. Maybe the movie will not make you believe in Santa, but surely it will teach you how to believe in your dreams.

‘The Santa Claus’ (1994)

Imagine one fine day you wake up to notice some extra pounds on your body, white long beard that grows even when you try to shave it off and ravenous taste for Christmas treats; and all this because you accidentally killed the real Father Christmas and will now have to slip into his silky red pajamas. This is exactly what happens with Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), who now has to taken on the job of not just being a Santa but also has to convince his loved ones that he is the real Father Christmas.

Directed by John Pasquin this fantasy-comedy is definitely a must-watch during Christmas vacations.

‘Elf’ (2003)

From the world of Elves to humans, Buddy (Will Ferrell) the main protagonist of the movie lands in New York in an attempt to bond with his father. Wearing a grotesque green suit with yellow tights, this 6 feet 3 inch tall `Elf` tries his level best to win over his emotionally-stunted dad and adjust to cynical society.

Filled with fun, this rambunctious comedy traces the journey of Buddy from being an elf to a human and the way he brings Christmas spirit to even the most jaded New Yorkers.

The 2003 comedy, directed by Jon Favreau is a must-watch holiday classic that will surely leave you in splits.

‘The Bad Santa’ (2003)

Alcoholic, hedonistic, washed-up, wise-cracking conman, that’s how one can best define the Santa Claus of this movie, after all not all Santa are good. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton), who works as a Santa in a department store, robs the mall with his partner in crime Marcus (Tony Cox). But things suddenly change for the mischievous Santa, when he meets an innocent but beleaguered 8-year old, who completely believes in the existence of Santa.

The dark comedy, directed by Terry Zwigoff is a best watch for all those adults who would like to see something more ironical and satirical rather than chase-your-dreams kind of kids’ movie during Christmas.