Holiday movies, much like , fall into two categories: classics and catastrophes.
The only thing worse than finding sap leaking from your Christmas tree onto your carpet is suffering through a sappy movie oozing from your television set.
You could find a lump of coal in your stocking if you subject family members to “Santa Claus vs. the Martians,” “Christmas with the Kranks” or “Jingle All the Way.”
So, here’s Patch’s guide to five great Christmas movie classics.
No surprise here. Frank Capra’s 1946 picture has become a Christmas Eve staple on network television and recognized by the AFI as one of the 100 greatest American films ever made.
For a holiday movie, it’s pretty dark stuff. Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled small town denizen who attempts to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. Thankfully, he is interrupted by angel Clarence, who shows him what life in Bedford Falls would be like without him.
This 1983 comedy is likely second in popularity behind Capra’s film as the most cherished Christmas classic. In the movie, a young boy named Ralphie who is growing up in Indiana during the 1940s wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. But his parents and teachers consistently remind him, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”
Henry Selick and Tim Burton collaborated on this oddball stop motion animation film that doubles as a Christmas and Halloween classic. In the picture, Jack Skellington (voiced by Danny Elfman), a creature from Halloween Town, opens a portal to Christmas Town and attempts to take over toy delivery from Santa.
This French movie, which translates to “Merry Christmas,” was a Best Foreign Film nominee at the 2005 Academy Awards.
It tells the true story of a Christmas truce between French and German troops along the western front during World War I.
Wait, what? I know it may seem like a stretch to include Terry Gilliam’s visionary science fiction comedy on a list of the best holiday films.
In the dystopian fantasy, a lowly bureaucrat is arrested on Christmas Day after he attempts to fix an administrative error. And Santa Claus even makes an appearance. Sort of.