Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Movies

I was going to write about our family Christmas traditions tonight, but frankly the day got away from me and now I'm a bit too tired to think and write about them. So I'll just talk about a subset of our Christmas traditions, which is Christmas movies. I'll be the first to admit I'm a sucker for a good Christmas movie. I'll watch them over and over every year without fail. The first comes out on Thanksgiving because the movie itself starts on Thanksgiving Day. Sometime between getting the turkey in the oven and starting to peel the potatoes, I'll watch "Miracle on 34th Street".

Miracle on 34th Street Poster

I watch the 1947 version with Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn and Maureen O'Hara. In black in white and not "colorized". Occasionally I'll watch the 1994 remake with Richard Attenbourgh, Elizabeth Perkins and Mara Wilson, but I prefer the original.

The next four I watch in no particular order. It's whatever strikes my mood at the time.
First up is "Love Actually". I love this movie. Love the stories, love the music, love everything about it. The scene at the end where Colin Firth proposes to Aurelia always gets to me.

Love Actually Poster

The next one I just watched tonight - A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott as Scrooge

A Christmas Carol Poster

I'll watch other versions if I see them om TV, but I happen to own the above version and I've watched it a lot. I've given a copy to Daughter#1 as well. I really like the 1938 version with Reginald Owen as Scrooge and Gene Lockhart as Cratchit, but it's hard to find on TV. Some trivia - Gene Lockhart also played the Judge in the 1947 version of "Miracle on 34th Street".

The next two movies took me a while to warm up to. I really didn't like them at first, but having watched them a few times I've really gotten to like them. The first of these is the "Polar Express".

The Polar Express Poster

It's the one Christmas movie I watch that I don't actually own. I have to catch it on TV. At first I didn't like the animation. It looked kind of creepy. However over time the message of believing and being able to hear the sleigh bell won me over. At times I think its a bit overdone and could have easily been shorten by 30 minutes, but thats just nit picking. Besides who doesn't like Tom Hanks?

The next movie, which I bought about two years ago is "Prancer".

Prancer Poster

At first glance it appears to be just another cheezy kid Christmas movie, but Rebecca Harrell's performance as Jessica Riggs will win your heart over. We should all believe as sincerely as Jessica. Watching her save Prancer as he in turns saves her will bring a tear to your eye.

This final movie is what the family gathers together to watch every Christmas Eve before we turn in for the night to await Santa's arrival. Even now that the kids are adults, we still watch it as a family. The movie - "One Magic Christmas".

One Magic Christmas Poster

It has sort of a "It's a Wonderful Life" twist to it. It's always interesting to contemplate how changing one small thing changes all that follows it. The scene where Mary Steenburgen (the Mom) reads the letter she wrote as a child to Santa that her own child has brought back from the North Pole is the high point of the movie for me.

What Christmas movies are your favorites?

1 comment:

Mrs. Young said...

In no particular order, my faves are:

Holiday Inn: (not really a Christmas movie but the first "vehicle" for the song White Christmas)

Little Women: The 1949 version with June Allyson, Janet Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor and Margaret O'Brien (not really a Christmas movie but they tend to show it around this time of the year)

Meet Me in St. Louis: Once again, not really a Christmas movie but it features Judy Garland's wonderful version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

The Holiday: Just a lovely little romantic comedy / chick-flick

The Polar Express: I agree that the animation was kinda creepy at first but the message of believing is universal

Love Actually: I adore everything about this movie. Laugh out loud funny yet very moving.

Miracle on 34th Street: My all-time fave. I too only like the original version and only in black & white. Plus I've always has a *thing* for "Mr. Gailey" ;-)

Merry Christmas!