There are dozens of Hollywood films set at Christmas time—even actioners like Die Hard and kiddie adventures like Home Alone, but some of the favourites have remained constant over the decades and these are the ones that extol the value of family, friendship, loyalty and kindness.
A list of some ten of the most popular Christmas movies:
A Christmas Carol (1938)
Charles Dickens captured the spirit of Christmas in his classic novel about the heartless Scrooge who is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley, who wants him to change his miserly ways. He is visited by ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come and gets a lesson in generosity from the impoverished Crachit family and redeems himself.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
This Frank Capra film, starring James Stewart as a man at the end of his tether, who wants to commit suicide till an angel comes by to show him what life would be like for his loved ones, without him.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
There have been multiples remakes of this film, but the original, directed by George Seaton is a about a bizarre case in which a man (Edmund Gwenn), who claims he is Santa Claus, is almost send to an asylum till a lawyer (John Payne) decides to defend him and court and prove that he is not insane, because he really is Santa.
A Christmas Story (1983)
In this charming Bob Clark film, nine-year-old Ralphie badly wants a toy gun for Christmas, which his mother is set against. It’s a comedy about childhood, joys, dreams and, of, course Santa Claus!
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983)
This film by Japanese master Nagisa Oshima, is a very different kind of Christmas film, set in 1942 in a prisoner-of-war camp in Japan where a British soldier Jack (David Bowie) ruffles things up and annoys the cruel Captain Yonoi (Ruichi Sakamoto), It is up to Colonel Lawrence (Tom Conti) to somehow bridge the cultural divide and avoid a conflagration.
Santa Claus The Movie (1985)
A master toymaker (David Huddleston) discovers a magical kingdom of elves in the North Pole and becomes Santa Claus. But when Santa's elf Patch (Dudley Moore) leaves for New York City and gets involved in an evil toy tycoon's plans to take over Christmas, Santa has to stop him and save Christmas for all the kids who believe in him.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
In Ron Howard’s delightful take on the popular Dr Seuss books, Jim Carrey plays the horrible Grinch who hates Christmas and tries to ruin it for the townsfolk of Whoville, who love it. Little Cindy Lou Who (Tayler Momsen) makes an attempt to befriend Grinch and make him change his mind.
Love Actually (2003)
Richard Curtis’s much loved movie, is set just before Christmas, during with eight different couples try to sort out their love lives. The cast had a bunch of stars like Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and many others. A timeless romantic classic.
Jon Favreau’s comedy, stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, who, as a kid ended by in Santa’s sack and was raised by elves in the North Pole. When he grows up and shoots up to a gigantic size, compared to the elves, he has to go to New York to look for his father, Walter (James Caan), who is not even aware of his existence.
The Polar Express (2004)
Robert Zemeckis directed this wonderful Tom Hanks- starrer (he plays multiple parts, including that of Santa Claus), about a sceptical boy who boards a train to the North Pole and embarks on what turns out to be a journey of self discovery.